Pondering Paul’s Epistles – Philippians 4:8-9
8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
There are 4 other times that this phrase is used in the New Testament.
The God of peace be with you all. Amen. Romans 15:33
The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you. Romans 16:20
May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Thessalonians 5:23
Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. Hebrews 13:20-21
The previous passage in Philippians talked about how to experience the peace of God. This passage talks about how to experience the God of Peace. I don’t know if Paul, who was very fluent in Old Testament, had the story of Gideon in mind when he talked about the God of Peace but it would not surprise me if he did.
At a time in Gideon’s life when he was anything but a leader or a strong man of valor, at a time when he was anxious and afraid, God sought him out and revealed Himself to Gideon as Jehovah Shalom, the God of peace… (This is the only time in the Older Testament where God is referred to this way. It’s a great story to read if you are not familiar with it)
So the Lord said to Gideon, “Peace be with you; do not fear, you shall not die.” And then Gideon built an alter in that place and called it THE-LORD-IS-PEACE: Jehovah-Shalom. (Judges 6:23-24)
Gideon needed the peace of God in his life. But even more so he needed the God of peace. As do we! Ponder what Paul says here in Philippians 4 – there are some “secrets” revealed that will help you experience both the peace of God and the God of peace.
Jehovah Shalom, I am grateful for the peace you give even when life is crazy. And I have no doubt that I know the peace of God because I know You, the God of peace.