“But the LORD said to him, “Peace! Do not be afraid. You are not going to die.” (Judges 6:23 )
Gideon encountered the angel of the Lord, and inquired of this angel why the Israelites were so pressed upon and oppressed. The angel had declared, “The LORD is with you, mighty warrior.” (verse 12b) Gideon was pretty upfront and “in-your-face” with the angel, acting like the proud young buck that verse 12b, 14, and 16 state him to be. But when Gideon realizes that it was God the Almighty he was bantering with and testing, his bravery turns to fear . . . and then comes verse 23.
I wish we could carry with us such reassurance. It is okay to talk to God. It is okay to ask God for explanations. It is even okay to test God. This was not the last time that Gideon tested God; Gideon was also the guy with the fleece. Remember, wet fleece and dry ground, and then dry fleece and wet ground.
There are many dangers in this world, and working for peace does not automatically mean that one will never be a victim of violence. In fact, working for peace and putting one’s self directly in the path of violence in order to stand firm for peace can be quite dangerous. But it is never dangerous to seek answers from God.
It may, however, be dangerous to work on God’s behalf. God never says don’t be afraid to be in the world; the Lord just assures us that divine revelation will not be dangerous if we are in line with that revelation. It can be scary out there, living for peace and struggling to establish shalom.
May you gentle reader stand in peace and safety before our Lord, strengthen for service for our God. Selah!