Monday, June 4, 2007

Jehovah Shalom: The LORD is Peace, Part 1

Key verse:
“So Gideon built an altar to the LORD there and called it The LORD is Peace. To this day it stands in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.” Judges 6:24

Gideon's altar to Jehovah Shalom comes at the most paradoxical point that I can imagine. An angel of the LORD had just appeared to Gideon saying, "The LORD is with you, mighty warrior," verse 12.

But Gideon, "the mighty warrior" as proclaimed by the LORD, appears to be anything except mighty. In the next verse he whines that the LORD has abandoned him and his people and put them into the hand of their enemy Midian. The LORD assures Gideon in vs 14, but Gideon still lacks faith and trust. He reminds the angel that he is the weakest of the weakest tribe and that he is least in his family in vs.15.

Even after the LORD reassures Gideon again that He will be with him in vs 16, Gideon still insists on a sign in vs 17. After the angel of God performed the sign vs 18-21, Gideon was finally convinced and convicted that he had in fact seen the angel of the LORD face to face vs 22.

Gideon should have died. But, instead of killing Gideon on the spot, the LORD says "Peace! Do not be afraid. You are not going to die" vs 23.

This is the context in which Gideon worships and serves Jehovah Shalom.

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One of the reasons this is so applicable to me is that I recently decribed myself as "Joan of Arc" when it comes to defending the core doctrines of faith, particularly the 5 solas, but also TULIP and the WCF. How completely opposite has my attitude been in comparison to the humbling of Gideon? Don't get me wrong, I totally understand how completely weak and utterly least in the kindgom I am apart from Christ and I was before living in the strength of His Holy Spirit. How does this happen though? That a person so attached to the doctrines of Total Depravity, God's Sovereignty, Irresistable Grace, and the rest can become graceless and hard toward those who differ?

1 Cor 1: 25 "For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength.
26 Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth."

1 comment:

prof said...

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