THE NAMES OF GOD................................................Lesson #5
Jehovah-Shalom: The Lord Our Peace
Would you like to have peace? I mean real peace, peace in you heart and soul, peace of mind and peace of conscience. What would you give to have peace with God, to know that God has no quarrel with you? Would you like to be able to go to bed at night and sleep in peace, without anxiety and fear? Blessed is the man who is at peace with God!
How would you like to have peace in this world of strife? What would you give to have a happy, peaceful home, a home without strife, envy, jealousy, and fighting? Blessed is that man whose home is a castle of peace!
What about personal, inward peace? Would you like to have a peaceful, restful heart? Would you be interested in having the secret to a life of peace? Blessed is the man who lives in peace, who has a quiet, peaceful heart, even in the midst of trouble, trial, and heartache! If your heart is at peace, no outward circumstance can greatly disturb you. If your heart is peaceful, though your life may be turned upside down and pulled inside out, nothing really has power to cast you down. If peace is something you crave, this study will be of interest to you. The name of our God is Jehovah-Shalom: The Lord Our Peace.
We find this name ascribed to him in Judges 6. Gideon was a man who longed for peace. Because the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord by worshipping at the altar of Baal, God delivered them into the hands of the Midianites. For seven years, Israel knew nothing but war. Like many of the other Jews, Gideon, the son of Joash, hid in a cave. He planted a small field of wheat by a winepress to hide it from the Midianites. Working his little patch of wheat, hiding in a lonely mountain cave, Gideon longed for peace.
This mighty man of valor knew that the only way of peace was reconciliation to God. He knew that Israel would never have peace until Israel returned to Jehovah, the true and living God. Israel did return. Because of God’s gracious chastisement, Israel was impoverished by the Midianites. When they came to their wits’ end,” the children of Israel cried unto the Lord” (vs. 6). Then the Lord sent a prophet to his afflicted people with the promised of deliverance. God spoke by the prophet, and said, “I am the Lord your God; fear not” (vv. 7-10).
While Gideon worked his field one day, meditating upon the words of God’s prophet, the angel of the Lord appeared to him and assured him that God was with him and that by his hand God would deliver his people from the Midianites and establish peace in Israel (vv. 12, 14, 16). The Angel who appeared to him was none other than the Lord Jesus Christ himself. This angel of the Lord is the Mediator between God and men by whom peace would be accomplished. Gideon offered a sacrifice and worshipped God. Once God accepted his sacrifice and promised Gideon peace and life, he” built an altar there unto the Lord, and called it Jehovah-Shalom” (vv. 22-24). In Ephesians 2:14, the apostle Paul shows us plainly who it is that Gideon worshipped by this name. “For he (the Lord Jesus Christ) is our peace, who hath made both (Jew and Gentile) one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us.” Jehovah-Shalom is Jesus Christ, who is our Peace. Christ made peace, proclaimed peace, provided peace, and gives peace. But here is something even greater and more blessed - Christ is our Peace! He’s name is Jehovah-Shalom, the Lord our Peace.
THE LORD JESUS CHRIST IS JEHOVAH-SHALOM, OUR PEACE WITH GOD. When God first made man in the Garden, there was perfect love, peace, and harmony between God and man. They walked together in the Garden and spoke as friends; but as soon as Adam sinned a quarrel began. Adam, by sin, broke the peace. Ever since that time there has been a quarrel between God and man
This quarrel between God and man is a mutual quarrel. God is angry with man; and man is angry with God (Zech. 11:8; Rom. 8:7). It is a universal quarrel. All the sons and daughters of Adam, without exception, are born as children of wrath by nature (Eph. 2:3). God is angry with men. Those who tell unregenerate, unbelieving men and women, or even children, that God loves them, make a terrible presumption that is without warrant in Holy Scripture. God is angry with the wicked everyday. God loves righteousness and hates iniquity; and all men, by nature, are iniquity. God only loves sinners in Christ and for Christ’s sake. In Christ, God is love. Out of Christ, God is a consuming fire. No one has any basis for thinking that God might love him until he believes on Christ. Our faith in Christ does not cause God to love us. It is the result and evidence of God’s love (I John 4:19; Heb. 11:1). However, until faith is exercised, fallen man has no basis for assuming that God loves him. Only the wrath of God abides upon the unbelieving (John 3:36). Furthermore, all men by nature hate God. Man’s heart, his understanding, his will, his mind, all are opposed to God. In the very fabric and essence of man’s being there is nothing but sin; and sin is nothing but hatred for God. This quarrel between man and God is a growing quarrel (Hos. 4:1-2). The increase of sin and rebellion increases the quarrel. On God’s part, it is a righteous quarrel. Our sins are a debt. We are taught to pray, “Forgive us our debts.” Because of sin, we are indebted to God and God is indebted to us (Rom. 6:23). We owe him righteousness and satisfaction. He owes us wrath, judgment, and eternal death. Though we cannot pay our debt to God, he will most surely pay his debt to us (Deut. 7:10). Our sins are trespasses, as well as debts. The law of God was given as a hedge to keep us in, but we have broken the hedge, transgressed the law, robbed God and encroached upon him. And our sin is treason, high treason against the throne and dignity of almighty God. Sin is an affront to God’s majesty and glory. It defies him, despises him, and denies him. Like Pharaoh, every sinner says by his deeds, “Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice?” This quarrel on God’s part is a most righteous and just quarrel; but on man’s part it is an unrighteous and unreasonable quarrel. God has done nothing to deserve our enmity (Jer 2:4-5; John 10:32). If the quarrel is not taken up and settled now, it will be an everlasting quarrel. Death puts an end to all other feuds, but not this one. Death only brings the sinner into a state of everlasting misery and torment. In hell, sinners will forever hate, curse, and blaspheme God. God will forever hate, punish, and torment his enemies.
The Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, has taken up the quarrel on behalf of his people, and settled it. He is our Mediator. He is our Daysman (I Tim. 2:5; Job 9:33). He is the Arbitrator by whom all differences between God and man are settled. How? How does Christ put an end to the quarrel and make peace with God for us?
In order to make peace for us, Christ had to deal with God as our Mediator and Substitute. If he would be Jehovah-Shalom: the Lord our Peace, Christ had to make atonement for our sins, pacify the offended justice of God, and fulfill the law of God in our place. Christ Jesus stood as Jehovah-Shalom in the Covenant of Grace from old eternity (Job 33:23-24). He lived in this world as our Representative to bring in everlasting righteousness; and the name of our Representative is Jehovah-Shalom (Rom. 5:19). He died as our Substitute, in our place at Calvary, satisfying Divine Justice, and earned this name - Jehovah-Shalom (II Cor. 5:18-21). Christ still deals with God for us in heaven as our Advocate, through whom we have peace with God (I John 2:1-2).
Having satisfied the justice of God by his obedience unto death, Christ deals with each of his elect, graciously removing our inbred enmity against God, breaking down that wall of partition that separates man from God (Col. 1:21). By the preaching of the gospel, Jehovah-Shalom sends his Spirit to persuade stubborn rebels to be reconciled to God. He persuades us, tenderly and effectually, to lay down our arms of rebellion and be friends with the Almighty. Our sins stood like a huge wall separating us from God (Isa. 59:2). Christ put them away (Heb. 1:3). God’s broken law stood like a thick veil between him and his people. Christ rent the veil in two by his obedience unto death and opened the way for God and man to be united (Heb. 10:19-22). Our corrupt nature barred us from fellowship with the holy God (John 3:5-7). In regeneration Christ, by his Holy Spirit, has given us a new nature (II Pet. 1:4).
THE LORD JESUS CHRIST IS JEHOVAH-SHALOM, OUR PEACE WITH ONE ANOTHER, TOO. When men and women are at peace with God, they are at peace with one another. Where the Prince of Peace reigns, there is peace. Where Jehovah-Shalom is known and worshipped, peace reigns. In the home that is under the rule of Christ peace reigns. In the local Church that is governed by Christ there is peace (John 14:27). Christ breaks down the walls of partition that separate men from one another (Col. 3:11). Jehovah-Shalom begets love in the hearts of his people, and love begets peace. Ever pray for and promote the “peace of Jerusalem” (Eph. 4:1-3). The Church of God is his Jerusalem, the City of Peace. Our charter is the gospel of peace. Our Ruler is the Prince of Peace. Our Defense is the Spirit of Peace.
THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, JEHOVAH-SHALOM, IS OUR PEACE WITHIN AS WELL. When all is well between me and my God, I have peace, an inward, sedate, composed, cheerful heart at all times, in all circumstances, under all conditions (Isa. 26:3). What is the source of this blessed, inward peace? Jehovah-Shalom. We enjoy peace from God in exact proportion to our faith in and understanding of his glorious sovereignty (Ps. 115:3), the efficacy of Christ’s blood and righteousness as our Substitute (Heb. 9:12), the wisdom and goodness of his adorable providence (Rom. 8:28), and the certainty and fullness of his boundless promises (II Cor. 1:20). If we would have peace, we must go to him for it (Matt. 11:28-29, Phil. 4:4-13). He alone is able to give true peace whose name is Jehovah-Shalom: The Lord Our Peace!