He Day 10 Yahweh Shalom: Digging Deeper

Digging Deeper Days

Finding the original intent of Scripture and making good application to our everyday lives as we become equipped to correctly handle the Word of Truth!

Today is 2-for-1 Friday!
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The Questions

1) What events precipitated this visit from the angel of the Lord?

2) What do Gideon’s questions reveal about his internal status of peace? (verse 13)

3) How does God reveal His character name of Yahweh Shalom as He speaks with Gideon?

Judges 6:11-24

The angel of the Lord came, and he sat under the oak that was in Ophrah, which belonged to Joash, the Abiezrite. His son Gideon was threshing wheat in the winepress in order to hide it from the Midianites. 12 Then the angel of the Lord appeared to him and said, “The Lord is with you, valiant warrior.”

13 Gideon said to him, “Please, my lord, if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened? And where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about? They said, ‘Hasn’t the Lord brought us out of Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and handed us over to Midian.”

14 The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and deliver Israel from the grasp of Midian. I am sending you!”

15 He said to him, “Please, Lord, how can I deliver Israel? Look, my family is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the youngest in my father’s family.”

16 “But I will be with you,” the Lord said to him. “You will strike Midian down as if it were one man.”

17 Then he said to him, “If I have found favor with you, give me a sign that you are speaking with me. 18 Please do not leave this place until I return to you. Let me bring my gift and set it before you.”

And he said, “I will stay until you return.”

19 So Gideon went and prepared a young goat and unleavened bread from a half bushel of flour. He placed the meat in a basket and the broth in a pot. He brought them out and offered them to him under the oak.

20 The angel of God said to him, “Take the meat with the unleavened bread, put it on this stone, and pour the broth on it.” So he did that.

21 The angel of the Lord extended the tip of the staff that was in his hand and touched the meat and the unleavened bread. Fire came up from the rock and consumed the meat and the unleavened bread. Then the angel of the Lord vanished from his sight.

22 When Gideon realized that he was the angel of the Lord, he said, “Oh no, Lord God! I have seen the angel of the Lord face to face!”

23 But the Lord said to him, “Peace to you. Don’t be afraid, for you will not die.” 24 So Gideon built an altar to the Lord there and called it The Lord Is Peace. It is still in Ophrah of the Abiezrites today.

Original Intent

1) What events precipitated this visit from the angel of the Lord?
Israel’s rebellion and the consequences of that rebellion had brought them to a place of extreme poverty and destitution. Verses 1-2 sets the scene with stark clarity, “The Israelites did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. So the Lord handed them over to Midian seven years, and they oppressed Israel.” This was not a one-time screw up by Israel, or even a second, third, or twenty-third. Neither had God randomly decided to deliver them to their enemies because He was bored and wanted entertainment. Israel had entered into a covenant relationship with Yahweh, the One True God, and was therefore bound by the agreed upon, binding rules of the covenant (ie: the Ten Commandments and all other Levitical laws found in Leviticus). Yahweh had delivered Israel from slavery and set His love upon them even before He formed a covenant relationship with them. God was not a dictator, but a loving and compassionate Father seeking restoration with His people, not because God had caused the distance, but because His people had turned from Him. He loved them and longed for their return, but Israel would rather chase along after false gods their hands had made than repent. Despite God’s many calls for their true heart-felt repentance, they still chose their sinful ways, and finally, God sent a severe consequence, oppression at the hand of Midian. Hope vanished like smoke. They were left with nothing as Midianites ravaged their land and their people. Israel hid in caves from the Midians in their own land. (verse 2) When Israel managed to plant crops, Midianites attacked them for their produce. (verses 3-4) “(The Midianites) left nothing for Israel to eat, as well as no sheep, ox, or donkey” (verse 4). Though devastation affected every aspect of life for Israel, it was not their utter lack that precipitated a visit from the angel of the Lord, it was their heart cry of desperation. “So Israel became poverty-stricken because of Midian, and the Israelites cried out to the Lord.” (verse 6)

