Monday, November 28, 2022

The Names of God - Jehovah Shalom

Jehovah Shalom - God is my peace.

Another verse that has been continually returning to my thoughts over the past year or so is Philippians 4:6-7  'Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.'  God wants me to live in peace - without anxieties or concerns.  

This is an outstanding promise, and one I find utterly challenging to take advantage of.  Its so easy to get worried, anxious, and concerned about a multitude of things.  The most tangible example for me currently is when we have thunderstorms in the summer.  I used to love thunderstorms as a kid.  Now that I have a house of my own and experienced some intense prairie thunderstorms with hail that shattered windows and stripped the vinyl siding off of nearby houses, I actually get physically anxious when an extreme storm is forecasted for our area - my heart beats faster, adrenaline kicks in, and I can't stay seated.

God doesn't want me to feel like this!  He wants me to 'cast all my cares upon Him, because He cares for me.'  There are times (like in the middle of a thunderstorm) where I have to sit down and consciously focus and meditate on these promises to release my anxiety.  

Etymology

Gideon gave God the name Jehovah Shalom.  Gideon's life was fear filled up until that point.  He claimed his family as the smallest and weakest family of the smallest and weakest tribe in Israel.  And Israel was the smallest and weakest nation around.  God found Gideon anxiously threshing wheat in a winepress because he was afraid his enemies will find him and steal it.  And when he realized Who showed up to talk to him, he was afraid for his life because 'I have seen the Lord face to face!'  God replied 'Peace. Do not be afraid.  You are not going to die.'  This exchange clearly had a profound impact on Gideon because he built an altar there and called it 'The Lord is Peace' - Jehovah Shalom.

Application

My quality of living is so much better when I've given all my worries, anxieties, and concerns to God.  He doesn't want me to just leave it at that though.  God wants me to share this lighter living with others who are still weighed down.  I'm reminded of St. Francis of Assisi's prayer:

"Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me bring love.
Where there is offence, let me bring pardon.
Where there is discord, let me bring union.
Where there is error, let me bring truth.
Where there is doubt, let me bring faith.
Where there is despair, let me bring hope.
Where there is darkness, let me bring your light.
Where there is sadness, let me bring joy.
O Master, let me not seek as much
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love,
for it is in giving that one receives,
it is in self-forgetting that one finds,
it is in pardoning that one is pardoned,
it is in dying that one is raised to eternal life."
Photo by Colton Duke on Unsplash

Why am I writing about the names of God?

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The Names of God - Jehovah Shalom

Jehovah Shalom - God is my peace. Another verse that has been continually returning to my thoughts over the past year or so is Philippians 4...