Covenant Words
Covenant Words

Episode 610 · 2 months ago

The Book of Judges #9

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Judges 6:1-24

Upon his word. Lord is I read your word tonight. I pray, God, that you would speak to our hearts. I pray, God, that your word would take root in us and that, Lord, as you promised, that no word of yours shall return void. And so, Lord, we look to your word tonight. We look to you, Holy Spirit, to reveal your truth to us that we may know it in our innermost beings and may walk according to your laws. Bless your word to your people, for I pray in Christ name. Amen. I have a longer text this evening, coming from the book of judges, Chapter Six. I think this is a pretty familiar story to us, but, as the cases with many familiar stories that I find is I go back and read them and realize there's things about that familiar story had forgotten, and so I will read the first twenty four verses of chapter six, reminding you that what I read now is God's holy word. The people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and the Lord gave them into the hand of Midian. Seven years in the hand of Midian overpowered Israel and because of Midian, the people of Israel made for themselves the dens that are in the mountains and the caves and the strongholds. For whenever the Israelites planted crops, the MIDIANITES and the AMALEKITES and the people of the East would come up against them. They would encamp against them and devour the produce of the land as far as Gaza and leave no sustenance in Israel and no sheep or hawks or donkey, for they would come up with their livestock in their tents. They would come like locusts in number both they and their camels could not be counted. So they laid waste to land as they came in, and Israel was brought very low because of median and the people of Israel cried out for help to the Lord. When the people of Israel cried out to the Lord on account of the Median Nights, the Lord sent a Prophet to the people of Israel and he said to them, thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, I led you up from Egypt and brought you out of the House of Bondage, and I delivered you from the hand of the Egyptians and from the hand of all who oppressed you, and I drove them out before you and gave you their land. And I said to you, I am the Lord, your God, and you shall not fear the gods of the Amorrights in whose lad you dwell. But you have not obeyed my voice. Now the angel of the Lord came and sat under the terrabant at Oprah, which belonged to josh the Abesr, while his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the wine press to hide it from the median nights. And the angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him, the Lord is with you, Al Mighty Man of Valor, and Gideon said to him, please, sir,...

...if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us, and where are all his wonderful deeds that our fathers recounted to us, saying did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt? But now the Lord has forsaken us and given us into the hand of Midian? And the Lord turned to him and said go in this Mite of yours and save Israel from the hand of Midian. Do not I send you? And he said to him, please, Lord, how can I save Israel? Behold, my clan is the weakest in Manessa and I am the least in my father's house, and the Lord said to him, but I will be with you and you shall strike the median nights as one man. And he said to him, if now I have found favor in your eyes, then show me a sign that it is you who speaks with me. Please do not depart from here until I come to you and bring up my present and set it before you. And he said, I will stay to your return. So Gideon went into with house, prepared a young goat and unleavened cakes from ANA flower. The meat he put in a basket and the broth he put in a pot and brought them to him under the terramans and presented them. And the Angel of God said him take the meat and the unleavened cakes and put them on the Rock and pour the broth over them, and he did so. Then the angel of the Lord reached out the tip of the staff that was in his hand, touched the meat and the unleavened cakes, and fire sprang up in the rock and consumed the flesh and the unleavened cakes, and the angel of the Lord Vanished from his sight. Then Gideon perceived he was the angel of the Lord and Gideon said, Alas, oh Lord God, for now I have seen the angel of the Lord face to face. But the Lord said to him, peace be to you, do not fear, you shall not die. Then Gideon built and altared there to the Lord and called it the Lord is peace. To this day it is still stands at Oprah, which belongs to the EAS. Thus will and the reading of God's Word Please be seated. As I mentioned this morning, I am picking up the book of judges where I left off in my message to my previous church, which means we're looking at judges chapter six, as we just read. And again, because this passage is fairly long, I'm not going to be expositing every single verse in the text this evening. Should check to make sure that I'm going to stay on time here and uh, but, but I will be trying to get the gist of the story together with you, and then I want to make some application to us. So we're gonna look first at the background to the story in the first ten verses, and then we will look at the call to Gideon, which takes place in verses eleven to four. So let us begin with verse one. Here we have a very familiar phrase in judges says the children of Israel did evil in the side of the...

