God is love and His covenant with His people He calls His Covenant of Peace.
When we see a rainbow across the horizon it reminds us of Noah and his ark.
“To me this is like the days of Noah, when I swore that the waters of Noah would never again cover the earth. So now I have sworn not to be angry with you, never to rebuke you again.
Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you. Isaiah 54:9,10
In fact, it reminds us of the very presence of God because there is a rainbow in His throne in Heaven. (Revelation 4:3)
In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word for peace is “shalom” but it doesn’t only mean peace as we understand it from the English language. According to Strong’s concordance 7965 it means “completeness, wholeness, health, peace, welfare, safety, soundness, tranquility, prosperity, perfectness, fullness, rest, harmony, the absence of agitation or discord.” It also comes from the root verb “shalom” meaning “to be complete, perfect and full.” In the New Testament, the Greek word for “peace” is “erenaeus” which means “harmony, tranquility, safety, welfare, health.”
In the New Testament, God extends His Covenant of Peace to us through His Gospel of Peace, literally, His “good news of Peace” in Jesus Christ.
When Adam and Eve were driven out of the Garden of Eden because of sin, they were driven out from the presence of God, out from fellowship and relationship with Him. They were estranged from God. They lost that “shalom” which is found only in God. And so they and their descendants became wanderers and vagabonds in the earth, searching for that “shalom” – that peace, completeness, fullness, perfectness, health, safety, tranquility, welfare and harmony – which they could never find in the world but only in God. We all are just like Adam and Eve. We are ever seeking and yet not finding, until we come to know the “good news of Peace” in Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is our Peace, our “shalom”, our “erenaeus.”
Hundreds of years before His birth, the prophet Isaiah called Him the Prince of Peace:
“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.”
The priest Zechariah, father of John the Baptist, described the way of Jesus as the path of peace. He prophesied that his son John would be the prophet that would prepare the way for Jesus, who would guide us into the path of peace. (Luke 1:79)
At Jesus’ birth the angels announced tidings of great joy, announcing peace to men on earth:
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” Luke 2:14
Teaching his disciples, Jesus Himself said He gives them peace that the world cannot give and it is the peace that will enable them to face troubles here on earth:
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
Right after His resurrection, Jesus’ greeting to His disciples was peace:
While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. Luke 24:36,37
On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. John 20:19,20
A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” John 20:26
Jesus also told His disciples to teach this good news of peace to other people:
Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” John 20:21
One of the titles of God our Father is “God of peace,” ( Romans 15:33, 16:20, Hebrews 13:20) and also “God of love and peace” (2 Corinthians 13:11).
Indeed, we have peace with God through Jesus Christ:
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,…. Romans 5:1
We are not only reconciled with God when Jesus put away the enmity between God and men through the atoning sacrifice of His own precious blood, but He also reconciled both Jew and Gentile into one body:
But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.
For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility,…. Ephesians 2:13,14
Yes, the answer, even to racism and discrimination, is Christ – our peace!
Also, when God sent His Son that we may have His peace, not as the world gives, but the peace of God – “shalom” – we must remember it means “completeness, wholeness, health, peace, welfare, safety, soundness, tranquility, prosperity, perfectness, fullness, rest, harmony, the absence of agitation or discord.”
That is why Jesus is also called “Wonderful,” because His peace includes everything we can ever long for!
Two thousand years ago, in the city of David, a savior was born to us – God’s gift – a baby who grew up and preached the good news of peace and fulfilled it, that we may have peace. Indeed, good tidings of great joy to all people! Jew, Gentile, Greek, black, brown, yellow, red or white, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Scientologist, agnostic, atheist, Satanist, gay, straight, pro-life, pro-choice, etc. – that Savior was born unto all men and women! A gift is a gift, whether we take and appreciate it or not, it remains a gift. Such is God, the God who is love!