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There is Peace in Surrender

This post marks the end of our three-part series from the beginning of Gideon’s story in Judges 6. So if you haven’t read the first two posts, I’d like to suggest you head there before you go any further with this one. (You can read the first post here and the second here.)

So far, we have learned through Gideon’s story that God meets us as we are and sees us as we will be. God goes beyond those things we consider limitations and loves us as we are while he brings us into our new name and His purposes.

We have also learned that even in this truth, Gideon continued to ask and wonder—and you can too. God can handle your doubts and your skepticism. Nothing is too difficult for Him. This brings us to the final portion of Judges 6.

God is there for all of it.

Let’s start with verses 22-24.

22 When Gideon realized that it was the angel of the Lord, he exclaimed, “Alas, Sovereign Lord! I have seen the angel of the Lord face to face!” 23 But the Lord said to him, “Peace! Do not be afraid. You are not going to die.” 24 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.

The text says, “When Gideon realized that it was the angel of the LORD…”  Did you catch that in verse 22? Could it be he didn’t realize he was talking with God this whole time?

We’ll never truly know, right? We can’t go back and ask Gideon what he was believing and thinking. This is what I do know though, it seems that Gideon felt the need to ask question upon question and really push the angel of the Lord to get to this place. It is very possible that Gideon was wired in such a way that regardless of how “strong” his faith might have been, he would still ask a ton of questions. And that God knew he needed to be able to ask all the questions and see the signs to walk confidently in what God was leading him through.

Whether you find yourself in the question and doubt position or in the 20/20 vision eyes of faith category, or just simply somewhere in between—God is there for it all. He doesn’t put us in categories or measure us on a sliding scale of worthiness based on the supposed strength of our faith. His plan is for us to take our place in His story—the perfect story for humanity. It doesn’t matter how you come to the place where you will follow. It matters that you know you have a place in which to follow. And when you take that place, well, peace will come.

God speaks peace over you.

And finally, let’s look closer at verse 23 and 24.

23 But the Lord said to him, “Peace! Do not be afraid. You are not going to die.” 24 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.

Gideon finally realizes he has seen the angel of the Lord face to face and he knows he has been in the presence of holiness. To him the only response is to die. Yet, the angel exclaims back at him, “Peace!”

This word peace is shalom in the Hebrew and is much deeper in meaning than our version of the word. In this context, shalom was probably received as a kind of peace that brings a state of safety. Gideon has seen God and God knows Gideon’s next steps are going to be hard and dangerous, and most likely terrifying at times. And in his kindness God tells Gideon Peace, safety to you!

And what did Gideon do next? He built an altar to the Lord and called it the Lord is Peace. And although the text does not say it, I am of the mindset that Gideon would not have built an altar of such a name if he didn’t sense the peace that only God can bring.

Friends, just as God spoke peace over Gideon, He speaks peace over you. Even in the difficult things, His peace will prevail. This peace doesn’t mean you will skate through life and never question or doubt again—take a jaunt through the next few chapters of the book of Judges and you will see that even Gideon, who called God the Lord of Peace, questioned God again. Even still, the truth is, God is a God of peace and His peace surpasses our understanding.

Surrendering to His plans and purposes, no matter how you get there, will bring peace.

Eventually, Gideon made it to the place of peace with God—his journey their meandered through doubt and questions, but he got there! And you can too. We must look to God’s character and who He is, trusting Him and not what we see in front of us if we are to walk in His peace.

Gideon shows us that even if all the circumstances around us look bleak. When we look at ourselves, we can’t fathom we’re the one to be used—no matter the circumstances or personal abilities, God knows what He is doing. Ephesians 2:10 says: “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Friends, we are invited to do the work of God, works He has set before us.

Gideon would go on to slay some serious giants, but it all started from a place of uncertainty. You are chosen for the path God has set before you, friend. You can question and doubt as you go, but know that peace will come in surrendering to His plans.

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Lindsey Zarob
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