The Peace of God

In peace, let us pray to the Lord.

This Kingdom may be described and characterized as God’s peace, His shalom, His saving presence in the midst of a warring world. The Hebrew word shalom, usually rendered simply as “peace”, includes more than the simple absence of war or conflict. It includes prosperity, well-being, safety, security. Through the prophet Isaiah God promised that He would “extend shalom to [Jerusalem] like a river, and the glory of the nations like an overflowing stream” (Isa 66:12). The image of an “overflowing stream” is not that of a peaceful lazy river, but a mighty torrent (the New English Bible renders this last “like a stream in flood”). Previously, Israel experienced drought, captivity, fear, and death, being alienated from God and at war with him through their rebellion. Now God had created peace, shalom.

The Lord Jesus promised this gift when He said to his disciples that in him, they would have peace. Though they were still in the midst of a warring world, a world in tumult and offering them nothing but tribulation, they need not fear, for He had overcome the world (John 16:33). St. Paul spoke of this peace when he wrote that “having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom 5:1). Formerly we were alienated from God, living as rebels and children of wrath (Rom 5:10; Eph 2:3), but now through Christ we have been brought near to God. Christ Himself is our peace, for He has made peace through the blood of his cross (Eph 2:14; Col 1:20). If we remain in him, we remain firmly anchored in God’s shalom, His Kingdom, in which all conflict is overcome.

Read more: Peacemakers (opens in a new tab)