One of the most fun things for me when studying the Bible is the way the Old Testament and the New Testament complement each other. Today’s passage is a great example of the Old Covenant merging into the New. The difference between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant, though important, is fairly simple. The Old Covenant was based on adherence to the law, in which the Israelites had to try to find ways to live up to being the people God had wanted them to be from before the fall. However, they just couldn’t seem to keep all the laws and rules. Therefore, Jesus came to make a way for all of us to have a right relationship with God. Jesus gives us the New Covenant, in which the Holy Spirit is given freely to believers to help guide us through this life.
Throughout this week, we have looked at an Old Testament passage that has given us insight into who God really is, and how he wants to be our helper and protector. In the story of Gideon, we see all the ways that God is here for his people. Gideon shows us that even when we have fears and doubts, even when we doubt God, God is always here for us. That is a recurring theme in the Old Testament, that even though Israel turns away time and again full of doubts and fear, God is willing to forgive and wants to have a good relationship with his people.
In the New Testament, the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus make it clear that God is not willing to let any of us go. That fact should be enough to calm all fears and allay all doubts. But, we as humans still struggle. Even the most devout Christian has moments! That is why I love this passage from Philippians so much. I highly recommend committing it to memory, for it has helped me through more anxiety than I can say. I used to wake up in the middle of the night and worry. When I first became a Christian, I was instructed to memorize this passage, and when I would wake up at night, I would say it until I fell back to sleep. Now, on the very rare occurrence that I cannot sleep, it is my go-to sleep aid.
The similarities between these Old and New Testament passages are pure and simple. God is Peace. This is written on the altar of Gideon in Hebrew as “Yahweh Shalom.”
The LORD is PEACE or YAHWEH SHALOM. The meaning behind shalom goes deeper than the usual meaning of peace, which is the absence of conflict or being calm. It also means wholeness, perfection, safety, and wellness. True shalom comes when one abides with God in a covenant relationship because he, alone, gives complete satisfaction, fulfillment, and harmony with himself and others. We, like Gideon, are broken, lost, and fearful. Only a true encounter with Yahweh Shalom, the source of all peace, and His Son, Jesus, the Prince of Peace (SAR SHALOM), will bring peace in the deepest meaning of the word.
So, tell God what you need and don’t be afraid! He wants us to come to him with all of our troubles. When we live in prayerful community with him and gratitude for all he has done, he will give us his perfect peace.
6Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
When you are worried or anxious, what do you do? Do you tell God what you need?
List a couple of steps you could take this week to experience more of God’s peace.
Father, thank you for sending Jesus to make a new covenant with me. Help me to come to you in gratitude and with all of my needs, trusting that you are always with me and will give me peace and guard my heart and mind through your precious Son. Amen.
This post was written by Kelda Strasbourg, Kelda is a grateful member of the LivingItOut writing team. She has a love for Jesus and the desire to help others find that same love. She has her own business and a border collie named Emily.
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