By his own admission, Gideon was confused, weak, small, and scared.
The Angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon when he was down in a winepress, trying his best simultaneously to thresh wheat and to hide from the raiding Midianite armies. The Angel’s message to Gideon was both reassuring and surprising:
“The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor!” (Judges 6:12).
Surely Gideon was encouraged to know that Yahweh was with him, but he immediately began to question how the Lord could be with the Israelites. They no longer saw God doing the great miracles their ancestors had told them about. Meanwhile, the Midianites were walloping Israel day after day.
Gideon had to have been even more taken aback to be called a “mighty man of valor.” He protested:
“My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house” (Judges 6:15).
Nonetheless, the Lord proved unquestionably that He was going to use frightened and insignificant Gideon to defeat the Midianites. Gideon’s response to the Angel is the classic reaction of God’s people when they realized they were in His presence:
Now Gideon perceived that He was the Angel of the Lord. So Gideon said, “Alas, O Lord God! For I have seen the Angel of the Lord face to face.” Then the Lord said to him, “Peace be with you; do not fear, you shall not die.” So Gideon built an altar there to the Lord, and called it The-Lord-Is-Peace. (Judges 6:22–24, NKJV).
Eventually, God would give Gideon great victory, but even before the victory, He gave Gideon peace.
Matthew C. Perry would ultimately become the Commodore of the U.S. Navy. On his first sea cruise, however, young Perry was scared stiff. He put his arms around the mast for three days. He wouldn’t eat, and he wouldn’t let go.
The captain went out to see him. “Lad, do you think the ship will sink?”
“Yes,” he answered.
“Then, why don’t you let go and prove it?”
Perry said later that his most exhilarating experience in life was when he gradually let go inch by inch and stepped back.
In the same way, God is calling us to let go of our fears and to experience His peace.
And let the peace of God rule in your hearts. (Colossians 3:15, NKJV)
Knowing “Jehovah-Shalom” will give us a deep, unexplainable peace even when the seas of our lives are stormy and when our hearts are trembling. We may tremble, but our Lord never does. He is our peace. And because of Jesus Christ, we have peace with God, as well as the peace of God.
Have a great day and keep moving forward!