Lord. This is followed immediately by another familiar phrase that you may know, appears in judges a few times. And the Lord delivered them into the hand of and you can insert whatever particular enemy Israel would be dealing with at that time. Up until this time in the book of judges, we have had Mesopotamia, we have had MOAB, we have had the Philistines and the Canaanites. And here the enemies that the Lord is going to deal with and that our pressing Israel are two old enemies of Israel, the medianites and the Amalekites, and both of those have been enemies for a while. The median nights, you might remember, were first mentioned in the story of Joseph, when Joseph's brothers decided to sell him as a slave to the median nights and day in turn, Remember Soul Joseph to an Egyptian named Potiphar. They also APP here. Has the enemies of Israel under Moses in numbers tween five versus seventeen and eighteen, harassed the media nights and strike them down for they have harassed you, harassed you with their wiles with which they beguiled you, in the matter of pure and in a matter of Cosby this daughter of the chief of Midian, their sister, who was killed on the day of the plague on account of PR and then in chapter thirty one, verse three, we read this and Moses spoke to the people, saying arms some of yourselves onto the war and let them go against the media night and avenge the Lord of Midian. And of course you remember Amelek, as they figured prominently in exit the Seventeen and a very famous story where Moses hands when they're lifted and Israelites are winning and we dropped them. They're losing, and so Aaron and her are holding up his hands at that time. Do you can you remember back to when you were a child? Um, probably can to some point, but you remember, and maybe maybe not everybody did this like I did. Do you remember when you touched a hot burner on the stove? Uh, even though your parents might have told you not to do it and that it wasn't a smart thing to do, you might have done it and that experience tends to stay with you and you think I am never going to do that again. Or you're outside and you take your shirt off in this beautiful toss on weather and uh, you're just enjoying yourself so much that all of a sudden you look and you're baked completely red and you think, I'm never going to take my shirt off again, I'm gonna wear sunscreen or something. And you know, maybe you do or maybe you don't learn and you keep doing it and keep getting burnt. I don't know, but Israel keeps doing the same thing over and over again. They just don't learn. They keep on doing the same thing and they get burnt. I noticed that some of the writers on this passage make no to the fact that the word again doesn't appear in...

...this verse. It simply says they did evil, but not like it those other places where it says they again did evil. Now perhaps there is something in the omission of the word again, but I had kind of a hard time seen it. But some suggest that the last phrase of Chapter Five says Israel, or the land, had rest for forty years after the praise song of Deborah and that therefore there was kind of a breaking for a while of Israel's backsliding and you probably know the way that Israel backslides, the sin they keep falling into, and tell the Babylonian captivity is idolatry, the serving and the worshiping of other Gods. Now I found it interesting in comparing different commentaries and the different sources that I consulted on his passage. Some made the point that the oppression that the Israelites faced under the media NITES was not as bad as it had been among other oppressions they had in the book of judges. But then I read other commentaries that say this is the worst oppression that Israel has ever had under their enemies. So I can I can see from that that the commentaries don't know everything. But the one difference we can see about this oppression is the length of the oppression is shorter. It's only seven years. Now. Verse Two seems to get more credit to those who look at the oppression as a worst oppression, because it seems Israel was forced to flee their homes and then make caves in the mountains. Now you can do that here. We can't do that in Minnesota because we don't have those mountains. We want to make a cave, we gotta go underground. That's that's that's how we can make a cave when we're there, but you could do it here, I suppose. And UH. In versus three through six, it seems like both the produce and the economics of the nation are being laid low at this time. And things are happening, name that people would plant Crofts, but before they could enjoy the harvest. Uh, then the marauders are come and take the fruit from them. Jamison, Fawcett and Brown takes the idea that this was the worst oppression and says even life itself is in jeopardy from the attacks of these probably marauders, the vast horde of media nites that overran Kane and made them the greatest gourge which had ever afflicted the Israelites. So you see very clearly what side they're on. In Verses Seven and eight we have a different approach from the Lord than what we've had previously in the book. Instead of raising up a deliverer right away, which he's done in times past, instead God raises up a prophet. We don't know the name of this prophet, we don't know who he is, but the message that he gives in verses eight through ten is a very familiar prophetic ministry that is applicable to God's people in most times. God's reminds God reminds them how he delivered them before from the hands of an oppressor, and now he promised to...

