Weekly Devotional: Jehovah Shalom — The Lord Is My Peace

A girl at peace in nature.

Have you ever noticed that our ideas and definitions of peace vary wildly, depending on what we are talking about? If I say, “speak now or forever hold your peace,” peace is defined by your acquiescence on an issue. But if I say, “I could use a little peace and quiet,” peace is defined by a lack of interruption to my day.

In This Article: 

The Life and Times of a Man in Need of Peace 

Within the narrative of Judges 6:1-12, the recurrent cycle of disobedience and deliverance among the Israelites unfolds vividly. Despite being chosen by God, they repeatedly fall into sin, facing the consequences of oppression and hardship. The Midianites' domination is depicted with stark clarity, driving the Israelites into hiding and despair. Yet, amidst this bleakness, a glimmer of hope emerges as Gideon, an unlikely hero, is called upon by the angel of the Lord. 

His encounter with divine presence transforms the ordinary into the extraordinary, as Gideon is summoned to rise above his circumstances and become a mighty warrior, a beacon of deliverance for his people. Again, the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord, and for seven years he gave them into the hands of the Midianites. (2) Because the power of Midian was so oppressive, the Israelites prepared shelters for themselves in mountain clefts, caves and strongholds. (3) Whenever the Israelites planted their crops, the Midianites, Amalekites and other eastern peoples invaded the country. (4) They camped on the land and ruined the crops all the way to Gaza and did not spare a living thing for Israel, neither sheep nor cattle nor donkeys. (5) They came up with their livestock and their tents like swarms of locusts. It was impossible to count the men and their camels; they invaded the land to ravage it. (6) Midian so impoverished the Israelites that they cried out to the Lord for help... (11) The angel of the Lord came and sat down under the oak in Ophrah that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, where his son Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress to keep it from the Midianites. (12) When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said:

“The Lord turned to him and said, "Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of

The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.
Judges 6:1-12ESV

Midian's hand. Am I not sending you?" But Lord, Gideon asked, "how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family." (16) The Lord answered, "I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites together," (Judges 6:14-16).

Gideon’s Road to Peace 

At the time in which Gideon lived, Israel was in a state of apostasy and God had allowed their enemy Midian to dominate and control them. Now the term Midian means strife and that was what life was like at this time. Israel was meant to be living down in the fertile parts of a land flowing with milk and honey but instead they were hiding in caves and in the mountains. If that is not enough to unsettle their nerves, they had to watch as their raiding enemies would come through like locusts and destroy their crops and livelihood! And there was nothing they could do about it but hide and wait it out. They would lose their sheep, oxen, their produce, and peace as well. What were they going to eat? How would they feed their family? This didn't just go on for a month or two, but seven years! "Gideon's act of threshing wheat in a winepress reflected both his fear of discovery by the Midianites and the smallness of his harvest. Normally wheat was threshed (the grain separated from the wheat stalks) in an open area on a threshing floor by oxen pulling threshing sledges over the stalks," (1 Chronicles 21:20-23).

It is into this setting that the Angel of the Lord appears and calls out to Gideon saying, 'The Lord is with you mighty warrior!' Now do you think that Gideon was feeling like a mighty warrior at this time? As Gideon explains in verses 15-16, his tribe is the least of all the tribes of Israel and within that his family is the least of all the families. And to cap it off, he is the least within his family. So, according to Gideon, if you want feeble, you've found him! And yet the Lord calls him a mighty warrior. Maybe, just maybe, the Lord sees what we can and will be in him and not what we are in ourselves.

Shalom With God 

We know that shalom with God was already provided freely to us through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, for the forgiveness of our sins. Jesus made the voluntary sacrifice for us and paid our retribution, so that we could have shalom with him. All that is required of us is to believe in him and accept his love and forgiveness.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:16ESV

Next Step: Pray and Accept

If you haven’t yet made the decision to receive God’s gift of shalom, I encourage you to do so now. He loves you deeply and wants to be in a relationship with you. Acknowledge that you believe that Jesus died to reconcile you to God. Admit that you need him and that you accept his gift of love, his gift of forgiveness, and his gift of completeness. Make a commitment to follow Jesus and live your life in a way that honors God and others. 

Shalom With Mankind

When it comes to the pursuit of shalom in our world, peace amongst mankind is probably the most difficult for us to achieve. Whereas God made shalom with him easy for us (he made the sacrifice and all we must do is accept), peace with our fellow human beings requires sacrifice from us.

In Romans 12:9-21, the apostle Paul gives instructions on how to live at peace with our fellow man. Open your Bible and take a moment to read that entire passage right now. Paul is illustrating for us that peace with one another comes through love in action — honoring others above ourselves. Praying for one another. Feeding the hungry. Practicing hospitality. Being humble. Loving our enemies and caring for them.

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
Romans 12:18ESV

Shalom With Ourselves 

Shalom with us can be difficult to obtain. After all, we are our own worst critics. It is often harder for us to forgive ourselves than it is for us to forgive others. The good news is that God has set us free from our shame and guilt.

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke.
Galatians 1:5ESV

Grand Canyon University is dedicated to helping all the members of the GCU community follow God’s Word and to practice forgiveness and reconciliation. To learn more, look at our Christian identity and mission. To explore more about Spiritual Life here at GCU, browse through our other weekly devotionals or complete the form on this page. 

Approved by the local outreach coordinator of Department of Spiritual Life on May 13, 2024.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.