Names of God – Jehovah Shalom
Jehovah Shalom, the Lord is Peace. Most of us had a good idea of what this name meant when we saw it. We all know that the Hebrew word, shalom, means peace, but it goes so much further than that. In fact, the Jewish people use this word, shalom, to say hello and goodbye.
As soon as we hear the word peace, most of us automatically think of the peace sign, holding up two fingers, peace demonstrations. But, the word shalom conveys muc7h more than that. It means complete peace, a feeling of contentment, being whole, being complete, it puts across a wish of well-being and harmony. The definition of shalom in the Strong’s Concordance is, “7965 Shalom means completeness, wholeness, health, peace, welfare, safety, soundness, tranquility, prosperity, perfectness, fullness, rest, harmony, the absence of agitation or discord. Shalom comes from the root verb Shalom meaning to be complete, perfect and full. In modern Hebrew, the obviously related word Shelem means to pay for, and Shulam means to be fully paid.”
I know this is starting with a lot of facts, but I wanted to dispel any preconceived notions of what peace is before we get started. The name Jehovah Shalom is only used once in the Bible, but the picture of the God of peace is throughout. Gideon used this name when he built an altar after the angel appeared to him in Ophrah, Judges 6:24 “And Gideon built an altar to the Lord there and named it Yahweh-Shalom (which means “the Lord is peace”). The altar remains in Ophrah in the land of the clan of Abiezer to this day.”
We’ve seen the definition of Shalom, so what exactly does Jehovah Shalom imply? First, notice that Jehovah Shalom does not mean the Lord brings peace, it doesn’t mean the Lord gives peace, it means the Lord IS peace. The Lord is the very embodiment of peace, and when the Holy Spirit lives in you, you have perfect peace living in you. You have contentment, completeness, wholeness, health, peace, welfare, safety, soundness, tranquility, prosperity, perfectness, fullness, rest, harmony, and the absence of agitation or discord, living in you. In fact, in John 14:16 Jesus told His disciples, “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you.” Christ was talking about giving us the Holy Spirit in this verse, and the word He used here that is translated as “advocate” is the Greek word “Parakletos” which also means, comforter, encourager, or counselor. So, what all of this is saying is, when you have the Holy Spirit living in you, you are complete.
We find the word peace 362 times in the Bible, that’s almost one time for every day of the year. We see it used by the angels when they were announcing the birth of the Christ, in Luke 2:14 “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.” We see over and over throughout the gospels Jesus telling people, after He heals them, to go in peace. On Christ’s “Triumphant Entry” into Jerusalem, just before He was crucified, He said this about the city, Luke 19:42 “How I wish today that you of all people would understand the way to peace. But now it is too late, and peace is hidden from your eyes.” You see, the way to peace is only through Christ. He said in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” Okay, I’m going to be controversial again. People today, even some who claim the name of Christ, say we are all worshiping the same God. That is not the truth. The problem is that we have redefined what “tolerance” means. Tolerance does not mean to give validity to everything others believe, that is lunacy. Tolerance means to tolerate what others believe, even if it is wrong. We can’t hate people for having other beliefs, in fact, the Bible tells us to love them and pray for them. But, we have a responsibility to share the truth with them, and that truth is that Christ is the ONLY way to the Father and the ONLY way to true peace…because “They don’t know where to find peace.” Romans 3:17.
Peace is a gift from God. Jesus said in John 14:27, “I am leaving you with a gift-peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” In John chapter 16, Christ is telling us about the work the Holy Spirit will do in our lives. He starts telling His disciples how He will be leaving them, but that their sadness will be turned to joy when the Holy Spirit comes upon them. Then He ends it all in verse 33 by saying, “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” We can have true peace in Christ. Notice again, He doesn’t say that our lives will be easy, He says that we will have many trials and sorrows in this world, but He doesn’t end with that, He says “But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” There’s that perfect peace. We can rest assured that, as my son, Caleb likes to say, “God’s got this.”
I won’t go over every verse on peace, but I encourage you to do a study on the subject, keeping in mind the true meaning of the word. The world today is searching for peace. The problem is they are looking in all the wrong places. They think they will find peace by redefining tolerance, they think they will find peace by marching and demonstrating, they think they will find peace by seeking the pleasures the world offers. But, we have the truth. We have true peace and the only source of it.
If you are a Christ follower, it is your duty, both to God and your fellow man, to bring them true peace. If they reject it, that’s on them. Ezekiel 33:7-9 7 “Now, son of man, I am making you a watchman for the people of Israel. Therefore, listen to what I say and warn them for me. 8 If I announce that some wicked people are sure to die and you fail to tell them to change their ways, then they will die in their sins, and I will hold you responsible for their deaths. 9 But if you warn them to repent and they don’t repent, they will die in their sins, but you will have saved yourself.” So, as Christ said right before He ascended to heaven, go and make disciples.