By Any Other Name - Jehovah Shalom

When we were looking to purchase a house a few years back, it turned out to be a pretty stressful time. The house we had been renting for nine years was selling, and the landlord wanted the place vacant. They offered to sell it to us, but it wasn't where we wanted to invest our time and money in. The search lasted several months. We had to be in a particular neighborhood in order to keep the kids in the schools we wanted. We must have looked at fifty houses. Every day I was online, looking for new listings. We found a couple that either my wife liked, or I liked, but few we both liked.

One day our broker called and said there was a new listing, just hit the market. My wife went over to look, and called me. "I found our house." she said. I went that night, and agreed wholeheartedly. What set this house apart was the sense of peace that I got walking through it. Suddenly, it didn't seem so daunting a task, buying our first house. It was as if the Lord said "Welcome home."

A few years later I found myself "restructured" out of a job. I remember going to church that Sunday and actually testifying about it. Why? Because even though it was scary, there was this sense of complete peace with it. I knew that I was simply turning a corner.

I wonder how Gideon felt when God first called on him. "The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor!" (Judges 6:12) Gidion probably looked around and went "Who, me?" He went on to protest the same way Moses did when God called him. Gideon basically told God "I'm a nobody from a backwater town, and I'm the even smallest of my brothers. I thresh wheat because I'm afraid of the Midianites. What 'valor' are you talking about?"

But God saw beyond who Gideon was and saw who he would be. God knew what Gideon didn't know - that the Lord himself would be with Gideon. "Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat the Midianites as one man." (Judges 6:16)

And when God gave Gideon a mighty sign by consuming his sacrifice with fire, something changed in Gideon. He finally understood what the Lord was telling him; he finally accepted his part in God's plan. I imagine that he finally got a sense of peace about the whole thing. In fact, in verse 23, it the Lord tells him " Peace be with you; do not fear, you shall not die." We know from Genesis the power of God's word - he spoke the universe into existence. So when He speaks peace over Gideon, He sent His Spirit to bring Gideon peace. God's peace is an amazing, wonderful gift.

Gideon, like Abraham before him, and like Moses, built an altar on that place, and called it "The LORD is my peace." In Hebrew, this is "YHWH shalom" or Jehovah Shalom.

God's peace comes into play every time He calls us to do something that is beyond us. God calls us because we are weak. 2 Corinthians says " your weakness my strength is made perfect." (12:9) 1Cor 1:27 says "But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty." When God calls us to do the things that there is no natural way you can do it, that you have no hope of accomplishing on your own - that's when to call out to Jehovah Shalom and ask for that peace about it. Then watch what you can accomplish!

Next week: ...we sing praise, Adonai!


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