Tuesday, November 10, 2009
As we continue our study, "What is in a Word," I thought we would continue with the word, "peace." As we are nearing the holiday season, we will often hear the words, "Peace on earth, goodwill to men." What does that really mean? Perhaps viewing the word "peace" in the Bible will give us a better understanding of God's definition of peace.
12 Now when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and behold, horror and great darkness fell upon him. 13 Then He said to Abram: “Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years. 14 And also the nation whom they serve I will judge; afterward they shall come out with great possessions. 15 Now as for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried at a good old age. 16 But in the fourth generation they shall return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.”
(Genesis 15:12-16, New King James Version)
Genesis 15:15 is the first Bible verse that uses the word, "peace." In this passage, God is making a covenant with Abram. He reveals the future to Abram regarding the descendants of Abram, and then states the following in verse 15.
Now as for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried at a good old age.
This is a rather interesting phrase, and one that occurs several times in the Scriptures. Do we think of the time of death as a time of peace? As a Christian, is death something we should fear?
We may fear the process of death, but for the Christian, there is no room for the fear of death. Death for the Christian ushers in an eternal time of peace. That must surely have been a great comfort for Abram to hear these words spoken to him by God. It is also a great peace to the Christian when standing over the grave of a Christian friend or relative.
What about the non-Christian? Unbelievers, indeed, should certainly fear death. Death brings to them a time of eternal punishment! It is not uncommon to hear people laugh about hell, and about meeting their friends there. Do you think they will even care who else is there? Will their own misery allow them to think of anyone else?
This is a rather sobering thought, but it is good for us to realize that God is the Author of Peace. Apart from God, there is no peace!
As we enter into this holiday season, let us think about the true meaning of peace on earth, goodwill to men.
God Bless You,