Pastoral Perspectives

The Peace of God

In my previous perspective, I have written on the power of God.  This time round, I thought it would be good to write on the peace of God.  After reading Judges Chapter 6 and pondering over verses 22 to 24, the desire to write on the peace of God grows stronger.  A slight background on Judges Chapter 6 was that earlier the Israelites were delivered from the hands of Jabin, a king of Canaan, by Deborah the prophetess.  The land had peace for forty years.  Trouble arose when the Israelites went into sinning again.  They did evil in the eyes of the LORD, and for seven years God gave them into the hands of the Midianites.  Who were the Midianites?  The Midianites were desert people descended from Abraham’s second wife, Keturah (Genesis 25:1, 2).  From this relationship came a nation that was always in conflict with Israel.

When the Israelites cried out to the LORD for help, He raised up another Judge, Gideon, to deliver them.  When God called Gideon to deliver Israelites from the hands of the Midianites, he was reluctant and even reasoned with the LORD (see Judges 6:15).  Something wonderful happened during Gideon’s encounter with the angel of the LORD.  In fact, the angel of the LORD is the Lord God Almighty Himself.

“When Gideon realised 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.  To this day it stands in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.”                   

                                                                                                            Judges 6: 22 – 24

When the Lord told Gideon, “Peace!  Do not be afraid . . .”, He was telling Gideon that He Himself is peace and that He came to bring peace.  Since God was bringing peace, why should he be afraid?  There was no room for the existence of fears since God has brought peace to him.  How did Gideon conclude that the LORD is peace?  It was because the LORD said to him, “Peace!”  What the Lord was saying to him was that “He is Peace and He comes to bring peace.”  Gideon did not need to be afraid.  He would not die.  That was why he built an altar to the LORD and called it: “The LORD is Peace.”  This understanding of the peace of God is very crucial in our Christian life.  In Philippians 4: 7, the peace of God is able to guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.  This peace comes about when we have placed everything in His loving care.  After we have presented our requests before a gracious and loving God, what would we receive?  We would receive this wonderful peace of God!  All of us need to experience this peace of God in our daily lives.  Another precious lesson can be drawn from John 16:33.

“I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world.”

                                                                                                                      John 16: 33

Let us be encouraged by the words of Jesus.  When you have Jesus in your life (i.e. your heart), you have this wonderful peace of God.  Yes!  In Jesus Christ my Lord, I will have peace, peace beyond my own understanding!  The peace that the world cannot give but only Jesus our Lord and Saviour can.  Jesus is our Peace.  He has broken down the wall of hostility between the Jews and the Gentiles.  In Ephesians 2:14-16, we would understand that Jesus Himself is our peace and He is the One who makes peace and brings peace.  In John 16:33, the most comforting and encouraging matter/thing is that Jesus has overcome the world.  Even in the midst of chaos and disorders in this world, we can still experience this perfect peace of God.  In fact, Jesus has assured us of His wonderful peace that we will have when we remain in Him.  The moment when we do not remain in Jesus but move away from Him, we will forfeit this wonderful peace of God.  Let us stay close to Jesus.  Let us abide in Him.  Let us give thanks to Jesus our Lord for bringing this perfect peace of God into our lives.

A final word of encouragement to all of us is found in 2 Thessalonians 3:16, “Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace at all times and in every way.  The Lord be with all of you.”

Having received this peace of God in our daily lives, let us go forth and share this peace with those who have yet to know and to receive it.  They too need to experience the peace of God in their own personal life.  Amen.

Pr George Ang

November 20, 2011