False and true peace, part 3
1st of March
This time I want to show you some Bible-verses that talk about peace and I will definitely recite some. This will be the last part of the theme: “False and true peace”, at least for this time.
I will start with Exodus 18. Jethro, the father-in-law of Moses, had seen that Moses had way too much to do and he had given him an advice to install leaders over one thousand, one hundred, fifty and ten. People came to Moses in order to get advice since they knew that he could hear from God. They were standing in long queues and they got very tired and probably very impatient. Moses was also worn out. Jethro says in verse 23: “If you do this thing, and God so commands you, then you will be able to endure, and all of these people will also go to their place in peace.” I believe that Jethro was a wise man. If one has too much to do, one can easily become stressed. Can’t you see the people getting tired and irritable and they might start arguing and fighting about who was first? I can easily see the unrest in that queue. I believe that the word peace here describes a form of satisfaction. Everybody should be satisfied. That creates peace. Chaos is the opposite of peace. I believe that Jethros’ advice is just as current today as it was then. If you are going to arrange something, be sure that you have enough helpers and be sure that everyone knows what to do. That creates an atmosphere of joy and peace.
I believe that joy and peace are twins. One follows the other.
I am not saying that we can’t have peace in the middle of sorrow. I have been to funerals where the peace of God and His presence have been. I believe that the secret is His presence. Where there is only religion, one can get a false peace and this one can be difficult to distinguish from the real one. One might go to a cathedral or a church and one might listen to organ music or see candles, but no one is preaching about sin, repentance and grace or what Jesus did on the Cross. A restless soul might calm down, but there is no food for the spirit. I mentioned new religion before. New Age and Yoga are examples of that. People are seeking, but only Jesus can give real peace and He is not dependent on a cathedral. He can meet you everywhere and give you peace.
In the Numbers 6:22 we can read about the priestly blessing. It was the Lord Himself telling Aaron and his sons to bless the people of Israel. We read in verse 26: “The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace.” God wants us to have peace and that is part of His blessings. Fear and strife belong to the curses and we must look upon them as enemies. Even in a country like Israel with so much war and threats of war, they greet each other with this word: Shalom. It means peace. I can’t think of any other country that needs this God-given word more than Israel.
In the 1st Book of Samuel we can read in chapter 25:5+6 that David sent ten young men to Nabal and they should greet him with peace and say: “Peace be to you, peace be to your house, and peace to all that you have.” When you greet someone with peace, you do not wish anything evil for that person unless you are bad and uses this word as a trick. I am talking about honest people now. When I ask for protection, I ask for protection for my family as well as everything that belongs to us. If anything should happen to anybody in the nearest family, it would affect me. David is therefore calling upon peace for everybody in the family as well as their belongings.
When I read the Old Testament, I can see that they often asked if they came with peace. I actually think that they asked if they had any evil plans or if they had the right motives. They asked: “Should I trust you? “
In the psalms 72 and 85 we read that righteousness and peace belong together. In 72:3 we read that the mountains will bring peace to the people, and the little hills, by righteousness. In 85:10 it says that righteousness and peace have kissed.
In psalm 119:165 we read: “Great peace have those who love Your law, and nothing causes them to stumble.” The love for the Word of God is emphasized here. It is not easy to distinguish between the person and what the person is saying. In John 1 it says that Jesus is the Word. The ones that love the Word of God, love God and that creates great peace. It is impossible to love God without loving what He says.
My favorite verses in the Bible are Isaiah 53:4+5 and in the fifth verse it says that the chastisement for our peace was upon Jesus. Chapter 54 is called a peace-covenant in my Norwegian Bible. I recommend that you read it.
You can go with me to Jeremiah 33 and read about peace in verse 6 and 9. In verse six it says that the Lord will heal them and reveal to them the abundance of peace and truth. In verse nine it says that they will tremble for all the goodness and prosperity that He will give to them. In my Norwegian Bible it says: “goodness and peace”. I have earlier said that truth and peace go together, but I also believe that peace and goodness go together.
In Malachi 2:6 we read that peace and equity go together. Some versions say honesty. The Lord said that Levi walked in peace and equity and that lead to the fact that many turned away from their sinful living. Our way of behaving can either lead them to Jesus or away from Him. I have unfortunately heard many say that they didn’t become a Christian because of the way they were treated by some of them. Peace, equity and honesty are key words for saving people.
I will also take some examples from the New Testament. The first one is from Mark 5:34: A woman with a blood disease touched the garment of Jesus and a power went out from Him and healed her. Jesus felt that this happened and He said to the woman: “Daughter, your faith has made your well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.” Jesus and His disciples often greeted people with peace. Here Jesus conveyed both healing and peace and she received it.
Jesus says in John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” We see here that the world can give peace, but His peace is different. Philippians 4:7 says that His peace surpasses all understanding.
The letter to the Romans 8:6 says that the spiritually minded has life and peace. The Lord wants us to have life in abundance and peace and life belong together.
It says in 1: Corinthians 14:33 that God is not the author of confusion, but of peace. If there are chaos and confusion, we know that these things come from the enemy.
The Gospel is called the Gospel of Peace. (Eph.6:15)
Both 1.Thessalonians 5:13 and Hebrew 12:14 say that we should keep peace with one another and pursue holiness. Wars, divisions and strife are really not the will of God and He should not be accused to be the source of it.
LET US LIVE IN THE PEACE OF CHRIST AND GIVE IT TO EVERYONE WE MEET! SHALOM!