Judges 6:24 “So Gideon built an altar there to the Lord, and called it The-Lord-Is-Peace”
I recently saw a quote that has stuck in my mind and beautifully illustrates the actions of Gideon in this section of the book of Judges. It stated, “You are allowed to be both a masterpiece and a work in progress at the same time.” I believe that truly sums up most of us! We see the ups and downs in Gideon’s faith. But, isn’t it interesting that when the Angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, He addressed him as a mighty man of valor? God sees the heart, even when we have a brief moment of little faith.
Judges 6 is part of a sad cycle of the Israelites praising God, failing to remember what God had taught them and shown them, and then “doing evil in the sight of the LORD.” When this occurred, God allowed them to be held in captivity by various groups. This time around however, God allowed them to be delivered into the hand of Midians for seven years. Every time the Israelites attempted to sow anything for food, it would be taken, with the Midianites and Amalekites coming up against them. The Israelites had become destitute.
True to the cycle they were stuck in, God would graciously intervene after a time, when they would again turn back to Him and cry out to Him, and supply someone who would God would work through to deliver them from their oppressor. This time, God chose Gideon. God addresses Gideon as a “mighty man of valor” and tells him that there will be victory because He has sent Gideon. We then read on to see Gideon displaying the “work in progress” mode with God, attempting to give a myriad of excuses as to why he cannot defeat the Midianites. What happens next shows the graciousness of our God! God remains holy and just, yet He also meets each of us where we are at. With Gideon, the Lord works with him through his whole set of “tests” as to whether or not he could trust the Lord.
Gideon finally realizes who he has seen and spoken with. He fixes his eyes on the Lord (where they should’ve been all along) and was then finally ready to obey God and tear down the altar of Baal. Gideon knew where his strength to do this mighty feat would come from. He went forth in obedience to the Lord, trusting and knowing that he would not fear or die and that he would have God’s peace.
We see in verse 23 that Gideon builds an altar after the interaction with the Angel of the Lord and before he goes in obedience to tear down the altar of Baal. It reads “So Gideon built an altar there to the Lord, and called it The-Lord-Is-Peace.”
We are a masterpiece and a work in progress; God knows our weak areas and graciously works through them with us as He did with Gideon. He does this by showing His character and reminding us , verbally, of truth-who He is. We can then refocus and walk in what we know to be true; going forth to do whatever it is God asks of us, knowing He is our peace, strength and protection all along the way. We must know what the Word says about Him! Only then can the Holy Spirit apply and bring those things to mind when we are having trouble starting our walk, as Gideon did at first. Is Jesus your peace?