Posted by: Dale | February 18, 2010

The Character of God: Shalom

Now Gideon perceived that He was the Angel of the Lord. So Gideon said, “Alas, O Lord God! For I have seen the Angel of the Lord face to face.”

Then the Lord said to him, “Peace be with you; do not fear, you shall not die.” So Gideon built an altar there to the Lord, and called it The-Lord- Is -Peace. To this day it is still in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.

Judges 6:22-24

I have decided to explore the character of God over the next few weeks because knowing about his characteristics is extremely important to our Christian walk and how we look at ourselves and our relationship with Him.

Many people have some wrongly perceived notions about God. They call Him “The man upstairs”, “the big guy”, etc., but these names do nothing to reveal to us anything about God.It is a great thing that He reveals himself to us in His word. We find comfort and hope in those revelations.

The first characteristic I would like to focus on is God as “The Lord Is Peace”. When the Bible says “Now Gideon perceived that he was the angel of the Lord“, that term has been suggested to mean that it was in fact God himself before him (something we call a Theophany a pre-incarnate Christ). The Word that suggests that is “The”. If it was just simply another angel, then it would be “An angel of the Lord”.

Back to the topic though, in this passage Gideon is worried about the state of Israel in the verses leading up to the quoted text. He is worried that Israel is in the land, but not possessing the land like God had said they would. They were under oppression from the Midianites. So God approaches Gideon and says he will be used to deliver the Israelite.  In the midst of the conversation (and the miracles that the Lord performed) Gideon realized he was face to face with God, and he knew that the word says we can not see God face to face an live.

Now fearful for his life, God reassures him by stating that “He is God of peace”. He is telling Gideon that he plans him no harm. And that he plans on giving Gideon perfect peace that only comes from God.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes, I find my life fairly stressful. Sometimes I worry. Sometimes hope seems so far away. But as we press into get to know His characteristics more, we can be assured that He provides us with perfect peace in times of pleasure and in times of trouble.

Are you worried about what the future holds? Don’t worry, get to know the Lord of peace today.


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