...be with them if only they would serve him and not serve other gods. But the people had not obeyed that. In the end of the message of the Prophet leaves us wondering what's going to happen? Is God indeed going to raise up a deliverer? Well, stay tuned, I've got the answer for you, and here it comes, verse eleven. We are introduced now, as we begin to call of Gideon and these verses, to the man who would be the next judge of Israel. His name is Gideon, and if we pay attention to the timetable, we note that, since the land had rest for forty years, and it was only the last seven years that Israel had been oppressed by the media nights, Gideon had been brought up in mostly peaceful times. Thirty three years the length of time of our Lord's life, and Gideon had been subject to peace o. There have been, of course, many sermons preached about Gideon, and you know how he's a coward and he's behind the rock and he's hiding from the media nights and he doesn't want them to know. And I guess there's something to that, of course, but Um, he's really not doing anything different than anybody else is doing. I mean this is just common sense, right. I mean, if your enemy is coming and stealing your crops whenever you harvest them, then harvest your crops in secret seems to be the wise thing to do. And so he's doing that and he's hiding for safety, and so I don't want to be too hard on Gideon because of this. But we're also informed in his verse of another character who is now making his third appearance in the book of judges. He has identified as the angel of the Lord and he's already appeared in chapters two and chapter five, but this will be the first time that the angel of the Lord appears in judges to a single individual, and it's kind of a strange encounter. It kind of I mean you read it again and it's it seems like, you know, the angels just sitting there under the tree and Gideon's harvesting and nothing's going on and all of a sudden they start a conversation. It's just kind of a weird thing that that's going on there. Now we know from Hebrews chapter one that angels are spirits. They're not physical beings like we are, but in some way it appears that they are able to appear in some kind of physical form or a form that is recognized by human beings. But this particular angel of the Lord seems more special than that. This angel who has appeared, as I mentioned already, and also appeared in the book of Joshua. Of course, this angel appears to actually be at Theophany, which is a pre incarnate appearance of Jesus Christ. Now we see that and kind of there is a interplay where sometimes he's called the...

...angel of the Lord and sometimes he's simply called the Lord. In this passage, remember later on when this being again will appear, this time to the parents of Sampson, and they will say what is your name? That we can tell you know. Good, tell us your name, and he says, why do you ask after my name, since it's wonderful, and of course Isaiah told us that this is one of the names of the Messiah of Jesus Christ, that his name shall be called wonderful. And so in verse twelve he says the Lord is with the Almighty Man of Valor. And again it doesn't seem to fit the circumstances, does it? There he is hiding behind the rock and scared of the media nights and not wanting them to see him, and here comes the angel. Lord said, the Lord is with you, you mighty man of Valor, and that's where it seems perhaps a little odd in this case, and perhaps the contrast is meant to be there, but also maybe giddy and just practicing common sense. And he doesn't seem particularly amazed or upset the periods of the angel, although he seems to identify that this is a greater being, as he identifies the angel as my Lord. That would be small L Lord ad and I, not large capital Lord Uh Yahweh. So he says, Oh, my Ada and I, or master uh if Yahweh is with us, is how he says it. So we have two different names for God there. And then getting asked the question that the saints that God have been asking for years on end. If God is with us, then why is this happening to us if God is with us, why is that happening to us? Why all this bad stuff? And then the second part. Why don't we see the miracles that our forefathers saw when you lead them out of Egypt, with the plagues and the miracles in the Wilderness and all the mighty things that Moses did and the great things we'd hold? Why don't we see that today? People still ask that question, you know. And in verse fourteen we have the kind of reply the Lord gives to these kind of questions, and scripture doesn't really give them much of an answer at all. He simply says simply, well, that's where it is. Basically, it's kind of the question or the answer to that Jesus gave to Peter when he said about John and in John Twenty one he said, uh, what's what's gonna Happen to this man? and Jesus said, you know, if he wants to, if I want him to be around till I come, that's gonna be great, but it doesn't matter to you, it's none of your business. You just do what I've called you to do. And that's how the Lord tends to answer these questions. But he says, Gideon, I'm gonna send you the power of the Lord in Verse Fiften. He objects. Gideon does. So I can't be the one. I mean we're the little travel Manissa and our tribe are our our family is like the the least of the tribes of Madisa and I am the least...

