Isaiah 9:6 (NIV)
“For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
It’s the second week of Advent, which is the week of Peace, so I wanted to take a moment to write about peace.
So often we have this vision of peace that is laid-back, pacifist, compromising, and non-confrontational. We envision a doormat who’s peacefulness is taken advantage of and who is a “Casper Milquetoast” kind of guy. Or sometimes we might think of someone who’s a hippie and into “Peace and love,man! Love everybody!”
In the Old Testament the word used for peace is “shalom”and according to Strong’s Lexicon that word was translated: “peace, well, peaceably, welfare, salute, prosperity, did, safe, health, peaceable” and “pay, peace, recompense, reward, render, restore, repay, perform, good, end, requite, restitution, finished, again, amends, full.” In New Testament Greek the word for “peace” is “eirene” which means “have peace, be at peace, one, rest, quietness.”
The concept of “peace” is actually tied to the fourth commandment: “Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy.” Is that really a commandment to go to church on Sundays or telling Jews to go to shul on Saturdays? Not really–although I’m pretty sure our pastors or rabbis might want it to be! The concept of that commandment is to never, ever forget the “Sabbath rest” we are able to enjoy due to God’s work. When God created the universe, He was not “tired”–He rested as symbol of the Sabbath rest to come–the saving work of His Son–and *THAT* is what He wanted us to remember. God’s work was that while we were sinners, and undeserving of ANY peace or rest–Christ died for us. While we were in a pit of doing what we knew was wrong and not doing what we knew was right, and digging ourselves deeper every day, God became flesh (that’s what this Advent anticipation and Christmas is all about) and lived among us. He lived the perfect life and did not deserve death–we were NOT perfect and were dead already! But Christ took our punishment, bore our blame, and died on our behalf. He lifted us up out of the hole and now we are at rest! The fourth commandment is to “Remember the Sabbath rest to keep it holy” — and when we believe Christ died and rose again for us–then WE are at peace. The kind of peace Isaiah was talking about when he wrote those prophetic words.
Do you have troubles in your marriage? Are you facing infidelity? First come to the peace of Sabbath rest–believe Christ died and rose again for you, in your place. Once you are at peace with God, He’s already lifted you out of the pit you were digging, so you are at peace with HIM! Then you can give God your marriage, dwell in peace with your spouse, (aka harmony, calmness, contentment, and tranquility) and let God change you.