Wolf & Lamb reading: Isaiah 11:6-9
Peace on earth. Isaiah’s prophecy begins with the “root of Jesse” and ends with peace on earth through Him. We have received the first and await the second.
In our reading we see what it must have been like in the Garden of Eden. There was no death. There were no prey and predators battles. There was harmony and peace between ALL. There weren’t even carnivores in the garden. The lion ate straw just like the ox. The return of this peace is coming.
Jesus’ birth was the beginning of that peace. He came to make peace between God and man first. He came to bring us into the Father’s presence by removing our sin. His blood paid the price for our sin. It balanced the scale of judgement and brought us into right standing with God. Not equality, but personal relationship. We can curl up securely in the arms of the Father because Jesus laid us there.
He presented us with an example of peace to our fellow man too. He taught His followers to “love your neighbor as yourself” and to “do good to those who despitefully use you”. Jesus taught us to seek peace. This doesn’t mean that we are to lie down or play the ‘anything goes’ game. We are to stand fast in the truth of His word while also extending love, even to those who hate us. We are to love ‘til it hurts!
While we are in this world we will have trouble. Jesus hasn’t completed the next portion of His work which is to bring true peace to the world. The ‘peace’ we have now between nations is an armed peace. Both sides choose to stop hostilities because of the danger of continuing them. Nuclear bombs, missiles, weapons of mass destruction, huge fighting forces all attempt to ‘keep the peace’ today. But even they fail. Nation rises up against nation on a daily basis. That’s not going to change until Jesus returns to rule the nations.
In the meantime we still can have peace. It is the assurance of KNOWING that God is in control. It is an internal peace. One that comes from God. The animals in the prophecy are not ‘lying down together’ because of some external force making them do so but because their natures will be changed from within. They won’t have the ‘killer instinct’ or the desire to feast on flesh. They will be content; without fear or want.
That is the peace that Jesus brought to share with us. A peace from the Father that frees us from fear. Jesus tells us not to be anxious. He knows our needs and He loves us enough to provide for us. Don’t be anxious! Be at peace. And be CERTAIN that His promises will be fulfilled in HIS time. There will be peace both spiritually and physically when the time comes. Until then, hold fast to His peace within you and extended it to others in love.
Father God, thank You for Your peace in my life. I’m NOT without problems or issues. I face hardship. But I hold fast to Your hand and KNOW that You will walk me through each trial. My heart rests in You. I refuse to hate my neighbor, whoever it may be. I won’t lie down and let the world walk on me or surrender to Satan’s version of the truth but I will keep reaching out in love. I will offer assistance to those who need it, even the ones who have hurt me in the past. I will pray for those who are in need, even if they laugh at me for doing so. I will trust in You for my safety, even if they take my life. YOU are my Rock. You are my peace. You keep me in the palm of Your hand, in the crook of Your arm, and curled up safely in Your lap. Thank You that I can lie down in safety; without fear.