2) What do Gideon’s questions reveal about his internal status of peace? (
verse 13)
When the angel of the Lord speaks to Gideon, he is doing what has become commonplace for all Israelites, hiding. He was hiding himself and his grain away from Midian eyes. What’s more interesting, his fear of his enemy, had also made him blind to the Lord standing before Him. Judges records, “The angel of the Lord came, and He sat under the oak…” (verse 11). During His time of sitting, Gideon kept on hiding and working, cloaked in fear, oblivious to the Lord’s presence until the angel of the Lord makes His presence undeniable and speaks aloud to Gideon, “The Lord is with you, valiant warrior.” (verse 12) Gideon, still missing exactly WHO was speaking to Him, responds with the normal human emotion we might expect from someone in his position. Exasperation. Frustration. Anger. Doubting God. “Why has all of this happened? Where are the wonders of the Lord? The Lord has abandoned us!” (verse 13) Also, note that Gideon entirely ignored the Lord’s truth spoken over him? The Lord God Himself had said, with all clarity, to Gideon’s face, “The LORD (Yahweh) is with you, valiant warrior.” (verse 12) This was not simply one of God’s many, mighty angelic warriors sent to mankind with a specific message, this was the Lord in human flesh. Woah, wait. Mind. Blown. But I thought, Jesus came as a baby…. Thousands of years past this event… you know, Christmas songs, wise men, shepherds, little manger, Bethlehem. Yes, He certainly did, but because Jesus is God, He is not bound by time and space as we are. He is infinite, always existing, and on a few, precious occasions within the pages of Scripture, we gain access to “see” Jesus, God in the flesh, before (at least by our time line) He came to earth as a baby in Bethlehem.

3) How does God reveal His character name of Yahweh Shalom as He speaks with Gideon?
The Hebrew language is so revealing in the following exchange between the Lord God, who is called Yahweh, and Gideon. His faith is evidenced in the language he chooses. “The LORD (Yahweh in Hebrew) turned to him (Gideon) and said, “Go in the strength you have and deliver Israel from the grasp of Midian. I am sending you!” (verse 14) Yahweh, the One True God, is patiently standing before Gideon, has listened to his frustrations and complaints, and still calls Gideon out into His work, promising to be present, strengthen, and deliver Israel. Victory is certain! Gideon’s response floors me, “He (Gideon) replied to Him (Yahweh), “Please, Lord (adonai), how can I deliver Israel?” (verse 15) Gideon won’t even acknowledge God as God even as he speaks to Him! He calls Yahweh, adonai, the same title of respect given to a lord of a castle. Perhaps even more stunning, is Yahweh’s response to Gideon’s self-pity party, patience. He does not smite Gideon. He doesn’t leave angry. He doesn’t abandon Gideon because of his lack of faith. He continues to sit, to engage, drawing Gideon deeper until at long last, Gideon, horrified, in shock of realization fearfully proclaims, “Oh no, Lord GOD (Yahweh)! I have seen the angel of the LORD (Yahweh) face to face!” (verse 22) Gazing at the face of deity meant only one thing, certain death. But again, Yahweh, compassionately spares Gideon speaking life over him once more, “Peace to you. Don’t be afraid, for you will not die.” (verse 23) Gideon’s encounter with Yahweh redefined him, motivated him to bold action, and recalibrated his faith to anchor soundly in Yahweh Shalom, the God of all Peace. (verse 24)

Everyday Application

1) What events precipitated this visit from the angel of the Lord?
How like Israel we are! A rebellious people who love sin so much we are entrapped in it; this is us! How many times have you found yourself focusing all your heart-focus on something other than God, even if they are good things? Recently, like just this week, okay, today, friends, TODAY, I was confessing to the Lord how I had clung so tightly again to my sufficiency, my love for control, my jealousy, even my lusts. I have followed Jesus since I was 9 years old, and still, I find myself choosing sin over the Savior. Without Jesus, I would still be enslaved to sin! God called me out and set me free from sin by taking my punishment for sin on Himself and giving me His beautiful, flawless righteousness instead. This is just like God delivering Israel from Pharaoh’s enslavement in Egypt before they even did anything to deserve His freedom. With no guarantee of them following Him with their hearts, He still saved all of them from the oppression of Pharaoh in Egypt. But suppose, instead of me accepting Jesus’ gift of righteousness and forgiveness, I still clung to my ways and rejected God’s offer of freedom. God would still pursue me because He loves me and wants my wholly devoted life-worship to Him, but His pursuit would become more and more intentionally focused on getting my attention at all cost because my eternity was at stake. At this point in Israel’s history, God used the power of Midian to finally get Israel to adopt a heart-posture of crying aloud for the Lord in humility and desperation. They had finally realized their need for Him. Whether you’ve long since surrendered your heart to Christ, or you’re still pushing against Him, lift your eyes and recognize His loving pursuit of your heart! We are hopeless and destitute without the love of a righteous Savior; turn around, repent, and welcome the presence of Yahweh Shalom, the God of Peace.

