It might be helpful to read Judges 6:11-23 before you go on.
Review: God called Gideon to do a hard thing, a seemingly impossible thing, to fight back and defeat those oppressing his people. Gideon is skeptical that he is the right choice for the job, but God confirms that He is sending Gideon on purpose and that He will be with Gideon. Last week we talked about the sign God gave Gideon. This week, we look at Gideon’s response.
When Gideon realized that it was the angel of the Lord, he exclaimed, “Alas, Sovereign Lord! I have seen the angel of the Lord face to face!”
But the Lord said to him, “Peace! Do not be afraid. You are not going to die.” (Ephesians 6:22-23 NIV)
Gideon asked for a sign. So often we want to know God is really guiding us. What I find interesting is Gideon’s response once he realizes that it is God he is interacting with – this same response occurs throughout the Bible when people realize they are encountering God – respect, awe, and fear. Having met with the Lord, Gideon thought he might die… perhaps recalling that God said to Moses “no one may see me and live.” (Exodus 33:20 NIV)
But just as God is gracious in giving Gideon a sign confirming that the message he received was from God, He now assures Gideon he is not going to die.
There have been times when I wanted to make a change, maybe escape a trying circumstance, and I prayed for guidance and everything would point to me remaining in the tough situation. At that point I have railed against the Lord and asked “Why?” and what is His answer?
“I AM GOD.” I sense it in my heart… I sense Him not answering my question directly, but revealing He is real, He is present, He is powerful… He is God. And something in me is quieted by this revelation.
Have you ever had a moment like that? A moment where God does not explain his actions, but answers the deep “Why?” of your heart with His presence? I think that is part of what happened in this interaction between God and Gideon.
So, after God reveals Himself to Gideon through this miraculous display of fire and the disappearing angel He speaks to Gideon…. and what does He say?
“Peace…” (Judges 6:23 NIV)
And I think peace is one of the gifts that comes when God reveals that He is with us, guiding us – even if we don’t particularly like His direction. In this passage God is assuring Gideon that He is not angry with him.
I rejoice that we can all enjoy peace with God through Jesus Christ.
“But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace…” (Ephesians 2:13-14)