DayBreaks for 8/23/16 – How Do You Define Peace?
The Olympics are over. They are to be a peaceful celebration…a chance to act towards one another in a more civilized way. But, what is peace? How much peace do you have in your life? Do we even know what peace is all about?
“Peace” comes from the Latin, pax. To the Romans, it meant a stoppage of hostilities between the conqueror and the vanquished, with the conqueror dictating terms to the defeated. Pax, even in Rome, was temporary because it depended on who was in a position fo strength. One day it might be one group, the next day someone else.
The Hebrew word for peace, shalom, mean much, much more. It has a rich meaning: wholeness, completeness, soundness, health, safety and prosperity. It carries the idea not or transitoriness, but of permanence.
To Christian, shalom is the state of those who are assured of their present and future salvation in Christ. It gives contentment to those who have it – no matter their earthly lot or circumstance.
Note these differences between pax and shalom:
One person can dictate peace (pax); shalom is a mutual agreement.
Pax is temporary; shalom is a permanent covenant.
Pax is the absence of commotion; shalom the presence of serenity and wholeness.
I think that this is true: sometimes we are more than ready to just settle for détente. And when we aim so low, we miss what is best.
Don’t settle for anything less than shalom – not with relatives, friends, neighbors, employers…but most of all, not with God.
Where do we find shalom? Isaiah 9 tells us Jesus is the Prince of Peace…and of the greatness of his governance and peace there will be no end!
How is his peace different? Isaiah 53 tells us that ..the punishment that brought us SHALOM was on him and by his wounds we are healed.
It seems a bit strange to say this, perhaps, but without war there can be no shalom. Isaiah says to: the punishment that brought peace was laid on him. The full war came raging down on Jesus as the spiritual weapons of mass destruction pummeled Him…because of our sin. The war of God on sin was waged on the cross of Christ. Justice was served. War over!
Shalom came on that day by mutual agreement of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It is what we have been freely given. If you want shalom, you can find it in the Prince of Peace. It will enable you to fear nothing from God – and to be content with your earthly lot – whatever that lot may be.
PRAYER: Prince of Peace, fill us with your shalom! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2016, Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.