February 12, 2018

Deeply Rooted - Week 3:

Psalm 34:8-14; 1 Peter 3:8-12

When we use the word “peace,” we often use it to talk about the absence of conflict. We want our kids to get along and settle down when we ask for some “peace and quiet” in our homes. We know the best Miss America contestants always answer “world peace” when asked interview questions because they want the wars on earth to come to an end. My girls like to say “peace out” as they leave church and flash the peace sign to their teachers. That’s the slang way of saying, “go in peace.” And the circular peace sign, widely used today, was originally known as the nuclear disarmament symbol.

In the Bible, the word “peace” isn’t just the absence of trouble, but rather expresses that which makes for a man’s highest good. In the east, when one man says to another, “Shalom,” it does not mean he wishes for the other man only the absence of evil things, but he wishes for him the presence of all good things. In the Bible, peace means not only freedom from all trouble but also enjoyment of all good. The Greek word for peace, eirene, is from the verb eiro which means to join or bind together that which has been separated. The word “peace” is a picture of the joining together again of that which had been separated or divided; it is wholeness.

Psalm 34 is quoted by Peter in the New Testament when he’s writing to believers scattered all over modern-day Turkey. Peace is one of the marks that will set them apart from the world. Peace doesn’t just happen, but peace must be sought. Peace must be fought for and followed. We must turn away from evil and do good. This is how our world will know we are different. And God will use this peace to draw others to himself.