For He Is Your Peace
Open Your Bible
Judges 6:1-24, Psalm 23:1-6, Isaiah 30:18, 2 Timothy 2:13
I can be a “sky is falling” type of person, especially when I read or watch the news. Even as a Christian, sometimes it’s hard to concentrate on the good and positive when the world seems to grow scarier and more dangerous by the day. And it’s during those tension-filled moments of fear that I resonate with Gideon, struggling to see God at work in my world. But God’s reminder of assurance is the same today as it was for Gideon: His peace trumps every reason to fear.
The LORD said to him, “Peace to you. Don’t be afraid.” —Judges 6:23
Gideon’s story takes place during some of Israel’s darkest spiritual days, when the nation’s sins led to repeated cycles of invasion by various countries. Circumstances were dire. Midian and company had ransacked Israel’s crops, leaving the nation poverty stricken. Midian’s overwhelming presence had also driven many of the Israelites from their homes to the safety of mountains and caves. In these harsh living conditions, Gideon believes the God of his ancestors has abandoned Gideon and his people.
We miss God’s voice when we focus only on what life around us looks like. From our ground-level view, things can seem hopeless and overwhelming. But when God shows us His perspective, we realize things are radically different from how they appear.
We can also let our present circumstances shape how we see ourselves, causing us to miss out on how God sees us. It seems ironic that the angel of the Lord greets Gideon as a “valiant warrior” when his behavior seems to contradict the title (Judges 6:12). Even in this scene of hiding, God sees a valiant warrior. Fear and preservation have driven him to sift wheat in the secrecy of the winepress—a nearly impossible task. Wheat was always sifted above ground: as the grain was tossed in the air, the wind carried the chaff away.
Today’s narrative reminds us to not let anything dull our senses to God’s nearness. Everything changes when Gideon finally realizes that God has been there all along. Gideon’s response is filled with the appropriate fear of a human in the presence of the divine. But the Lord offers peace. “Peace to you. Don’t be afraid” (v.23).
God’s presence always means peace for His people, even if that peace looks different than we expect. He is our peace, our faithful Shepherd who walks through every season of life with us. Even when our journey leads us through the “darkest valley,” we have no need to fear (Psalm 23:4).
This is the assurance that we need when the world feels scarier, more dangerous. It’s the confidence we need when things in our own life feel the same way.
Peace to you. Don’t be afraid. It’s an affirmation that we should post on our mirrors or refrigerators or computer monitors. It’s a promise that we should repeat to ourselves, over and over. It’s a challenge that we should embrace in the face of doubt. And it’s a reminder that should strengthen our faith, knowing the words come from God Himself.