Thursday, February 2, 2012

Names of God Study: Jehovah-shalom

It's time for another post in the Names of God series. We have done a little study on the names Elohim, El Elyon, El Roi, El ShaddaiEl OlamAdoniaJehovahJehovah-jirehJehovah-raphaJehovah-nissi, and Jehovah-mekoddishkem. Today we will learn more about our God from His name, Jehovah-shalom. 

We discover this name of God in Judges chapter six. When we look at the context of this chapter of Scripture we discover that this is a time of great turmoil in the life of Israel. It is after the death of their leader Joshua, the one who brought them into the promised land. It is a time when the children of Israel have decided to do what seems best in their own eyes instead of obeying the God who brought them out of Egypt.

In this chapter we are introduced to Gideon. We find him hiding in the wine press threshing wheat. While he hides, God decides to surprise him. The angel of the LORD pops in and declares that this hiding man is a valiant warrior... yes Gideon is shocked. After a time of exchanges and encouragements Gideon asks the angel of the LORD to hang around for an offering which he complies. When Gideon witnesses how the angel of the LORD consumes the offering, he realizes who he has been talking to...

When Gideon saw that he was the angel of the LORD,
he said, “Alas, O Lord GOD!
For now I have seen the angel of the LORD face to face.” 
The LORD said to him,
“Peace to you, do not fear; you shall not die.” 
Then Gideon built an altar there to the LORD
and named it The LORD is Peace.
Judges 6:22-24

He named it Jehovah-shalom.
The LORD is Peace.
There is only one way to receive peace... and that is from God.

Yes, we try in many other ways to get it...

We can light all the candles we want. We can try to find a place of solitude and quiet and shut out our inner thoughts and outer noise... but we will not find real peace here. We cannot self-will ourselves into peace.

When we try to self-will ourselves into peace or try to control our circumstances in order to get peace we usually end up like Po here... banging our heads up against the wall in sheer frustration. We may get the peace for a moment, but the second our circumstances change or an interruption occurs that peace is gone.

Lasting peace comes only from God.

The LORD bless you, and keep you;
 The LORD make His face shine on you,
And be gracious to you;
The LORD lift up His countenance on you,
And give you peace. Numbers 6:24-26

Lasting peace comes from knowing that we are right with God. It comes from knowing that it is God who keeps us and sustains us regardless of our circumstances or life's interruptions. Lasting peace comes through faith. It comes from God and through God.

Therefore, having been justified by faith,
we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
Romans 5:1

When trials and tribulations come we have to remember that peace is not found in a place. It does not come through a system. It is found in a person.

Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you;
not as the world gives do I give to you.
Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.
John 14:27

These things I have spoken to you,
so that in Me you may have peace.
In the world you have tribulation,
but take courage;
I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33

 When our peace comes from God then we have it regardless of our circumstances. Our circumstances may be crazy. Gideon was hiding in the wine press because his nation was in turmoil. He was surrounded by enemies and lived in fear... because he had forgotten who his God was. He had forgotten the promises of his God. He had forgotten the mighty works of his God. He thought the problem was his outer circumstances, but the problem was really in him.

Oh precious one, if you have Christ, then you have peace. Your innards are already full of peace. Christ in you the hope of glory! The Prince of Peace lives in you, never to leave you, never to forsake you. You just have to walk in it. You just have to get this thing going :-)
The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace,
Because he trusts in You.
Trust in the LORD forever,
For in GOD the LORD, we have an everlasting Rock.
Isaiah 26:3-4
If we will keep our minds focused on the promises of God, trusting in His Word, walking by faith and not by sight, our God will keep us in perfect peace. When troubles come if we will remember...
'For I know the plans that I have for you,’
declares the LORD,
‘plans for welfare and not for calamity
to give you a future and a hope'
 Jeremiah 29:11
Oh precious one, do you need peace?
First ask yourself "Have I got Jesus?"
If you have Him, then you have peace.
Next walk in Him, think on Him, rest in Him and His Word.
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable,
whatever is right, whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute,
if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise,
dwell on these things. 
The things you have learned
and received and heard and seen in me,
practice these things,
and the God of peace will be with you.
Philippians 4:8-9
Don't focus on the problem, focus on the promise.
Remember Jehovah-shalom.
The LORD is Peace. 

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