But the Lord said to him, “Peace! Do not be afraid. You are not going to die.” NIV
I’m still in the story of Gideon, which is in the Old Testament, before the coming of Christ.
Gideon has just been visited by the Angel of the Lord, and, when he realizes that he has seen the Angel of the Lord face-to-face, he panics.
In the limited study that I’ve done in the Old Testament, it is clear that God does not want people to get too close to Him. There is a story where some approved folks are carrying the Arc of the Covenant and they almost drop it, and this man reaches out to help steady it, and he dies immediately.
When Gideon realizes how close he is to God, he must have immediately feared for his life. Hence this verse.
I find it so amazing — the shift that took place when Christ came to earth. His focus was on drawing people to Him in close personal ways. Children, poor people, sick people, anyone with needs — and isn’t that everyone?
When Christ was crucified, the Bible says that the curtain covering the Holy of Holies in the temple was split from top to bottom … not bottom to top by a human, but top to bottom, by God — so that there would no longer be a barrier between God and us.
What a privilege to have the ability to call upon the Living God in times of trouble and frustration.
I will think about that today.