Peace. What a distant memory when you're in hiding, fearing for your life. The young man went to extremes to stay under the radar of the oppressive Midianites. He sheepishly went about threshing wheat in a winepress. No worse than his brothers who were hiding out in mountain caves, Gideon reasoned. The last time Gideon knew any semblance of peace was...well, he can't remember. If he needed anything on that day, he needed some peace. He needed assurance. "The Lord is with you mighty warrior.", said the angel. The second part of the messenger's greeting kind of threw him off. He didn't feel like much of a warrior, but his spirit resonated with the first part, to which he questioned, “Pardon me, my lord...but if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us?"
"Go in the strength you have...:", said the angel. Then the sacrifice, then the consuming fire, then those words, "Peace! Do not be afraid..."
Gideon didn't need an altar to remember this peace encounter., but he built one anyway. He didn't need the law when grace finally came. But he fulfilled the law anyway. God knew exactly what Gideon needed that day. He needed an awareness that he was on their side, an assurance that He had not abandoned them. And that He had a plan. God always has a plan.
With that awareness came a confirmation of God's abiding presence and the peaceful assurance which followed.
Prayer: Thank you God for your peace when I'm feeling lost and fearful. I find hope and assurance in your presence today.
Quoted scriptures taken from Judges, chapter 6.