Peace is often the center of song and prayer, a recurring theme in cultures worldwide. Popular musicians put aside pettiness and competition to record stirring lyrics exalting the human potential in peace. Poets elaborate, dramatize and hyperbolize the concept in verse, whereas historians and photographers immortalize it in detail for posterity, ages to come. There are few who would not enjoy and encourage a long and lasting peace in their personal lives, their country and the world, but it seems so elusive.
Israel was a nation familiar with conquest and defeat, a people who spoke graciously and frequently of peace but rarely enjoyed it. In part, their ignorance, apathy and rebellion played the greater part in their failed pursuit of peace, in spite of a formula frequently stated, as a fact and as a plea, from prophets of God. Peace for any nation, church or individual resides in a people’s trust in God. One instance where the formula for peace is capably summed up is found in Isaiah’s song of Israel.
Open the gates that the righteous nation which keeps the truth may enter in. You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. Trust in the Lord forever, for in Yah, the Lord, is everlasting strength. Isaiah 26:2-4
Note the following:
- The premise of any peace must be found in truth. Wishful thinking and fruitless fantasy are poor substitutes for truth and will never endure. First and foremost, we must have access to, understand and embrace the truth. Only then can we hope for peace, personally or corporately.
- The peace that God provides through our submission to the truth is perfect, complete. There is no peace that compares to that one divinely ordained, which emanates only from God.
- This peace does not happen without total and complete trust in God. He created us, knows us and can satisfy as no other distraction, theory or lifestyle can. Trust cannot be compromised and is manifested in our total submission to His truth.
- This peace to which we have access is only attained when our mind is focused and singularly dedicated to God. Those things that separate us from God need to cease as part of our life and be replaced by a relationship in fellowship with God.
The season of “Peace on Earth” is upon us and these words will be sung, prayed for and revered for a brief moment yet another year. However, looking for peace while simultaneously ignoring God is a fool’s errand. Our unswerving trust in and submission to God’s truth is the only peace on earth available, and it is perfect.