...in my family. So like, you have picked the wrong guy. I am not the guy that's going to be able to do this. And again I kind of like and not don't like at the same time, the response of Gideon. Right, it's it's kind of Nice because it sounds humble. Right, you know, you say it. Why me? I mean, I'm nobody, I'm just you know, I don't I don't have any credentials, I can't do them. kind of like that, they go, that's a that's a good thing, to be humble. But then on the other hand it's like, well, God has just called you that, maybe you should agree with him. Maybe maybe that'd be the right thing to do. But it's a very common thing with God's people in the Bible to to not believe what God tells them. Even Mary, Very Godly Mary, says, how is this possible? So that they don't know a man. How can this be? But Verse Sixteen, the only answer that matters is given the Gideon, the angel of the Lord, or should I say the Lord, said, is but I will be with you, and that's really the only thing that matters, is God saying I am going to be with you. When David faced Goliath as a young man, he said in First Samuel Sev David said that the Philistine, you come to me with a sword and a spear and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defiled. If you go with the Lord being with you, in the name of the Lord, in obedience to the Lord, God will see that the battle is won. It's interesting that earlier Joshua when the angel of the Lord appeared to Joshua, Chapter Five. Might remember the story. And here appears as beery being before Joshua and he says, are you for us or against us? It's a good question him, but what I really like is the answer of the angel. No. Are you for us or against us? No, uh that in other words, that isn't the question. That isn't the issue that matters at this point. But he comes as the captain of the Lord's Army. The question is, is God with us or not? And so Gideon now desires to to show homage to this being and he's going to do so by our and a goat that he's going to bring before him as well. And so that's what he wants to do. And so he goes gets these things, brings them out and lays them upon a rock and pours the broth that he had prepared over those things. And then the angel of the Lord Takes His staff and he touches it with the tip of his staff and all of a sudden fire comes from the rock. The meat is devoured, completely gone, the cakes are gone, everything is gone, and all of a sudden the angel of the Lord Disappears and Gideon, with the...

...typical brilliance that we see so offered in scripture, says, HMM, this could have been the angel of the Lord. H Good, good one, Gideon, very very, very smart. Yes, this is the angel of the Lord, and the Angel of the Lord has departed. Now and and again, Um, we see that, uh, the angel is the son of God, this angel is the theophany that's come there. And and so God assures Israel that even though he's seen him, that he's not going to die and that God says peace will be with you. And in response to that, gideon builds an altar and he calls it Yahweh Shaloge, meaning the Lord is peace. Now this is what I've wanted to draw us to tonight. Okay, this has all been kind of exposition leading up to this particular idea. Now, I'm sure many of you know that there are several compound names of the Lord that are found in the Old Testament, that different characters called him. By Abraham called him Yahwah Yaira, the Lord will provide, or perhaps his other translations put it. The Lord will see. Ezekiel called him Yahweh Shama. The Lord is there, Lord is present. Moses called him Yahweh Rafa, the Lord who heals. Jeremiah called him Yahweh said Canoe. He is the Lord who is our righteousness. All those names tell us something about God and who he is to us and what relationship he has to us. To Gideon is Yahweh Shalom. He is the Lord our peace. So let me give you some application tonight before I come back to this once again. In the story we see a familiar theme that has been dominant in the book of judges, and that theme is God doesn't use always the most apparent person or the person that seems like it should be the person that God would choose. In fact, he tends to use unknown, weak individuals in the book of judges, in fact flawed individuals. All along in the book up too now, God has used individuals that surprises that he would use them. He uses a man of the name of Shamgar, and you might say, well, why is that unusual, because we don't know a lot about Shamgar? Well, Shamgar is not an Israelite name. It's probably a Philistine name. So God would use a Philistine to deliver Israel. And what does he use? He uses an ox gode. I don't know if you've ever seen a picture of OXICO. I looked him up a while ago to see what they were because I wasn't sure what they looked like, and I looked at it and I thought I'm not going into battle of that that that's not...

