Peace in the Face of Terror

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Tuesday, August 2, 2016 0 comments

by Bill Seng

“So Gideon built an altar to the Lord there and called it The Lord is Peace. To this day it stands in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.” ~Judges 6:23

My all-time favorite film franchise is Japan’s Godzilla series. In 2004, Toho, the company that produces the Godzilla movies, decided to make their last Godzilla movie of the decade and indefinitely, titled Godzilla: Final Wars. For those who might not know who Godzilla is, he is a giant dinosaur-like monster that breathes atomic breath. He destroys cities because he was awakened from a long slumber by an atomic explosion, which enraged him. In Final Wars, after Godzilla defeats the final alien menace that threatens to destroy the earth, he is confronted by a band of humans who had previously been battling with him. They poise themselves for battle, but he rears up, ready to wipe them out with a single breath. But then, Godzilla’s son runs between them and protects the humans from being harmed. What appeared to be a moment of sheer terror for these people ended up being a moment of peace and reconciliation.

When I see this scene, I remember the wrath that mankind deserves from God as a result of sin. We forget how terrible our sin is. We often live our day to day lives not only not thinking about sin, but embracing it. When you come to the realization of how severe the consequences for your sins are, it’s like standing at the feet of a 300 ft. tall monster that’s about to melt you with his breath.

Back in the days of the Old Testament, Gideon understood this. Many people understood that meeting God face-to-face was a horrible thing. The Greeks even have myths where people encountered the full glory of a god only to perish in its presence. Even Moses, when he requested to see God’s glory, was only allowed to see a small glance of it as he would not be able to endure its fullness. The author of Hebrews says, “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (10:31). It is because of our sin that we cannot endure God’s full presence. God has every right to wipe us all off of the face of the earth and cast us into the pit of hell, if that were his desire.

l However, we can rejoice because that is not his desire. Just like Final Wars, God’s wrath had swelled up to the point where he could have destroyed us. It was only because of the intercession of God’s Son, Jesus, that God’s wrath was satisfied and that mankind could be at peace with God. The problem we have now is that not many people are aware that God has made peace with them!

Gideon set up an altar and named it “The Lord is Peace” (Judges 6:24). This is a testimony to God’s goodness that anybody who would pass by would recognize that God is good. God has been so horribly slandered today that people are under the impression that God only desires wrath and has no interest in mercy. Since we know better, we ought to be that reminder for those who are unaware.

Though there is much to be fearful of God about, we have peace with him through Jesus Christ. His wrath against us has been satisfied through the sacrifice of his Son and it was through this sacrifice that we are drawn to him. In Gideon’s day they built altars to receive sacrifices and to commemorate things that God did for them. In Romans 12, we learn that we are living sacrifices. Thus, we are the testimony and the reminder and the witness of God’s love to the world.

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