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Jehovah send peace, the name which Gideon gave to the altar he erected on the spot at Ophrah where the angel appeared to him.
Jehovah-Shalom is translated as “peace” 170 times in the Bible. It means “whole,” “finished,” “fulfilled,” or “perfected” and is really a title rather than a name of God.
In the Old Testament, Jehovah-Shalom occurs only once in Judges 6:24
The name Jehovah is translated as “The Existing One” or “Lord.” The chief meaning of Jehovah comes from the Hebrew word Havah meaning “to be” or “to exist.” It also suggests “to become” or specifically “to become known” – this denotes a God who reveals Himself unceasingly.
Shalom is a derivative of shâlêm (which means “be complete” or “sound”) Shalom is translated as “peace” or “absence from strife.” Jehovah-Shalom is the name of an altar built by Gideon in Ophrah.
Gideon and Jehovah Shalom
The book of Judges tells us about a time in history when Israel was just settling into their new home, the “Promised Land.” The people living in the surrounding land resisted the Israelites moving in. They were not thrilled about it, to say the least. The Israelites themselves had difficulty trusting God and remaining faithful to him.
The people were led astray by their pagan neighbors, who turned them away from serving the God of heaven.
At various times, a Hebrew judge would call the people back to God. But the people would fall back into their old ways, forgetting about the one true God.
Their neighbors often oppressed the Israelites. They lost God’s protecting care because of their sinning. They had a difficult time in life. They experienced anxiety and suffering, both personally and as part of their community. The Israelites were anything but peaceful during this time.
God raised up judges like Gideon to bring His people back into following God. When the Midianites were attacking Israel, they took everything that was important to the Israelites. They filled these people’s lives with fear and distress.
The Israelites were huddled in fear in caves and mountains as they hid from their enemies.
While Gideon was threshing wheat in a hidden area, trying to keep from being found by the Midianites, the Lord appeared to Gideon and called him to deliver His people from their tormentors. (Judges 6:11-14)
But when Gideon realized that God Himself spoke with him, he feared for his life.
The Israelite became known for his faithfulness throughout history as he continued with what would become one of the most famous battles against Midianites ever seen; the victory over them allowed many Jews who had previously been enslaved back into freedom!
When there was no peace in Israel or among the hearts of men, God came to offer relief from their troubles. When life becomes difficult, it is easy to let fear and doubt take control. However, God has other plans for our lives-plans that will bring peace even in the midst of chaos if we simply trust Him!
The story behind Gideon’s name reminds us how important following His plan really matters–and what an amazing difference trusting could make in your own life.
When God called Gideon, he was surprised. He didn’t know that this small farmer and judge would become an important figure in ancient Israelite history or how his life story would inspire others and lead the Israelites to victory.
The Lord has always been on the Israelites’ side. When they were facing their most dangerous and powerful enemy, Gideon placed himself in God’s hands to deliver them to victory! Gideon found God to be truly “the Lord Who is Our Peace”, Jehovah Shalom.
What the Bible Says About the Peace Jehovah Shalom Offers Us
- Jesus gives us peace that rules in our lives. He enables you and me, his followers—to live free from fear or worry by embracing what he has done for each one of us individually
- God is the only One who can give you true peace.
The wicked have no peace because they will not trust Jehovah Shalom—the “God of Peace.” When troubles come, their only hope is in themselves.
- The peace that Jesus provides is a priceless gift. As we experience His love and acceptance in our lives, all else becomes less important. Jesus and His salvation give us peace.
Knowing that our sins have been forgiven and that we are covered with the righteousness of Jesus—is the greatest blessing of the peace that Jesus gives.
- God does not promise us freedom from trouble, but He does promise us His peace that will give us the ability to deal with the troubles we experience. Jesus said, “These things have I spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). Jesus is victorious over sin and the troubles that sin causes. And if we place our hand in His, through His strength, we can overcome and experience the peace He offers.
- Trusting God will bring a richness of peace into our lives. “You [God] will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You because he trusts in You” (Isaiah 26:3). “Great peace have those who love Your law. And nothing causes them to stumble” (Psalm 119:165).
The Significance of Jehovah Shalom
As we often see in Scripture, the names of God reveal significant attributes of His nature. This is especially true of Jehovah Shalom.
On numerous occasions in the Old Testament, the God of Israel distinguished Himself from the false gods of surrounding peoples by making His presence known in the midst of Israel. (Zephaniah 3:17). Jehovah was very much alive and invested in the well-being of His covenant people. More importantly, He was active in pursuing and maintaining an intimate relationship with His children, something no other people or god could boast in.
However, despite the many manifestations of God’s presence, it was common for the children of Israel to grow weary of surrounding powers or present circumstances. In their fear, the Israelites would often forget God’s miracles and let go of His promises. In doing so, their fear and forgetfulness were the precursors to sin that eventually separated them from the blessing of God’s presence.
Yet even in their spiritual lapses, forgetfulness, and unfaithfulness, God never abandoned His people. He was always near to:
- Provide for their needs (Psalms 81:10, Psalms 10:3),
- Protect them from those who sought to do them harm (Isaiah 41:10, Psalms 18:2),
- And remind them of His prevailing love (Isaiah 54:10).
When the Israelites kept their eyes on the Lord, obeyed His commands, and held on to His promises, they found peace in His presence. As it is written in Isaiah, “the steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in you” (Isaiah 26:3).
Here are some beautiful verses featuring this beautiful name of God, Jehovah Shalom:
Questions to Ponder and Discuss:
Where do you turn when you’re in distress?
Do you turn to our Heavenly Father for peace? How do you do that?
How do you physically feel when you feel at peace?
Look up some verses that show that God provides peace.
Journal about a time that God has provided peace for you.
Jehovah Shalom, Our God provides peace.
Remember, prayer isn’t something we do to check off our daily spiritual checklist. We pray because we want to have a conversation with God. Conversation is the key to any healthy relationship, we speak to God, and we listen to God. Just like any relationship, communication is a two-way conversation. We must pray and also wait to hear from the Holy Spirit to give us insight, wisdom, and correction.
This week, praise God, our Jehovah Shalom, for his holiness. This week when you pray, each time you say ‘God’ pause… remember how Holy his name is.
A Short Prayer to Jehovah Shalom
Thank you, Lord, that because You are my Peace, my step is lighter today. May I receive Your peace and then pass it along to others. I praise Your Name for it is in Your name I pray, amen.
Additional Resources for Studying Jehovah Shalom
For more studies on the names of God, see this section of my website.
You can find everything that you are looking for about The Names of God and Why We Should Study and Pray Them, as well as in-depth studies on each of the 9 names of God we cover (Adonai, Abba, Jehovah Jireh, and many more) It includes a video and additional downloads. * 73 pages
You may enjoy this beautiful song praising Jehovah Shalom:
For more study on the names of God, including Jehovah Shalom, consider these recommended resources:
The Names of God: 52 Bible Studies for Individuals and Groups by Ann Spangler
Praying the Names of God by Ann Spangler
Because of Him,
ESV – “Scripture quotations are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”