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“When Peace Like A River”

September 26th, 2004

“…Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river…”

(Isaiah 66:12)

“And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace,
for them that make peace”

(James 3:18)


The Lord calls us to a life of peace (Psalm 34:14; 119:165; Psalm 46:4; Proverbs 12:20; Isaiah 26:3; 48:18,22; 66:12; 1 Corinthians 7:15; Philippians 4:7; 1 Timothy 2:2; Hebrews 12:14; 2 Peter 3:14). And, what is this peace? this shalom of the ancient patriarchs and prophets?

1. What this peace is not – This peace is not false optimism. Isaiah (Isa. 57:19-21), Jeremiah (Jer. 6:14; 8:11) and Ezekiel (Ezek. 13:10) all affirm this very point. Jesus, himself, cautioned against unreal expectations of this world (John 14:27). This peace is not the absence of war, nor of tribulation, but the blessed security of having the Lord as our God (Isaiah 26:3).

2. This peace is a gospel peace – When the gospel is preached, a certain peace is proclaimed (Nahum 1:15; Isaiah 52:7; Romans 10:15). This peace derives especially from the prophecy that Messiah (Christ) would bring a peace by the chastisement of himself (Isaiah 53:5; Colossians 1:20). This we understand to be accomplished through the cross of Christ (Romans 5:1). The message of the gospel preached serves to publish this peace to the world (Acts 10:36-39).

3. This peace is for those “in Christ Jesus” – The scriptures are clear and exact about who the recipients of this peace are: “Peace to you all who are in Christ Jesus” (1 Peter 5:14, NKJV). To be “in Christ Jesus,” is to be in relationship with God through baptism (Matthew 28:19; Galatians 3:27). There is this line from Shakespeare, “Smooth runs the water where the brook is deep” (2 Henry VI, 3.1.53). Is there such a depth in your life today?


–Robert M. Housby