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.
I want to share with you a beautiful truth from the story of Gideon in Judges 6. Even after Gideon had God’s promise to “go in this might of yours” and save Israel, he was still fearful and unconvinced. He then asked for a sign to confirm that he was indeed speaking to the Lord. Gideon then presented an offering to the Lord, and fire rose out of the rock to consume the offering. Then our Lord Jesus disappeared. Only at that moment did Gideon’s lightning-fast mind perceive that he had indeed been speaking with the Lord Himself. He gasped, “Alas, O Lord God! For I have seen the Angel of the Lord face to face” (Judg. 6:22).
Gideon began to panic, because in those days, they believed that if they saw God face to face, they would die. But before Gideon could frighten himself any further, the Lord said to him, “Peace be with you; do not fear, you shall not die.” (Judg. 6:23, boldface mine). So Gideon built an altar there to the Lord and called it “The-Lord-Is-Peace” (Judg. 6:24), or in Hebrew, Jehovah Shalom. This is the first time the name Jehovah Shalom appears in the Bible, and the word that goes with this name is “you shall not die.”
According to the Strong’s Concordance, the word shalom refers to completeness, safety, soundness, welfare, health, and supply. It also refers to peace, quiet, tranquility, and contentment, as well as friendship in human relationships and with God in a covenant relationship. So if you think that Jehovah Shalom just gives you peace of mind, you are wrong. When you receive the Lord as Jehovah Shalom in your life, you are receiving so much more!
My dear friends, I believe with all my heart that the Lord wants to speak to you today about the world we live in. Like Gideon, we may be surrounded by bad news, like news of diseases such as Ebola and Zika, of bomb attacks, of random shootings, of hijackings, of missile strikes, and of fatal accidents. But God has already foreseen the problems that we will face in this day and age, and His protection and covering over us is all-encompassing!