May 29, 2011 God is my Peace/Jehovah-shalom

God is my peace/Jehovah-shalom.

It is easy to be at peace when there is gas in the car, food in the fridge, a paycheck coming in, family and friends nearby, and a godly leader at the helm.  If that is your peace, then you do not know the God of peace.  He is the One Who shows up when you have just been downsized or just left the counselor trying to save your relationship or when the storm thunders at you or the bullets of war land all around you.  He is the certainty you hold onto in an uncertain world.  He is the God of Peace found by Kings Jehoshaphat (2 Chronicles 20.12) and Hezekiah (Isaiah 37.20).  Gideon earlier had proclaimed Him as Jehovah-shalom!  Learn from his story in Judges 6.1-40.

Midianites Oppress Israel (verses 1-10).

  • Sin removed God’s protection; verses 1 and 10.
  • Israelites planted the seeds but missed the harvest; verses 3-6.
  • After 7 years, the Israelites cried out for God’s help; verses 6-7a.
  • He sent a prophet before He chose a warrior; verse 7b.
  • Sin does bad things to good people.

Gideon a warrior? (verses 11-35).

  • Hiding from the enemy; verse 11.
  • Courage and bravery recognized by God; verse 12-13.
  • God’s orders, and Gideon’s reluctance; verses 14-15.
  • Assurance of victory; verse 16.
  • Gideon’s first proof that God was with him; verses 17-21.  What convinced him?
  • Peace from the unseen voice; verses 22-24.  See Genesis 32.30 for a similar experience.  What is the peace in Ephesians 2.11-22?
  • First assignment and response; verses 25-32.

How does this explain verse 1?

How is this similar to God’s task for Jeremiah (1.7-10)?

  • A different response to the enemy; verses 33-35.

Contrast this with verse 2.

  • Gideon’s second and third proofs that God was with him; verses 36-40.
  • Gideon became so confident in God’s leadership that he did not resist sending 31,900 of the assembled troops home, leaving only 300 to defeat the enemies completely.

Takeaways from the lesson:

  • Peace acknowledges that God is reliable as the only Savior.
  • Peace discounts the size of the problem.  ‘God is with me!’
  • Peace confirms His voice as giving the instruction.
  • Peace allows God to do His work through us.

Some New Testament illustrations.

  • Paul and Silas’ praise brings an earthquake, freedom, and salvation; Acts 16.16-34.
  • Peter slept soundly before pending death until an angel freed him; Acts 12.1-11.
  • Jesus sums up peace for believers; Luke 22.35.  God is our peace!

Copyright by Maurice L. Painter; all rights reserved.

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