...a weapon I want. But that's what Shamgar uses to destroy the enemies. He uses a man who is left handed by the name of Ihad, and he uses a person that a lot of people, believe it or not, still struggle greatly with the fact that God used, and that is Deborah. But I say, if God can use a Philistine to deliver Israel, I think he can use an Israelite woman as well. Remember, the historical books are telling the stories. They're not prescribing to us, they're not giving us what we should do, they're just telling us this is what happened, and we remember that. And now we have a man who is the weakest member of the clan, of his tribe, and he is the least in his household. And the point is that God would tell the Corinthians God uses the weak to confound a strong. God uses uh to confound the mighty. I could even say God uses the foolish to confound the wise and the despised of the Earth to con found the noble. There are a lot of warriors mightier to David. Remember the story se also trying my armor on. This stuff does not fit. I can't, I can't wear this, I won't be able to move at all. He's a youth, Saul himself who, the Bible tells us what's head and shoulders above every other Israelite. Saul should have been out there fighting that battle, but it's this youth by the name of David who goes out and does the fighting. And so God picks unusual individuals. We might also ask, well, why in this story does God send a Prophet first instead of a deliverer, as he has in the stories before this? And it's very similar to the story I gave you this morning of John The baptist, where God send the Prophet John the Baptist before the deliverer, Jesus, came. In his commentary on judges, Tim Keller makes the point the Prophet was needed because the people were regretful but repentant. As you read through this chapter of judges, you'll see the people cry out to the Lord because of the oppression of the enemy, but there's no real sign of change in them. In the Bible there's a difference between regretting and repenting. Perhaps well most well known illustration of that would be Um Peter and Judas. Both reacted very similarly after their sin. Peter had denied Christ, Judas had betrayed Christ. Both of them acted with remorse after they had done what they had done. But we read of Peter and Matthew. Peter remembered the saying of the Lord before the Rooster Crows, you would deny me three times. And Peter went out and wept bitterly. Of Judas. We read in Matthew Twenty seven, three and four. Then when Judas, his betrayer, saw Jesus was condemned, he changed his mind and brought back to thirty pieces of silver to the Chief Priest and elder, saying I have sinned by betraying innocent...

...blood. Judas was a regret, peters was a repentance. Paul makes a distinction between these and second Corinthian seven ten, for Godly Grief produces repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death, as it did for Judas. It's easy for us to be regretful over something that we might have done, but are we repentant over what we've done? I would ask you not right now, and you don't have to do this, but I ask you to look through the entire chapter of judges six and see if you can find anywhere, one sign that there is any repentance from Israel. In fact, when you get to the end of the chapter, you read that the men of the area are ready to put Gideon to day. Why? What terrible thing is Gideon done? What is this horrible thing that they need to put them to death? For? Men of the town said to Josh, bring out your son that he may die, for he has broken down the altar of ball and cut down the Astra beside it. That's the terrible thing you did. He cut down the idols of the false gods. That doesn't sound like people had repented to me. Sometimes we need a prophetic voice to come to us, as this prophet that came before Gideon and announced it. Sometimes, I'm not talking about someone that comes and gives revelations and visions and tells us all these things that are going to come, all of that stuff, which has never happens rightly and never does anything and does anybody any good. I'm talking about the voice that comes that says we need to repent, we need to turn to God, we need to leave our idols aside. Those kind of voices encouraging us to return to the Lord, put away idols, and this bring to another point I want to emphasize that I always try to emphasize in my preaching, and that is that salvation, as Jonah said, is of the Lord. Salvation begins with the Lord. Doesn't begin with us. Didn't start with us. God makes the first step. God makes the first move. He didn't wait for Israel to repent in this story, does he? Before he begins to save them, he calls a deliverer. He didn't wait for Gideon to wake up one morning and say, man, I'm a mighty man of Baylor. No, he called Gideon and said you are a mighty man of valor. Paul said in Romans eight that God shows his love for us and while we were sinners, Christ died for us. You always hear people saying things like Oh, I found the Lord. No, he wasn't lost, he really wasn't. You didn't find him, he found you. God didn't wait for Adam to call upon him in the garden and say, Lord, I sin. please. God went looking for...

Adam in the garden. You didn't find God. God found you and he put his spirit into you and he regenerated you. Paul says in First Corinthians, consider your calling, brothers not many of you were wise according to worldly standards. Not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world the shame the wise. God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong. How could the scriptures say it any stronger? It is God who does the choosing. If it isn't, this passage and Corinthians makes absolutely no sense. But it says God chose, God chose, God chose Gideon and God chose us. has his own elect not because of any great thing about us, but because of his love. In Verse Twelve, when Gideon has told God is with him, can't really see any indication that that's true. But God calls those things which are not as though they are, and he does that again and again, as he says in Romans fourth seventeen, Paul says, as it's written, I have made the father of many nations before him, whom he believed, even God, who quickens the dead and calls those things which be not as though they were. In the beginning he called called him as Abram. Abram means high father, so everywhere Abram went somebody would probably say, Oh, high father who are you the father of? UH, nobody, nobody. And then one day God said, okay, that's enough, I'm gonna Change Your name to Abraham, a father of a multitude. And now he's got to say what's Your Abra? Oh, your father of a multitude. Who are they? Well, I'm not really a father of anybody yet, but we recognize if the first name is embarrassing, the second is even worse. But God is calling those things which are not as though they are. So he calls Gideon a mighty man of valor. Who knows what God may call you? Who knows what God may equip you to do? And in verse thirteen. We have that question. If God is with us, if God is with me, why am I depressed? Why cannot I cannot seem to shake this depression? If God is with me, why am I suffering with this disease? Why am I suffering with this pain? It continues to haunt me? If God is with me, why am I so poor? Why am I struggling to make ends meet? If God is with me? If God is with me, it's been the voice of the saints, of God through the years, but those are not signs that God is not with us. I noticed with you, as I try to bring this to a close, the compound name of our God in the text is Yaowish Salom, or the Lord is peace, and I said that all of the compound names of God speak of something we need from God, something that God can be to...

