Peace for a Doubter
· Verse 24a So Gideon built an altar to the Lord there and called it The Lord Is Peace.
Our next stop on this unusual journey brings us to the story of a man who felt very unqualified for what God was calling him to do. I’m sure we all can relate to Gideon about that at one time or another in our lives. To help him understand his calling God sent an angel of the Lord. Some believe this to be a pre-incarnate Christ but it doesn’t really matter who it was as the important thing to remember was that the message was from God, calling Gideon to do what seemed impossible to Gideon.
The story of God through history is full of times when God used a person or circumstance that seemed less than perfect for the job. Gideon says in our reading today that he was least of the most insignificant portion of the one of the smallest tribes in all of Israel. Talk about feeling unqualified! But God reminded him in this meeting that it wasn’t about him, it was about God and His plans for His people.
When Gideon realized that he had seen the angel of the Lord face to face he has the same response that others had in similar situations. He saw himself for who he was, but more importantly he saw God for who He truly is. And without pause Gideon is seeing his unworthiness compared to that of God. But God doesn’t leave him in this lowly state. The Lord says, “Peace.” God wasn’t coming in wrath. God was not going to kill Gideon on the spot. And Gideon went from being afraid due to his inferiority to seeing the mercy and grace of the Almighty.
It was this grace and mercy that had Gideon build an altar to the Lord naming it, The Lord is Peace. The angels on the Bethlehem hillside had great fear at the sight of the heavenly hosts as well but the angels declared peace that night too. Gideon was being called to fight God’s battles and vanquish the enemy gods from the Promised Land. The shepherds were being given the opportunity to be the first, other than Mary and Joseph, to see the God of heaven come as a tiny babe, the most vulnerable of humans. This Babe came to bring the true peace of God to a people that needed to leave behind the enemy of their souls. Only in right relationship with God can such peace be enjoyed. And sometimes that means accepting a call that is out of our comfort zone. But in obedience is the peace of God.
Making It Personal
Have you ever felt called to do something for God that seemed way outside your comfort zone? Did you accept the call? Did you find peace in obeying the call?
Making It Personal Kids
What are some things God asks you to do that don’t seem like something you want to do? Do you obey anyway? How does it make you feel to obey God’s way?
Father, thank You for calling us to do things for You. Give us wisdom to do know what is a call from You and what is something that we want to do on our own. Give us the strength to step out of our comfort zones to obey Your calling. In Jesus’ name, amen.