Shalom

Read: Judges 6:19-24

I don’t know how many of you have smartphones, but if you do I
want to suggest a valuable spiritual resource app. The
YouVersion Bible. It is available on both the Android and
Iphone app stores. Not only does it hold many translations of
the Bible but it also provides daily devotionals and other
ways to engage God’s Word.

We use our phones for many things these days and growing
closer to Christ in our daily lives should definitely be one
of them. This week I was drawn to a daily devotional on
YouVersion that I would like to share with you.

I have been taking an introduction class to ancient Hebrew
this semester at Seminary and I was interested in this
devotional about the word Shalom in the Old Testament. We use
the word quite often and this devotional gives an interesting
teaching about it. Here is that devotional courtesy of
YouVersion.

“There’s a good chance that most of us have either heard of or
are familiar with the Hebrew word shalom. In some circles, the
word shalom is even used as a common cordial greeting. But
what is the meaning behind this word? And more importantly,
how does this meaning factor into this next name of God,
Jehovah-shalom, or “The-LORD-Is-Peace”?

Some dictionaries simply define shalom as meaning “peace.”
That’s a good start, but it certainly doesn’t cover all of it.
Two countries can technically be at peace because they’re not
fighting a war against each other, all the while harboring
disagreements and grievances. They’re at peace, but they’re
not at shalom with each other.

In a nutshell, shalom describes a state of complete
fulfillment, wholeness, and wellness. That’s shalom. It’s the
easy exhale of the soul, knowing everything is all right. So
what happens when shalom is combined with Jehovah to form the
name, Jehovah-shalom?

For Gideon, who coined this name in the Book of Judges, it
represented the understanding that the ability to rest easy,
relax, and exhale go hand in hand with God’s presence. Apart
from Him, anxiety, stress, fear, trepidation, and insecurity
are the norm. But with the Lord, there is shalom.

Sounds great in theory, doesn’t it? But what happens when an
unexpected expense rears its ugly head in your world? What
happens when the doctor’s office calls to say you need to come
in for some additional tests? What happens when your spouse
says he or she doesn’t love you anymore?

It’s then and there that we need to call upon the name of
Jehovah-shalom, because we’ll never be able to rest, relax, or
exhale apart from Him. God doesn’t want us to live on pins and
needles in this life. He wants us to walk in confidence, to
breath easy, and to partake in the peace that can only come
from the heart of Jehovah-shalom.

Shalom describes a state of complete fulfillment, wholeness,
and wellness. With the Lord, there is shalom.”

Make it personal: What does this passage reveal to me about
God? What does this passage reveal to me about myself? Based
on this, what changes do I need to make? What is my prayer
for today?

Have a week filled with Shalom,
Glen Rhodes, Minister of Discipling and Community Life, Arthur Mennonite Church