We usually associate “grace and peace” with Paul’s letters but grace and peace show up in other places in scripture. One of those places is in Judges 6. Gideon was told to deliver Israel from the Midianites but Gideon is concerned because the days he lived in weren’t like the days of his ancestors. He knew the story of the parting of the sea and deliverance from Egypt. He knew God was present with his people in those days because God acted in mighty ways. Gideon’s assumption was that God must not be present like he was because God isn’t acting like he used to act (see Judges 6:11-13). God assures him that he really was going to be the deliverer of Israel and Gideon’s response went like this,
“If now I have found grace in your eyes, give me a sign that it is really you talking to me.” – Judges 6:17
Gideon brings back an offering and it is consumed in flame. He then realizes he has seen the angel of the Lord and fears for his life. But God says,
“‘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.”
Grace and peace go hand in hand. Without grace there is no peace because, like Gideon, we cannot stand in the presence of a holy God and live. So praise God that he is loving and graceful and we can have peace because he is the ultimate deliverer of his people! If you are going through something and lack peace or maybe you are upset because you just don’t have the power to fix the problems in your life…remember what Paul said in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10,
“Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
Do you know when God responded gracefully to Gideon in Judges 6? It was when Gideon said he wouldn’t be able to deliver the people because he was the least person of the weakest clan from among his people (6:15). God has a way of sorting these things out in ways that remind us that he is in charge, not us. So rest in the grace of God and find your peace there.
Very true Matt. Some have suggested that Gideon was simply making excuses when he talked with God about his, “least-ness.” I can remember sitting in a worship hall in a church camp many years ago, when a preacher spoke on the story of Gideon to say that, “God doesn’t want your excuses.” Maybe there is a place where this is true, but I believe Gideon was giving God an accurate representation of the way he saw himself. Let us not forget, he was threshing wheat in a wine press when the Angel found him.