Yahweh Shalom

This painting was made using watercolor and Prismacolor pencils. I have far to go with drawing and painting people. The wooden mannequin I used doesn’t bend far enough in the right places, but it was fun trying! I even made a little ‘altar’ out of landscaping rock to use as a model. I’m sure the weight of the real stones Gideon used were enough to hold them in place, but I had to use hot glue for my small ones.

The first place in the Bible we see this name of God is in Judges 6:11-24. The whole story of Gideon continues through chapter 8, but this is where the Angel of the Lord appears to him and says, “The LORD is with you, mighty warrior.” The Angel calls him this even though Gideon is hiding, threshing wheat down in a wine press instead of out in the open (you can see it on the left in the painting). By the end of the conversation, Gideon realized that he was talking with the Angel of the Lord (God), face to face! Gideon thought he would die because of that, but the Angel said to him, “Peace to you. Don’t be afraid for you will not die.” Gideon built an altar and called it Yahweh Shalom, the Lord is Peace. Perhaps he built it as a memorial and reminder of what God had told him.

God is the only One Who can give real peace. I’m not talking about the kind of peace that comes from not having wars, or not having upsetting circumstances in your life. God can give spiritual peace even when it is not peaceful on the outside. The hymn “It Is Well With My Soul” came to mind as I was thinking about peace. Horatio Spafford wrote it in 1873 as he passed the spot where his four daughters perished when the ship they and their mother were traveling on, sank. He was on the way to his wife, to bring her home. He and his wife had lost their only son a year or two earlier. Here are the words to the hymn:

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll; Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say, It is well, it is well with my soul.

Refrain:
 It is well with my soul,
 It is well, it is well with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
 Let this blest assurance control,
 That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,
 And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

(Refrain between each verse)

My sin—oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!—
 My sin, not in part but the whole,
 Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
 Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
 If Jordan above me shall roll,
 No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
 Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul

But, Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
 The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
 Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!
 Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul

And Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight,
 The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
 The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend, Even so, it is well with my soul.

The only real peace is the peace of God in your soul.