Thursday - April 21st
Scripture to Read Today: Judges 6:16-24
Jehovah-Shalom: The God of Peace
The Names and Attributes of God
You will keep in perfect peace
those whose minds are steadfast,
because they trust in you.
"Long Peace" is a term for the unprecedented historical period following the end of World War II (1945 to the present day). The Cold War (1945–1991) was notably marked by the absence of major wars between the great powers of the period, the United States and the Soviet Union. Just that distinction makes the period unique in world history.
The "Long Peace" was first recognized in 1986 as a period of "relative peace" between major powers. Such a period of peace has not been documented in human history since the Roman Empire. Historians identify such periods of peace with a statistical number of fewer than ten deaths per year due to war.
How comforting for all of us. We are living in a time of peace. It is hard to see that when looking at the news online or on television. With the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, who amongst us would call the year 2022 a time of peace?
This definition of "long peace" fails to capture all of the other violent deaths and tensions experienced in our world today. The idea of what peace is, remains extremely relative. The standard continues to move and becomes more elusive all of the time. God is the only one who can provide a wholeness between Himself and human beings AND between human beings themselves.
After encountering the Angel of the Lord at a hidden threshing floor, Gideon declared that the God of Israel was Jehovah-Shalom - the God of peace. The reason he was in hiding while threshing grain was that the Midianites kept invading Israel each year during harvest and threshing season to steal the fresh produce. Each year the Midianite army swept through the land and left Israel without food. Gideon did not live in a time of peace. He lived in a period of war and starvation. But, Gideon recognized His God was the God of peace. He knew his God was the very source of wholeness. It is that peace for which Gideon and his fellow Israelites longed.
In our world of uncertainty and constant conflict, the followers of Jesus Christ need to understand what Gideon understood. We need to realize ultimate peace will not come from humanity. Peace will only come from the One Who is peace Himself. Gideon called Him Jehovah-Shalom - the God of Peace.
Today, thank God for being your peace during the storm, the noise, and the tension. Gideon recognized God as the source of peace and wholeness even before the peace had been secured in Israel. We also need to acknowledge that the God of peace is with us and offers us perfect peace before the peace arrives. When we focus our hearts and minds on the Lord and trust Him completely, He gives us perfect, whole, lasting peace that passes all human understanding.
The God of Peace will be with you all day today. He will be with you no matter how stormy your life gets! Trust Him!