Gideon: Peace in turmoil

 
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This is the first in a series of articles retelling the events of Gideon in the Old Testament book of Judges. We’ll be publishing one article each week for the next five weeks. This first article is based on Judges 6:1-24.

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I glanced above the crumbling wall. No Midianite soldiers in sight. They’d stolen our crops for years, but they weren’t getting this grain.

I shifted my heavy bag back onto my shoulder and ran towards the towering oak. I knew just the place to hide it: the winepress.

I started to separate the grains from the chaff in the pit, before looking up for enemy soldiers. I jumped. Sitting under the tree was a strange man.

He turned to me. “God is with you, mighty warrior.”

Mighty warrior? I was so scared I was threshing wheat in a winepress!

I swallowed. “If God is with us, why has he abandoned us to the Midianites?”

The man smiled. “I’m sending you to save Israel.”

I frowned. Was he claiming to be God’s messenger?

“How?” I stuttered. “I’m from the weakest tribe. I’m… a nobody.”

“I’ll be with you. The Midianites won’t survive.”

I anxiously bit my lip as doubts crowded my mind. The Midianites swarmed like locusts! “Please show me that it’s really you, God.”

I ran back to the house and returned with bread and meat, placing them as a sacrifice before the man. If he was from God, he’d accept my offering. The man reached out his staff and fire flared on the bare rock, burning up the food.

He disappeared.

I fell in terror. I had seen the angel’s face. I was so unworthy, so doubting – surely he’d burn me up too? It’s what I deserved.

God’s voice rang out. “Peace, Gideon. You’re not going to die.”

Relief flooded through me. Then peace – more than I’d ever felt before. I was surrounded by enemies, but I felt whole, safe.

I might be a nobody, but I had a powerful God. Excitedly I built an altar and called it God-is-Peace.

I’d found my Everlasting Peace in the midst of turmoil.

 
 

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