Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.
The idea of peace dominates the Bible. In fact, the very first pages of Scripture indicate that peace was the common denominator in the Garden of Eden. That is, before sin. Man was at peace. The animals were at peace. The earth was at peace. God was at peace with mankind. Then when man’s sin interrupted that peace there in the Garden there was a separation between man and God for all history. But God has not allowed it to stay like that. At the cross, Jesus became our peace by taking all the sin of mankind upon Himself to make peace between us and God. The Bible also teaches us that some day He will come again and His title will be fulfilled as Prince of Peace with an established kingdom of peace. In the Bible, there are over 400 references to peace. On the other hand, for us, peace is largely a response to a negative word. It tends to describe the absence or cessation of war and trouble. But, that was not the case with the Jew in Jesus’ day. The Greek word, peace, is “eirene” which translates the Hebrew word, “Shalom.” Shalom basically has two meanings. * Number one, it means “perfect welfare, serenity, prosperity, happiness.” The Jew’s meaning of Shalom not only wishes a man’s freedom from trouble but also it wishes him everything which makes for his contentment and his good.
*Number two, it describes right, personal relationships. It describes intimacy, fellowship, uninterrupted good will between man and man. Specifically, between Jew and Jew. One of the great characteristics of the New Testament letters is that many of them begin and end with a prayer for peace for those who read and listen to him. You’ll remember that Paul begins every one of his letter with a prayer that “grace and peace be on the people” to whom he writes. And often he ends those letters with the same phrase such as “peace be to you all.” Peace is a wonderful experience as well as a wonderful possibility of existence. However, there is no peace in our world. Even though we have a God who is a God of peace, there is no peace in our world. And, sadly, for many of us there is no peace in our homes. It is interesting that as we look at who we are and where we live, there are three statements that describe us.
I. WE ARE A PEOPLE OF WAR
A study of human history is simply that - a study of war, a study of violence. According to statistics only eight percent of the time since the beginnings of recorded history has the world been entirely at peace. In 3,521 years only 286 have been warless. Over 8,000 treaties bringing peace have been broken during that time. Did you know that since 1919 the nations of Europe have signed more than 200 treaties a piece. Each treaty, simply another scrap of paper was broken more easily than consummated. From the year 1500 B.C. to A. D. 1860 more than 8,000 treaties of peace, meant to rem ...
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