2) What do Gideon’s questions reveal about his internal status of peace? (verse 13)
There are two kinds of hiding. Either, we hide to rebalance peace, or we hide because we are afraid. When we hide to re-center ourselves on the Lord by hiding in His shelter, we remove ourselves from the chaos of real life to be refueled and refilled by the Spirit of the Mighty God. Think of the mom of toddlers who hides in the closet or the bathroom just for 30 seconds to breathe! Or consider the wife, at the end of her rope in her marriage, hiding away in a quiet spot with pleading prayers and flooding tears. Or maybe it’s the woman who has long followed her Lord, hiding away simply by sitting in her spot, as she does every morning, Bible in hand, listening for the familiar voice of her Savior. This hiding is not only life-giving, it’s commanded in Scripture (Psalm 32:7, Psalm 27:5), and given as an incredibly rich gift to those who have learned to anchor their hearts in the unchanging character of God despite a world of chaos. Alternatively, hiding is what we do when we are afraid. Whether it’s the child hiding from an angry parent, a sister hiding from a brother chasing her with a toad, the wife who carries shame hiding behind her flawless social media posts, or the neighbor hiding her insecurities behind her gossip, we hide when we are afraid. Recognize your fears and call them out for what they are as a lack of faith. Name those emotions you may be wrestling with, just as Gideon had. Can you see where the Lord has been speaking life and truth over you and you’ve put up walls? Where has He shown Himself present while you’ve ignored Him? Run to Him and find perfect peace!

3) How does God reveal His character name of Yahweh Shalom as He speaks with Gideon?
The more Gideon spoke with the Lord, the more he grew in his understanding of God’s character. As Gideon would move forward into following the Lord in obedience, every situation would provide the opportunity to experience the Lord in ever deepening ways. Even at the close of this exchange, Gideon was calling the Lord Yahweh Shalom, the God of peace, in spite of the fact he had begun the conversation full of doubt, angst, and frustration. I love how this small snippet of Scripture applies so perfectly to the Christian experience! Before committing to spending time with God everyday, I relied most often on my feelings and mountain-top euphoric experiences to dictate what God was really like and His attitude towards me. The more I grew in knowing Him, and relying on Him in everyday life, the more I realized who He was! He was always Yahweh Shalom, but through experience, He became my Yahweh Shalom. He was always healer, provider, and warrior, but as I walked with Him, through real life, I realized deeply how He was for me as my healer, provider, and warrior. If you’re ready for more depth and sweetness in knowing who this God of the Bible is, sit still, pray, and read His Word, offering your heart wholly to Him with all honest transparency you can bring. He will make Himself known to you!

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Digging Deeper is for Everyone!

1) Take this passage (or any other passage).
2) Read it, and the verses around it,
several times
3) Write down your questions
as you think of them.
4) Ask specific culture related questions and be ready to dig around for your answers. Google them, use www.studylight.org, or look them up in a study Bible and read the footnotes (click on the little letters next to a word and it will show you
other related verses!). (www.esvbible.org)
5) Check your applications with other trusted Christians that you are in community with and embrace the fullness of God
in your everyday!

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Why Dig Deeper?

Finding the original meaning is a huge deal when we study Scripture and can make all the difference in our understanding as we apply God’s truths to our everyday lives.

In our modern-day relationships, we want people to understand our original intention as we communicate; how much more so between God and humanity?!

Here’s a little bit more on why we take Digging Deeper so seriously.

Study Tools

We love getting help while we study and www.studylight.org is one of many excellent resources, providing the original Hebrew (Old Testament) or Greek (New Testament) with an English translation.

Want to know more about a specific word in a verse? Click on “Strong’s Interlinear Bible” then click the word you’d like to study. Discover “origin”, “definition” and hear the original pronunciation – That Is Awesome!

Want more background? Click “Study Tools”, then pick a few commentaries to read their scholarly approach, keeping in mind that just because a commentary says it, doesn’t mean it’s true. (just like the internet :-))

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