Tag Archives: how to trust God

M4B God is Peace – Jehovah Shalom – Gideon

So Gideon built an altar to the Lord there and called it, The Lord is Peace. . . .Judges 6:24

Gideon Did Not Need a Large Army

GideonGideon, a judge of the Old Testament, also found he did not need a large army to overcome fear in the land and in his own heart. The book of Judges tells the story of the Israelites in the Promised Land, after the death of Joshua, before the Lord gave them Kings–such as King Saul, David and Solomon.

Through the lifetimes of six judges, the people followed the Lord. Each time a judge died or a generation died out, the people reverted back to worshiping the false god of their enemy–Baal. They chose gods of their own making, becoming selfish, rather than dying to self and allowing God to fight their battles for and through them. After their enemies gained the advantage over them, due to their sin, God always forgave the Israelites. They confessed their sin and God repeatedly delivered them in the way only He could do-supernaturally, so only He could get the glory, just as He did for Kim.

God never does anything to bring peace that could mistakenly be credited to man’s human ability. There is no better example of this from the stories of the judges than that of Gideon.

After forty years of peace and Judge Deborah’s death, the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord for seven years. During this time, the Midianites and Amalekites oppressed them so much they actually retreated to the mountain clefts and caves to live. They came out to plant their crops, but the enemy invaded their country like locusts and camped on the land, ruining their crops and slaughtering the livestock. Once again, the Israelites cried out to the Lord for help.

The Lord sent a prophet, who said:

This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I brought you up out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery, I snatched you from the power of Egypt and from the hand of all your oppressors. I drove them from before you and gave you their land. I said to you, ‘I am the Lord your God; do not worship the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you live.’ But you have not listened to me. Judges 6:7-10

Then, one day, Gideon, the son of Joash, was threshing wheat in a hiding place safe from the Midianites. The angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, and said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior” (Judg. 6:12).

“But sir,” Gideon replied, “if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our fathers told us about when they said, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and put us into the hand of Midian.”

The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?” Judges 6:13-14.

Am I Not Sending You?

Gideon, am I not sending you?Let us put ourselves in the shoes of Gideon. Suppose we are doing laundry, and the Lord appears to us and calls us a “warrior.” We are hungry to see the miracles we heard once happened, that are in the Bible, and now God is telling us that if we are to see those things happen, they must come through me. “Am not I sending you?” the Lord said. Chanté and her mother had to choose to be used by God. Chanté spent two years, after being delivered from drugs, in a lot of prayer asking God to change her and to use her.

No less than we would do, Gideon resisted, complaining his clan was the weakest of all and that he was the least in his family, thinking, no one ever gives me a second thought. But the Lord told him, “I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites together” (Judg. 6:16).

Gideon wanted a sign that this person talking to him truly was the Lord. Gideon asked him to wait so he could prepare an offering. The Lord waited. Gideon prepared a goat and unleavened bread and brought it to Him. The Lord had him put it on a rock, take his staff, touch the meat and bread; fire consumed the peace offering. Immediately, the Lord disappeared. This was the sign Gideon had asked for.

Gideon Built an Altar and Called it “The Lord is Peace”

When Gideon realized that it was the angel of the Lord, he exclaimed, “Ah, 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.” So Gideon built an altar to the Lord there and called it The Lord is Peace. . . .Judges 6:22-24

Blue sky and clouds with text overlay: The Lord is Jehovah Shalom, the Lord is Peace

Gideon heard these words of peace from the Lord after He had disappeared. The root word from Hebrew for peace is shâlôm, meaning health, security, tranquility and welfare.1

That night, the Lord was still with Gideon and instructed him to tear down his father’s altar to Baal. Gideon knew ten men who were willing to help him, and they obeyed. With the wood from the heathen altar, they created a proper altar for sacrifices to the Lord God.

Gideon and Kim both went against their parents’ wishes and way of life. Gideon did what his father was afraid to do. Surprisingly, his father stood up for Gideon to the town’s people saying, “If Baal really is a god, he can defend himself when someone breaks down his altar” (Judg. 6:31).

Unlike Gideon’s dad, Kim’s mother persecuted her by calling her “stupid” and berated her because of her Godly standards. Not only did she try to convince Kim she was crazy, but she put in the minds of Kim and her sister that each hated the other. It would only be after Kim’s mother’s death that the Lord would reveal to Kim if her mother ever became a Christian.

After much doubting Gideon chose to be obedient to the Lord and gathered all the men he could to help him defeat their enemies.

The Lord said to Gideon, “You have too many men for me to deliver Midian into their hands. In order that Israel may not boast against me that her own strength has saved her, announce now to the people, Anyone who trembles with fear may turn back and leave. . . .
–Judges 7:2-3

Twenty-two thousand men left, while ten thousand remained. Less than one third had faith in the Lord’s ability to save them. Still, the Lord said there were too many men. He told Gideon He would handpick them. Gideon took the men down to the water to drink. The men who lapped the water from their hand-those who stayed alert and watching, not taking their eyes off the situation-were chosen. Of the ten thousand men, only three hundred remained.