...us, and we need these various things at different times in our life. But one of the things we need from God is peace. You probably know the common greeting of the Jews one to another, is the word Shalom, which means peace. And you remember, perhaps that in every epistle that we know that Paul wrote, he wished his readers grace and peace. Of course, when he came to the Young Man Timothy, he knew he was a young pastor struggling, so he added mercy because Timothy would also need mercy. But every other place he said grace and peace. In the Old Testament you see a book called Song of Solomon. What does his name, Solomon mean? Peace, Shalom. And who is Solomon's bride that he is courting? And she courting him? A shulamite, which means one of the meanings peace. So we see peace everywhere. To those of you like me who are old enough to remember the nineteen seventies, you might remember that one of the greetings we used to say all the time was peace. We even had a sign. You know, we can make a sign with our hands and we could write signs on bulletins and things like that, and we would say peace all the time. And why am I saying that? I don't know that we given up Pre Eminence to peace and our prayers, our Pre Eminence to peace and the things we say one to another. And I'm preaching to myself, if not anybody else here tonight, and I think a lot of times we don't say it and we don't give it that Pre Eminence in our prayers. We don't pray for peace like we ought to, perhaps for our brothers and sisters. But this is something we need. This is something God's people desperately need. I spoke this morning about forgiveness. We need the piece for giveness. We need to know that all is well between God and us. Our confession assures us that is possible for us to lose our assurance, that not necessarily but not not half full assurance, that the saints of God are not necessarily characterized by full assurance and sometimes trouble comes into our life and our peace is forfeited, or sin comes into our life or sickness comes into our life and peace passes away. If I can paraphrase a past Supreme Court justice, we can't explain what that peace is. We know it when we have it, don't we? We know it. Peace Sets believers apart from the world. Twice in the book of Isaiah Isaiah says there is no peace, says God to the wicked. When Isaiah speaks of the coming Messiah, one...

...of the names he ascribes to the Messiah is the Prince of peace, and goes on to say and of the increase of his government and of peace, there will be no end. And in Chapter Verse Three, he says you will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind has stayed on you because he trust in you. In Verse Twelve of the same chapter he says, Oh, Lord, you will ordain peace for us, for you have indeed done for us all our works. In chapter seventeen, he says, and the effective righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever. And eighteen he says, oh, that you had paid attention to my commandments, then your peace would have been like a river and your righteousness like the waves of the sea. WE'RE gonna sing in a little bit, a few seconds here. We're gonna sing when peace, like a river attendeth my way, when sorrow like sea billows roll whatever my lot. Thou hast taught me to say, it is well, it is well with my soul. God's people need his peace. Gideon made an altar and called it the Lord is my peace. God is your peace. If your believer tonight, God is your peace. He wants to comfort you, he wants to fill you with peace. So realize that, that, that is the desire of our God for you. Let's pray. Our God and father of our Lord, Jesus Christ, we thank you again for the promise of peace to your people, that we may dwell in peace, that we may have peace amongst ourselves, that we may have peace in our hearts. And Lord, I pray for your people tonight, and I pray particularly if there are those who perhaps are lacking peace, maybe lacking assurance. Maybe something's happened today to shake it, maybe some sorrow or trouble has come into their life. But, Lord, I pray we may accept your peace and no god, that it is a piece, as you say in your word, that passes all understanding. We can't explain it, but it's there for us and we can dwell in it. And Lord, we thank you for that promise that you have given to us and they pray you'd make it real to your people tonight. In Christ's name, Amen,.

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