Advent Day 15: Prince of Peace

When Gideon realized that it was the angel of the Lord, he cried out, “Oh, Sovereign Lord, I’m doomed! I have seen the angel of the Lord face to face!”

“It is all right,” the Lord replied. “Do not be afraid. You will not die.” And Gideon built an altar to the Lord there and named it Yahweh-Shalom (which means “the Lord is peace”). The altar remains in Ophrah in the land of the clan of Abiezer to this day. (Judges 6:22–24 NLT)

When Gideon realized it was the angel of the Lord who was instructing him to rescue Israel from the Midianites, he responded first in fear and then in worship, building an altar to Yahweh-Shalom. It might seem odd to set up an altar to the God of peace before going off to battle, but Gideon’s concept of peace was likely much broader than simply the absence of conflict. In all likelihood he understood peace—shalom—to encompass much more: wholeness, well-being, harmony, the way God intended things to be. Gideon certainly had his doubts about his own worthiness for being chosen for this great mission, but he ultimately trusted in Yahweh-Shalom to make all things right.

Zechariah also had an interaction with an angel of the Lord. While he was serving in the sanctuary of the Temple, burning incense, Gabriel informed him that his wife had been chosen to bear a son who would lead the way for the Messiah. Like Gideon, Zechariah also had doubts, which he freely expressed to the angel. After being struck mute until his son arrived, he, too, ultimately trusted that God would fulfill all that He had promised and make all things right in the end, through Zechariah and Elizabeth; through their son, John; and especially through the coming Messiah.

Like Gideon and Zechariah, we also might have doubts—about our worthiness to be part of God’s Kingdom, about God’s timing, or about a myriad of other issues—but we can ultimately trust in the power of Yahweh-Shalom to make all things right. Spend time with the Prince of Peace, laying out all of your doubts and insecurities at His feet and trusting that He is big enough to handle everything you give to Him. This, too, is part of the way God continues to restore all things to their proper state of wholeness, the way He intended them to be.

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