Yahweh-Shalom – The Lord is Peace
Hello Victorious Ones,
The story of Gideon in Judges 6 thru 8 is always an amazing read. It is a representation of the littleness of man, and the awesomeness of God. Chapter 7 is one of my favorite reads. Whenever I need a spiritual boost to know that God is with me, I seem to eventually end up at Judges 7. Maybe you remember how the story starts: Israel is in a really bad way – they are experiencing the consequences of disobedience to the Lord in the form of enemy invasion by the Midianites, who are stealing their food and their livestock. The Israelites are very discouraged, so they cry out to God. God has His eye on a man who is trying to salvage the wheat before the Midianites steal it also. I love the greeting the Angel of the Lord says, “The Lord is with you, O valiant warrior” (6:12). God has chosen Gideon; God has called Gideon; God will anoint Gideon by the Spirit of the Lord; God will accomplish the mission through Gideon! The theme of chapter 6 is “I will be with you, and you shall defeat Midian as one man” (6:16). The remainder of the chapter is God trying to convince Gideon through a series of “signs”, that God is indeed with Gideon. This frightened man is slowly and reluctantly transformed into the “valiant warrior” God says he truly is. Praise God that He sees in us what we do not see in ourselves, and He makes us ready for the mission He calls us to perform. He even puts up with our unbelief and does what is necessary to cause our faith to grow. God gives Gideon his first assignment, which is to destroy his father’s idols (6:25). Is it not often that the very ones who are closest to us need to see our walk with the Lord first, in a remarkable way, so that they know the Lord is with us – our first witness assignment is often to our family! Gideon is afraid (6:27) so he accomplishes God’s will in the secrecy of the night. Nonetheless, he does it. First test is passed! Even though he was scared, he discovered the peace God promised (6:23) was given to him. After the first assignment is accomplished, the Spirit of the Lord comes upon him for the next mission (6:34). Even while under the power of Holy Spirit, he asks for his famous fleece test. Is there not hope for all of us, who being of little faith know that our Lord is merciful and desires to increase our faith and puts up with our necessity for proof that God is really with us in the things He asks us to do. What a merciful God!
Now the big assignment! Go defeat the Midianites. Gideon starts with 32,000 fighting men, which is quickly reduced to 300. God’s promise is given: “I will deliver you with 300” (7:7). Gideon seems to be a different man – God has fulfilled Gideon’s need for proof and filled him with Holy Spirit. He seems to believe God’s promises “I have given it [Midian] into your hands” (7:9). Has the peace of Yahweh finally entered Gideons being? Did it come in with Holy Spirit - The very presence of God! Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is Freedom (2Cor. 3:17). Freedom from fear, anxiety and doubt. The fruit of peace, which comes with the presence of Holy Spirit is now Gideon’s (Gal. 5:22). God has prepared His chosen vessel. But God does not stop there! In a rare “behind the scenes” look into the Midianite camp, Gideon arrives to hear two men discussing a dream the one had, which is interpreted as, “This is nothing less than the sword of Gideon, the son of Joash, a man of Israel; God has given Midian and all the camp into his hand” (7:14). In humility, abased by the sovereignty and power of Almighty God, who even speaks to the enemies of His people, Gideon can do nothing but bow in worship before the Lord. After worshipping, Gideon arises and finally confesses out of his own mouth what the Lord had been saying all along, “Arise, the Lord has given the camp of Midian into your hands” (7:15). The victory trumpets are blown, and the battle is quickly won as God brings confusion into the Midianite camp and the Midianites turn their swords on each other (7:22).
What a great story - Your story and my story. The story of God choosing and preparing an individual for His kingdom purposes. The story of transforming a fearful, doubtful human into a valiant warrior, one who will do the Lord’s work amidst a world that is hostile to His people. The story is repeated with Jesus and the disciples. God the Son chooses His disciples and molds them into fearless preachers and demonstrators of the Kingdom of God! It is not by might, nor by power, but by the Spirit of the Lord that these individuals, just like you and I, are transformed from fearful followers to valiant servants of the King. “You will receive POWER when the Holy Spirit comes upon you” (Acts 1:8). The power you receive will be responsible for the internal peace you need to not be afraid, to not doubt and to overcome every fear the enemy throws at you. Is it not remarkable that Jesus, in teaching the disciples about Holy Spirit also promises them His peace (John 14:16-27). In giving them Holy Spirit, He was also giving them Yahweh Shalom – His peace. Was this the message to the disciples in the storm with Jesus asleep in the boat? PEACE! YAHWEH SHALOM is with you! Friends, whatever enemy you are facing…Yahweh Shalom is with you! This was the truth God wanted Gideon to learn – no matter the battle ahead – the victory is the Lord’s, and He Himself, your Peace, will get you through! Put your trust in Yahweh Shalom and watch the enemy fall at the hands of a God who can turn His enemies’ swords on themselves. What enemy - physical, spiritual, emotional, or mental do you need to let Yahweh Shalom defeat. Rise up in His strength and conquer!
Have an exciting overcoming week with Jesus!
"Advancing the Kingdom of God by releasing Spirit-filled followers to serve Jesus in freedom and joy."