Thought for the Month
"War and peace" are subjects which have been thrown to the front of the news cycle with the invasion of Ukraine. At the time that this issue is being prepared one can only surmise what the state of the conflict will be, by the time the magazine lands in May. But what does the Bible say about peace?
Peace is a greeting in many New Testament epistles by Peter and Paul as well as Jude and John. The "peace of God" is with us as it says in Phil.4:7 and goes beyond anything the human mind can attain. A life without God would mean a life without real peace but a life with God prevents us from becoming overly anxious in our present lives. It can and does abide in the Christian heart. God knowing the end from the beginning which was indicated in the "lamb slain from the foundation of the world," knows all things are working out for good and according to His plan.
Israel would have had peace if they had listened to and acted upon God’s commandments and warnings. (Isa.48:18; Psa.37:37) When it was not so they had no peace and suffered at the hands of their neighbours such as the Amorites and the Philistines. Later it was at the hand of Assyria and then by the Babylonians. Even the likes of Nebuchadnezzar having conquered Israel and the then known world knew only periods of temporary peace before conflict came to them under the threat of the Medo‑Persians and the same thing happened to them at the hand of the Greeks.
Our Lord Jesus knew the peace of God. He had an understanding of the plans and purposes of God. He exhibited great peace throughout his ministry as well as in Gethsemane where he communed with his Father and when suffering on the cross. He understood too that world peace depended on his sacrificial death. To us he is the greatest example we have.
Till this Christian era finally closes the Christian has the peace of God in charge of their hearts and minds. (Col.3:15) We need this because as our Lord Jesus said in this world order or arrangement we will have trouble. Hence the necessity to have peace that no man can take away. (John 16:33)
Some had thought Jesus’ mission as Messiah and Christ was to overthrow the rule of Rome from the land of Israel. This was not so at his first advent. We saw Jesus’ many acts of healing even the healing of the High Priest’s servant whose ear was severed by the sword of the disciple Peter at Jesus’ arrest by his angry foes showing that his kingdom would not be like this present world.
Jesus’ Messianic reign here, is yet future, when the work of righteousness shall be peace and its effect quietness and assurance for ever. (Isa.32:17) In due time it will rule the world from pole to pole and from shore to shore and shall last for ever as described by the prophet in Daniel 2.
The instruction therefore to the Christian is to follow after peace or as another expression has it that peace may be our aim. (Rom.12:18; 1 Cor.7:15; 1 Pet.3:11; 1 Tim.2:2)