“And Gideon built an altar to Yahweh there and he called it, ‘Yahweh-Shalom.’ Even unto this day, it is still in Ophrah of the father of the Ezrites.”
Now, given that the Angel of Yahweh has moved on, Gideon begins his work as a Judge over Israel with worship. He builds a formal altar at that place (one which still exists when this book is being written) and worships there, naming the place, “Yahweh is Peace.” The title of the place anticipates God’s call on Gideon’s life, for “peace,” in its Biblical context, does not so much deal with the cessation of war as it deals with the removal of those things that hinder your worship — deliverance from the effects of sin. Thus, as Gideon overthrew the Midianite oppressors, peace was established (sadly, only for a short season!).
What is most significant about this event is the prominence given to worship. As God’s people, all of our lives should be marked by worship. And, while we no longer make blood sacrifices on altars, we do establish special places in our lives where God has worked mightily. These become witnesses to the community and reminders to us for days of trial that God is yet enthroned in the heavens and no amount of evil, nor Satan’s greatest attacks, can ever change that reality.
And so, we bow before the Lord and worship before any work is done. And no matter how busy our days nor great our responsibilities, all things fall as a distant second to our worship of the Almighty God, our King. How sad it is that so many professing Christians have mistaken this reality. How sad it is that sports or income or hobbies or simple sloth have gotten in the way of this great and wonderful calling which we have been given. So, let us cast these worldly things to the side and worship…daily in our private places of prayer and with our families and weekly with the household of God.