During that same night, the Lord told Gideon if he was afraid to attack and wanted encouragement, to go to the camp of the enemy and listen to what they were saying. Gideon and a friend arrived at the opposing camp outposts just as an enemy guard was telling his friend his dream, “A round loaf of barley bread came tumbling into the Midianite camp. It struck the tent with such force that the tent overturned and collapsed.”

“His friend responded, ‘This can be nothing than the sword of Gideon son of Joash, the Israelite. God has given the Midianites and the whole camp into his hands'” (Judg. 7:13-14).

Encouraged, Gideon worshiped God, ran back to the camp and shouted, “Get up! The Lord has given the Midianite camp into your hands” (Judg. 7:15).

Dividing the men into three companies, Gideon put trumpets, empty jars and torches in their hands. The men broke the jars, blew the trumpets, and shouted, “For the Lord and for Gideon!” The Lord caused the men in the enemy’s camp to turn on each other with their swords. Gideon and his men pursued the army and their leaders, overcoming them all. During Gideon’s lifetime, the land enjoyed peace for forty years.

* * *

Kim learned, as did Gideon, she could trust God’s ability, His power, and His goodness in her life. She learned there are times when God desires to exhibit that ability, power and goodness through others-when she was unable to do it for herself. (She also learned that many movies and television shows kept her in bondage.)

Kim recalls when Jesus raised his dear friend from the grave, He utilized help from others for Lazarus. He “. . . called in a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come out!’ The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, ‘Take off the grave clothes and let him go'” (John 11:44). Jesus then asked those around Lazarus to remove the soiled stinky rags from a four-day-old corpse, because Lazarus was so bound he could not do it for himself.

Chanté and her mother were “mighty warriors” who stormed the kingdom of God like two ferocious BEARs–they did not rest until they possessed what they needed and wanted–peace for their friends. They knew that aside from Jehovah-Shalom there is no peace.

They B-elieved God, they E-xpected the victory; they A-sked from God on Kim’s behalf; and they R-eceived from the Lord. They did it all “in the name of Jesus.” By so doing, Jehovah gave strength; Jehovah-Shalom blessed his people with peace (see Ps. 29:11).


  1. Spiros Zodiates, Th.D., Executive Editor, The Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible, (AMG Publishers, Chattanooga, TN 1990) p. 1785.

M3C Because God is … God Sees Me As He Sees Jesus

Because God is Jehovah Tsidkenu, He Sees Me As He Sees Jesus

I’ll give you a new heart, put a new spirit in you. I’ll remove the stone heart from your body and replace it with a heart that’s God-willed, not self-willed. I’ll put my Spirit in you and make it possible for you to do what I tell you and live by my commands.  Ezekiel 36:26-27 The Message

Sometime after breaking up with her boyfriend, Marie attended church again. That day, she met the man who would become her husband. They spent much time together talking about God and their past lives, and joined a Bible study and began praying together. But Marie still did not feel much comfort and was depressed all the time.

Over the next couple of months, Marie found herself driving by the lay counselor’s house- -the one to whom she had talked previously. She yearned for someone to talk to. Feeling like nothing was going right and needing direction, Marie thought she would just drive by the house; her car quit working. With no other option, she knocked.

The lady was home, gave her a big hug and welcomed her into her house. Their talk was just the encouragement Marie needed.
In the doldrums again one week later, Marie drove by the same house. Ironically, her car broke down again. This time, the counselor’s roommate was home. Carolyn was closer to Marie’s age. They decided to get together every week to talk. One month later, Carolyn asked, “How do you know Jesus loves you?” Marie could not answer her.

“I don’t think you know Jesus.”

“That’s absurd! I’ve been reading my Bible, going to church and praying for over a year now. What do you mean I don’t know Jesus? I walked the aisle.” Marie was so upset that Carolyn would think she was not a Christian.

Carolyn opened her Bible to Romans 3:23-24 and read out loud, “. . . for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood.”

Then, she turned to Romans 10:9-10 and read, “. . . if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.”

Marie was finally beginning to understand that she needed to make a heartfelt decision and say it with her mouth. But when Carolyn asked her, “Do you want to pray the prayer of salvation by asking Jesus to come into your heart?” she said,

“Not right now.”

“The longer you wait, the harder it will be for you to do it.”

Eventually, Marie chose to face her life and give it to God. She prayed fervently from her heart. This time, as she confessed her sins before God, she could see angels fighting above her. She realized the devil had his hand on her and did not want to let her go. She could see the hand of God reaching down for her to go to Him, and she did.

She opened her heart’s door to Him, and He came in just as He promised to do: “Behold I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears and listens to and heeds My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will eat with him, and he [shall eat] with Me” (Rev. 3:20 Amplified).

The girls cried together. That night, Marie slept peacefully for the first time in many months. Four years from her first introduction to Christ when she was with her ‘sister,’ she accepted Him into her heart. She told Denise, “My life began to change that day. I discovered God and felt a new love for people I’d never had before.”

