My reading today led me to Judges, chapter 6. By this time, the Israelites are in Caanan, but they just can't seem to continue in a relationship with God. They have turned repeatedly to idols and disobedience from God. As a result, other people would attack the Israelites and take everything they had. Their day to day activitied had to be done in hiding to prevent a marauder from taking what they had. In this chapter, we meet Gideon. He is threshing wheat in the bottom of a winepress, so that no one can see him. He is working and hiding from the enemies when an Angel of the Lord appeared to him and told him that he was called to rescue Israel. Gideon was terrified of this! He used every excuse he could think of as to why he should not be the one chosen for such a task. In his fear, he also tested God, asking for proof he was who said he was, because he didn't want to fall into the hands of the enemies.
It was Gideon who tore down an altar to Baal in the dark of night, so no one would see him do it- he was a fearful man. But it was Yahweh Shalom who staid that fear and brought Gideon peace and understanding. Yahweh Shalom- The Lord Is Peace. This can be helpful to us in so many ways. By calling on Yahweh Shalom, we can ask for strength to share his message with someone who needs to hear it. God will give us peace and freedom from fear if we ask him. Most often, I think it's fear that prevents us from sharing God's word with non-believers. In our country, it's more a fear of ridicule and scorn. But in other countries it can be so much worse- Christians fear for their life at times. But it is Yahweh Shalom that puts a peace in their hearts that enables them to still share his word. That is amazing. According to scripture, there will come a time when us as Christians may very well fear for our lives, simply for sharing the love of God. I have to admit, I cannot imagine being in that situation. I cannot imagine having my life threatened simply because I love God and want to share that love with others. Yet, every day there are Christians being persecuted for this very thing.
This is one are where I can truly think unselfishly. I pray that Yahweh Shalom will calm the hearts of those Christians who are in danger, and that they will be rewarded well for their service. I can't imagine living in that world, but I can pray for those who are. I can also pray that Yahweh Shalom will take away the fear I may experience when presented with an opportunity to witness. By keeping Yahweh Shalom in my mind, I can remember to call on him when needed. God is our peace, no matter what situation we are in.