23 But the Lord said to him, “Peace to you. Don’t be afraid, for you will not die.” 24 So Gideon built an altar to the Lord there and called it The Lord Is Peace. It is still in Ophrah of the Abiezrites today. Judges 6:23-24 CSB
Welcome back to the PSALMS to God podcast. So today I wanted to get back to talking about the names of God. I love learning about the names of God because I feel like it helps me to connect more to God's character and to understand who He is, which is really important in our relationship with God and our walk with Him. So, today’s name is Jehovah Shalom or YHWH Shalom if you prefer to pronounce God's name as Yahweh. Either way I guess would be acceptable, since we don't actually know how to pronounce this word. I've talked about that in a previous podcasts, so I won't really dwell on that point.
YHWH Shalom (00:01:52)
This name translates to “The Lord is Peace,” and if you've been following along then you know we've been talking about peace. I did an episode on a Fruit of the Spirit that's peace not too long ago, and so this name just kind of ties in with that, and with the concept that you cannot have peace without knowing God and without getting it from God, because He's the source of peace. So, I think it's interesting because it's one of the names that, you know, I kind of knew. I kind of expected. I mean you're always saying, you know, that Jesus is the Prince of Peace. So it makes sense that the Lord is peace and that that would be a name for God…
But the actual phrasing “The Lord is Peace” or the actual phrasing Jehovah Shalom—shalom, I don't know why I'm pronouncing this weird—it’s only found in the Bible once, and that is in Judges 6:24. So, I'm going to go there really quick, and I wanted to look at this. I think it’s really interesting, because right before we get the verse where we actually see God being called The Lord is Peace, we get kind of the context of what’s leading up to this. And this is, Israel is about to go to battle. Gideon, who is one of the judges, is leading the army. They're all kind of freaked out, as always. You know the Israelites, they was a little short on faith. They didn't always think that they were going to get through things, even though God was telling them they were going to get through things.
So, if you begin reading from a little bit before where this name is actually declared, you'll see that Gideon was preparing for this battle, and all of a sudden an angel from God, the Angel of the Lord, specifically—I should do an episode on the Angel of the Lord... Sorry, sidenote, we'll come back to that. Anyway, the Angel of Lord, just know that is very specific Angel and a very special angel, comes and delivers a message to Gideon. And when the message is finished, Gideon realizes who it is that he has encountered, and he is like freaking out. OK, ‘cause we all know that when you come into contact with Spiritual Beings, particularly the Angel of the Lord or God, you know, no one just sees… You can’t just see God's face and live, right? This, this... You should be very overwhelmed if you get the pleasure of interacting with God or one of God's angels up close, and that's how Gideon was, but he was also afraid for his life. Just like Isaiah, when he first came in the presence of God. You know he felt unworthy and he bowed down. And it is kind of the same thing, where you just know that you're not you're not in the same sphere. You're not supposed to be there. You’re not worthy of being there.
So Gideon is freaking out and the angel of the Lord says to Gideon, “peace to you.” So basically he's saying like “I come in peace. Don't worry. Don't be afraid,” and then it is after that, that Gideon decides to name the place that he is at. He builds an altar to God, and then he names this altar The Lord is Peace. And so the combination thing, that you know obviously he was not injured or harmed by God when he had this interaction, but also that God was promising prosperity in the sense of peace amongst the Israelites. And He took them to that battle to make them successful, and that's very important.
The Experience of Peace (00:05:52)
I think it's interesting that's like I said that's the only place where this name is mentioned, because you know God went to battle for the Israelites all the time. But I think it important to remember it stands out. Everyday, we go through our own battles—spiritual battles, physical battles... The world is not an easy place to live in. And peace is definitely not prevalent. It does not grow on a tree. If it did, we are in a drought and that tree is extinct. It is very hard to maintain peace in the society that we live in, and I think remembering and reflecting on the fact that Gideon had this encounter with this Presence and then chose to name this place after the peace that God has bestowed upon Him is something to remember in our personal lives. That's the kind of experiences we want.
In the midst of this battle. In the midst of the war that's raging in your life, what we want is for the spirit of God to come in and to be like, “Don't worry. I got this,” “Peace,” “Be calm,” and “I'm here.” And that is exactly what God does, if you let him. When we get into these situations, we have to know to call on that name: Jehovah Shalom. So, as you say your prayers this week, as you go through your trials and tribulations, remember this name: Jehovah Shalom, The Lord is Peace. Take Him with you everywhere you go, and tap into that peace.
Wrap Up (00:07:41)
Thank you guys for listening in. I hope that you will continue. Don't forget to subscribe. You can find a transcript for this particular episode at www.psalmstogod.com/TheLordIsPeace. See you next time.
References and Footnotes
- "Name of God". Blue Letter Bible; visited April 2019
- "Jehovah Shalom". Bible Study Tools; visited April 2019
- Ree Hughes. “”. PSALMS to God. April 1, 2019Fruit of the Spirit: Peace