Summary: This message focuses on JEHOVAH-SHALOM, The Lord Is Peace.
JEHOVAH-SHALOM – The Lord Is Peace
Scriptures: Num. 6:22-27; Judg. 6:22-24; Isa. 9:6; Eph. 2:14-18
This morning my message title is “JEHOVAH-SHALOM – The Lord Is Peace.”
I had a very long and stressful week this past week and there were times when “my” peace left me. But, as I meditated on the message for this morning, this old song came into my spirit. The song is titled “Peace in the Valley.” I am not sure if you younger people know this song, so let me share a few of the words with you in case you’ve never heard it. The song opens with these words: “I am tired and weary, but I must toil on. Till the Lord comes to call me away. Where the morning is bright and the Lamb is the light, and the night is as fair as the day. There’ll be peace in the valley for me someday; there’ll be peace in the valley for me. I pray no more sorrow and sadness or trouble will be, there’ll be peace in the valley for me….There the bear will be gentle, the wolf will be tame. And the lion will lay down by the lamb. The host from the wild will be led by a Child. I’ll be changed from the creature I am. There’ll be peace in the valley for me someday…..”
Have you ever had a time in your life when you needed peace but you could not find it within? The song speaks of our having peace someday in the valley, but I want you to know that we can have peace today in the midst of everything we’re dealing with. This is what the name JEHOVAH-SHALOM tells us of God and of Jesus Christ as well. The name originally comes from Gideon when he built an altar at Ophrah to memorialize God’s message “Peace be unto thee.” As we will read later, Isaiah tells us that the Messiah would also be known as the “prince of Peace, our JEHOVAH-SHALOM. Turn with me to Numbers chapter six.
I. God’s Direction to Aaron
In the twenty-second chapter of Numbers, God gives Moses instructions for Aaron for how they were to bless the Children of Israel. Aaron and his sons alone, as the “official” representatives of the Lord, could bless in His name and put His name upon the people. This benediction consisted of three clauses; each one complete within itself. Let’s begin reading at verse twenty-two. “Then the Lord spoke to Moses saying, ‘Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, ‘Thus you shall bless the sons of Israel. You shall say to them: The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make His face to shine on you, and be gracious to you. The Lord lift up His countenance on you and give you peace.’ So they shall invoke My name on the sons of Israel, and I then will bless them.”
God gave Aaron and his sons a specific blessing to speak over the people which I believe is applicable for each of us today. God did not leave it up for man to come up with the words to speak on His behalf, but He told man exactly what He wanted said and thus what He would do. In verse twenty-four He said that He would bless and keep them (us). In verse twenty-five, He said He would make His countenance shine on them (and us) and be gracious towards them (and us.) The “face” of God is His personality as turned towards man as opposed to being turned “away” from man. In the Old Testament when His face was turned towards man it led to love and mercy being present in their lives. When His face was turned against man it often led to destruction and death. The last part of this verse speaks to Him be gracious to man; in other words He would be kind and beneficent to man. In verse twenty-six God says that He would lift His countenance on them (and us) and give them (and us) peace.
This last verse seems to be a repeat of verse twenty-five in a stronger way implying a more personal and individual attention that one would receive from God. When God’s face shines upon us there are no clouds that can intervene. Remember the saying “above every dark cloud the sun is still shining?” This is a very true statement in the natural, but especially so spiritually. Because God’s face is ever shining down upon us, we can have the peace that He promised us. This peace, being the perfect fruit in experience of the grace that comes from God, forms the climax and conclusion of this benediction. When God, Himself, says that He will turn His face towards us, lift His countenance on us and give us peace, we can take it to the bank. Remember, this is what God said He would do, not what man saying that will do on our behalf. JEHOVAH-SHALOM, the Lord is peace. Because there are times when my soul cannot find peace, I have to remind myself that the Lord IS MY PEACE! Now turn with me to Judges chapter six.