The Midianites overpowered Israel which caused many of God’s people to live in hiding. Gideon was secretly threshing wheat when God appeared to him in the form of an angel—the angel of the LORD. He appointed Gideon to save the Israelites from the Midianites. After the angel proved that he was indeed God, Gideon exclaimed,
Alas, O Lord God! For now I have seen the angel of the LORD face to face.” But the LORD said to him, “Peace be to you. Do not fear; you shall not die.” Then Gideon built an altar there to the LORD and called it, The LORD Is Peace (Yahweh Shalom). -Judges 6.22b-24
The Hebrew word shalom is translated with the English word “peace” but carries a deeper and broader meaning. Shalom means “wholeness” and “completeness.” Author Cornelius Plantinga explains, “…Shalom means universal flourishing, wholeness, and delight—a rich state of affairs in which natural needs are satisfied and natural gifts fruitfully employed…. Shalom, in other words, is the way things ought to be.”
God is Yahweh Shalom. He is the Lord of completeness and wholeness, a God who brings delight to our souls. Yahweh Shalom restores things to the way they ought to be. Your sin separates you from God. But there is good news; it is the gospel of peace (Ephesians 6:15). Yahweh Shalom sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to provide you peace through his blood, shed on the cross (Colossians 1:20). And he gives you his Holy Spirit who “is life and peace” (Romans 8:6). God wants your life to be enveloped by his peace! He is Yahweh Shalom!
- Thank God for the shalom he has given you through Jesus.
- Ask him to provide you with an opportunity to share the message of Jesus with your children or grandchildren in the next few days.
Thank you for giving me peace through Jesus. Thank you for giving me the Holy Spirit who settles my heart with peace. Help me live a life that is complete and whole in you. Help me to live with your shalom. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
 Cornelius Plantinga, Jr., Not the Way It’s Supposed to Be: A Breviary of Sin, Eerdmans, 1995, p. 11.
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