“The tyranny imposed on the soul by anger, or fear, or lust, or pain, or envy, or desire, I generally call ‘injustice.’” – Plato, The Repbublic
Happy Holidays everyone! I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas. This is the season where the world greatly anticipates with hope receiving the one thing that everyone desires. That would be peace. Typically attached to the spoken blessings of Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year are the words “peace and good will towards men.” When I first begin thinking about what I was going to write for this post, I was going to continue talking about intimacy with God. But then it hit me to talk about Christ as being our Prince of Peace. I thought to myself, “Duh Adia. It would make sense for you to acknowledge the season that is widely celebrated of the One who is our Peace” (Eph. 2:14). The attribute of peace, in general, is the one thing that almost everyone wants, and God has promised us that in the person of His Son Jesus Christ.
In the ninth chapter of Isaiah, the prophet predicts the coming of the Messiah. Verse six says, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace”. The exact translation of the title Prince of Peace from the original Hebrew to English is sar shalom. The word sar actually means ruler and not prince. The word shalom means completeness, soundness, welfare and peace; taken from the root word shalam, which means, to be safe in mind, body, or estate. “It speaks of completeness, fullness, or a type of wholeness that encourages you to give back — to generously re-pay something in some way.” So the exact translation of this title from the original Hebrew is “ruler of peace”. Shalom specifically carries the context of the absence of war in this particular verse.
Isaiah tells Israel that the Messiah will bring the rich spiritual blessings that they have been seeking for after having been in a state of turmoil for so long. The promise given to Israel is that He will end all war, break oppression, multiply the nation and illuminate darkness which will bring the peace and joy that Israel once had. This promise was given to Israel as a nation; however it not only applies to Israel it applies to the world in the full scope of the prophetic promise. Christ did not come to only bless the Jewish nation with peace; He came to bless the entire world with Himself as their Savior and to be their Peace.
Our world is in so much strife and He is the only one that can bring it to an end. While is it is so easy for us to look at the forest and say we need peace in our world, we must first look at every single tree that makes the forest. Every human being needs peace in their soul. This is the only way that a nation can have true peace. If there is war in a land, it is the result of war in the minds and hearts of men. When a person has no peace they are in agony due to the war going on inside of them. It ultimately manifests itself in some manner.
The philosopher Plato wrote in his very widely read dialogue, “The Republic”, “Justice in the life and conduct of the State is possible only as first it resides in the hearts and souls of the citizens.” When Plato wrote this, he was sorely disturbed with the degenerating conditions of Athens. He saw injustice and reckoned that the ubiquitous evil was a result of self-satisfaction. He reasoned that if there is to be peace on a national level, then men cannot selfishly live to themselves. Any type of evil that is brewing in an individual’s soul is bound to affect all of those around them. Their internal dissonance will soon externally emanate and cause all types of conflict. He refers to a person’s deplorable internal condition as “injustice” and considers it the root of all injustice. He says, “The tyranny imposed on the soul by anger, or fear, or lust, or pain, or envy, or desire, I generally call ‘injustice.” Likewise in the book of James chapter 4 and verses 1-2 he says, “What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this; that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel.”
The prophet Isaiah, Plato and James all recognized that when individuals have no personal peace, there can be no communal peace. Remember that the first disruption in government occurred in heaven with Lucifer with his inner chiding against God’s perfect character. Lucifer accused God of being unjust and a dictator. He had decided against being at peace with Him which caused him to no longer be at peace with himself and others. Lucifer desired to be God. This led to him lusting after Christ’s authority. From this lust, envy and anger developed and it finally erupted into a full fledge war, leading to a split among the angels. Every other negative emotion that humans experience stems from Lucifer’s lack of peace.
The war that Lucifer allowed to fester within is what we see today on a global level. When people have no peace of mind, are contentious and self-seeking, this is nothing more than a reduplication of the war in heaven. Depression and loss of hope are feelings the enemy experienced after losing heaven. Now he does his best to plague humans with the same feelings. The same injustice he imposed on himself is the same he imposes on us.
This is why Christ came as Messiah. He came to restore the peace that we were robbed of when sin entered the world. He is the “sar shalom.” He wants everyone to be at peace with themselves, each other and Him. True peace can only come from the “Ruler of Peace”—the one who is Peace.
As the nation of Israel during the time of Isaiah was in a state of captivity and injustice because of their sinful backsliding, so are we today. Many of our brothers and sisters around the world are suffering from their minds being under the captivity of the enemy and injustices inflicted on them by others. Only Christ can set us free. We need the Ruler of Peace to reign in our hearts and minds and the world.
Before entering the year of 2018 take some time to meditate and ask God to show areas in your life where you need more of His peace and ask Him to help you to become a peacemaker. Be determined not only for 2018, but for the rest of your life to live in peace. So as shalam states, let us give as our Peace does for us. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” (Matt. 5:9)
Peace and God’s Abundant Blessings Everyone and Happy New Year! Love you all!