Many of us mistakenly put someone or something ahead of God in our lives, and this gets in the way of true abundance of life. Our path to peace and abundance of life is a path paved by the lowly and the contrite who humble themselves before the Prince of Peace…
2 Those who walk uprightly
enter into peace…
3 “But you—come here… 4 Who are you mocking?
At whom do you sneer
and stick out your tongue?
11 “Whom have you so dreaded and feared
that you have not been true to me,
and have neither remembered me
nor taken this to heart?
13 When you cry out for help,
let your collection of idols save you!
The wind will carry all of them off,
a mere breath will blow them away.
But whoever takes refuge in me
will inherit the land
and possess my holy mountain.”
15 For this is what the high and exalted One says—
he who lives forever, whose name is holy:
“I live in a high and holy place,
but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit,
to revive the spirit of the lowly
and to revive the heart of the contrite.
19 Peace, peace, to those far and near,”
says the Lord. “And I will heal them.”
Isaiah 57:1, 3, 11, 13, 15, 19
6 For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Peace. Seems far off at this moment. There are many people stirring up anger and resentment and conflict in our world today. On a global scale, peace is often secondary to the interests of power. Just read the news or turn on CNN.
At a personal level, peace goes deeper than the absence of conflict or war. Personal peace reflects whether and how we are binding ourselves to God (Isaiah 56:6) in a relationship which honours the Lord. As we see in Isaiah 57, God is mocked by many of us, as we stick out our tongues in the way we sin against God.
Isaiah confronts idolatry in his prophecy, noting that God’s people put many things between them and their Maker. That’s the essence of idolatry: putting someone or something ahead of God in our lives. And so we see in vs. 11 that we fear these idols to the point that we stop remembering God. The impact (or perceived impact) and power of these things in our lives towers over God, and the Lord says, let them save you…
The truth is, they cannot. These false gods in our lives cannot save nor provide lasting fulfillment. As we learned in Isaiah 55, money can’t buy it. The world cannot supply it. Abundance of life is a divine offer.
And the path to receiving the offer of abundant life and personal peace is taking refuge in God (vs. 14). When we humble ourselves before him (vs. 15), God will revive us and live with us. We will experience the healing of personal peace in his care (vs. 19).
Jesus is our Prince of Peace. In fact, Jesus is our Shalom (Ephesians 2:14) because he brought us near to God through his shed blood on the cross, and he broke down the walls of hostility between us and others by creating a new humanity in himself. This is why we shouldn’t be fighting over territory and asserting ourselves over others (personally or nationally).
Our path to peace and abundance of life is a path paved by the lowly and the contrite. Humble yourself before God and consider his gift of peace today.