Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Word Study Wednesday -- Peace

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests." ~~Luke 2:13-14

Peace on earth. Isn’t that what every one wants? In Luke 2, one angel announced the birth of Jesus to the shepherds, but then suddenly a multitude appeared praising God. Can you imagine this scenario?

Peace is the word study word today. I don’t know about you, but I could use more peace and the good news is God sent His peace for us to experience. As I researched briefly on this today, I found an explanation in The Bible Exposition Commentary that explains the above scripture and peace very well.

“What was the Good News? Not that God had sent a soldier or a judge or a reformer, but that He had sent a Saviour to meet man’s greatest need. It was a message of peace to a world that had known much war. The famous “Pax Romana” (Roman Peace) had been in effect since 27 b.c. but the absence of war doesn’t guarantee the presence of peace.

The Stoic philosopher Epictetus said, “While the emperor may give peace from war on land and sea, he is unable to give peace from passion, grief, and envy. He cannot give peace of heart for which man yearns more than even for outward peace.”

The Jewish word shalom (peace) means much more than a truce in the battles of life. It means well-being, health, prosperity, security, soundness, and completeness. It has to do more with character than circumstances. Life was difficult at that time just as it is today. Taxes were high, unemployment was high, morals were slipping lower, and the military state was in control. Roman law, Greek philosophy, and even Jewish religion could not meet the needs of men’s hearts. Then, God sent His Son!

The angels praised God at Creation (Job 38:7), and now they praised Him at the beginning of the new creation. The whole purpose of the plan of salvation is “glory to God” (see Eph. 1:6, 12, 14). God’s glory had dwelt in the tabernacle (Ex. 40:34) and in the temple (2 Chron. 7:1–3), but had departed because of the nation’s sin (1 Sam. 4:21; Ezek. 8:4; 9:3; 10:4, 18; 11:22–23). Now God’s glory was returning to earth in the person of His Son (John 1:14). That lowly manger was a holy of holies because Jesus was there! “

Engrafted by His Grace--

6 gracious comments:

Tiffany Stuart said...

So much I've missed on your blog. I hope to visit for longer and really glean from your study. Until then, thanks for your friendship and may your season of rest bear much fruit!

Starla said...

Thanks for sharing. I think everyone wishes for more peace. Especially during this season.

Shawna Renee said...

This is a great study, and we need the reminders of what God's peace is. Thank you for this week's word study.

Shawna Atteberry from Twitter

Michelle V said...

Thank you for that word! I am definitely in need of more of His peace!

Blessings
Michelle

Shonda said...

Shawna, thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

Michelle, I definitely need peace. It amazes me that what the Lord leads me to study is what I need to focus on at that time.

Tiffany, I've missed you too! We'll have to catch up.

Starla, this time of year can be stressful if we allow it. I'm taking it more in stride this year.

Blessings to all of you in Christ!

Kathy S. said...

Thank you for that encouragement. To ponder peace, to bask in it in this season of hustle and bustle. What a gift we have...Born in a manger, but now residing in our hearts...Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts...