Jehovah Shalom – The LORD is Peace

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Jehovah Shalom – The LORD is Peace

Judges 6

There’s a story in the book of Judges about a man named Gideon. When Gideon first hears a word from God, he is threshing wheat in a winepress in an attempt to hide it from the neighboring Midianites (v.11). The Midianites had been raiding and devastating the Israelites crops and livestock relentlessly. The Israelites were forced into hiding in their own land; hiding in caves and mountain clefts. We read that “Midian so impoverished the Israelites that they cried out to the Lord for help.”

And the word God brings to Gideon at the winepress is a call to save his people from the Midianites. In Judges 6:14-15 we read:

“14 The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?”15 “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.”

It’s clear that Gideon had a hard time believing that God could use him to defeat the Midianites, so he did what any of us would do. He asked for a sign that it was really a word from God. And God delivered big time – in short – there’s a fire that comes out of a rock and consumes some bread and goat meat that Gideon prepared as an offering (v.17-22). And rather than comfort Gideon, this sign kind of freaks him out. It’s here we encounter the primary way God is revealed to Gideon and the defining word of Gideon’s call:

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 Jehovah-Shalom (The Lord Is Peace).

Discussion Questions

  • In relation to the calling and purposes of God for your life, can you relate to Gideon’s feelings of inadequacy and weakness?


  • What do you think God means when he says to Gideon, “Go in the strength you have…”?


  • The Hebrew word Shalom translated here as “peace” means much more than the absence of war or conflict. It means wholeness – everything whole as God intended. What are some areas of brokenness in our world where God might be calling us (or you) to partner with him in making whole?


  • Gideon built an altar as a reminder that Jehovah-Shalom (The Lord is Peace) is with him. What are ways we can build reminders of Jehovah-Shalom in our lives? When do you find you are most in need of this reminder?


Invitation to Prayer

The Lord said to Gideon, “Peace! Do not be afraid.” What would be a meaningful area of your life to hear God speak those words – whether internally or externally?