What happened to Marie this time that did not happen before? What happens when Jesus comes in and replaces a stony heart with a soft one “that is God-willed, not self-willed” (Ezek.36:26)? What is the mystery at the heart of Jehovah Tsidkenu, the Lord our Righteousness, and this New Covenant? Understanding this transformation will make a tremendous difference in how we see ourselves–that God sees us just as He sees Jesus.

Comparing the operation Jesus performs on our heart, step-by-step, to a medical open heart surgery conducted over 200,000 times each year, called Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG), will give us some clues. Coronary Artery Disease is the leading cause of mortality in the United States. More than two in every five Americans die of cardiovascular disease, or hardening of the arteries.9 The CABG surgery creates a new route (bypass) for the blood supply to flow around the blockages, restoring blood supply to the heart itself so it can keep up with its demands.


1. It is an operation built on trust:

God Sees Me As He Sees JesusA patient has to trust a surgeon. She will be put to sleep with anesthesia, not knowing the outcome. She places her life completely in the surgeon’s hands, trusting in his wisdom to do what is right, in his power and ability to carry it out, and in his goodness and care as a fellow human being with her best interests at heart.

Similarly, when Marie gave her life to Jesus, she trusted in His wisdom, in His power and in His goodness to care for the life she placed in His hands. When we put our complete trust in the arms of the Great Physician, we do not trust a fallible human, but Jehovah God. For “as the Scripture says, anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame” (Rom.10:11). Jesus told his disciples:

Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.  John 14:1-4

Marie could now say she was a disciple of Jesus who knew where she had come from and where she was going. She knew heaven was her home because “anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart” (1 John 5:10). Not only did Jesus promise Marie a prepared place in heaven, but at the same time, He promised He would personally come back for her. For eternity, she will be where Love is.

2. It is an operation that cuts into the heart:

God Sees Me As He Sees Jesus

A typical CABG operation begins with a vertical opening in the front of the chest. The sternum (breastbone) is cut with a special reciprocating (jig) saw. The split sternum is spread open with a winch, and the pericardium (lining around the heart) is divided.

Two tubes are then connected to the heart by cutting an opening. One tube siphons the blue (appearing through the skin), oxygen-depleted blood from the upper heart chamber by gravity into a reservoir. It is pumped through an artificial lung where it is exposed to oxygen. Now the blood is bright red in color. Finally, the heart-lung machine pumps the oxygenated blood back into the patient through another tube connected to the heart. The loop continues as blue blood, containing waste matter and carbon dioxide, goes into the machine, and red oxygenated blood returns to the heart.

The sign of the covenant in the Old Testament involved cutting where blood flowed.

Jehovah told Abraham:
This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep. Every male among you shall be circumcised. You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you . . . My covenant in your flesh is to be an everlasting covenant. Genesis 17:10-11, 13

How does this sign of the covenant relate to us today? A follower of Jesus named Stephen knew the answer. He was full of God’s grace and power, and did great wonders among the people after Jesus’ resurrection. Opposition arose among the leaders of the synagogue who brought false witnesses against him. When asked if the accusations were true, Stephen gave them a history lesson of the Jewish people from Abraham to Jesus, and how they consistently turned away from God. Then, he said:

You stiff-necked people, with uncircumcised hearts and ears! You are just like your fathers. You always resist the Holy Spirit! Was there ever a prophet your fathers did not persecute? They even killed those who predicted the coming of the Righteous One. And now you have betrayed and murdered him-you who have received the law that was put into effect through angels but have not obeyed it.  Acts 7:51-53

When the members of the synagogue heard this they were furious. The American Standard Version of the Bible says, “. . . they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth” (Acts 7:54b).
But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus. “Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God” (Acts 7:55-56).

At this they covered their ears, and yelling at the top of their voices, they rushed at him, dragged him outside the city and stoned him to death.

The results of being cut to the heart in this incident were not good. The cutting revelation which the Holy Spirit brings always reveals truth. The people did not like what they heard, so, they rebelled, and destroyed what they thought was the source of their conviction. Moses wrote years before, “Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked” (Deut. 10:16 KJV).

Yellow lilies with text Because God is Jehovah Tsidkenu He sees Jesus blood

Marie had to choose against her pride, stubbornness and rebellion in order to be obedient and open her heart to God. She knew she had built a tough wall around her heart she wanted no one to penetrate. In other words, she was resisting the Holy Spirit’s convicting tug at her heart. Thankfully, at the “do or die” point in her life, she chose life.

The Holy Spirit was also tugging on Marie’s heart to go to church. Could the reason be: keeping the Sabbath day holy is another sign of the covenant? The Lord said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘You must observe my Sabbaths. This will be a sign between me and you for the generations to come, so you may know that I am the Lord, who makes you holy’ . . . observe the Sabbath, celebrating it for the generations to come as a lasting covenant” (Exod. 31:13, 16).