Bible Studies for Life devotional originally published here at the Biblical Recorder.
Focal Passage: Judges 6:11-16, 22-24
Alfred Nobel is known today as the man whose estate funded the Nobel peace prize. What you may not know is that before the peace prize, Nobel invented dynamite. While dynamite has other uses, it was quickly adopted by militaries and used to destroy countless lives in war. Alfred’s brother Ludvig died in 1888. By fateful mistake, Alfred’s obituary was printed instead of Ludvig’s. One newspaper opined, “The merchant of death is dead.” That caption changed Alfred and led him to fund the peace prize that bears his name. We are a world enamored with peace that that seems impossible to achieve. Conflict continues geopolitically and interpersonally. Peace evades us. In Gideon’s story, the people of Israel were not at peace. They were under Midian’s rule because of their sinfulness. God chose Gideon to lead Israel to cast off Midian. After perceiving he had met the angel of the Lord, he became afraid. But God said, “Peace be to you. Do not fear; you shall not die.” God promised Gideon peace. But Gideon would face internal turmoil and lead armies into battle, how could there be peace? We can have peace with God even though our external situations do not reflect it. Gideon met an angel of the Lord, likely none other than a preincarnate appearance of Jesus Christ. The peace we so desperately need, the peace the world lacks and the peace Nobel hoped to achieve with his prize met Gideon that day. Jesus is the Prince of Peace. He came to bring us peace, to end our war with God, to release us from sin’s bondage. Jesus is also the King of kings and he will return. One day interpersonal turmoil, political parties and international conflicts will be in the distant past because there will be One King, One Ruler, One Prince, One Lord, and all will bow before him as the Prince of Peace.