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  • Writer's pictureRob

The Eighty-Second (Peace)

How was your week? I hope it went well! This week I started to really think about the topic we're going to talk about: Peace. There's a lot there to unpack, and we're going to take a look at what scripture says about it, and what Jesus says specifically.

Let's first take a moment to think about what peace means to you. There are a few different ways to think about peace, and maybe what's helpful is to think about the different types of opposites peace has. One of the most obvious opposite is war. Another is chaos, and another is commotion, or noise. Some less obvious ones are turmoil, anguish, disharmony, anger, and worry.

Have you ever been in a situation where all of a sudden you noticed it got quiet? And I mean, dead quiet. During my time as a submarine officer, that was the telltale sign of some casualty occurring on the submarine while underway. If you don't know, casualty is the term used, at least in the Navy, to describe a situation where the crew needs to take action to combat an issue that occurs. For example, a fire onboard is called a casualty. On a submarine, in particular, there is a constant hum of the ventilation fans that keep air circulating throughout the boat. These fans are powered from an electrical bus that, interestingly enough, is called "non-vital." Additionally, the type of controller that brings the power from the bus to the fan is called a "low voltage protect," meaning if the power flickers and comes back, the fan will not come back on until someone goes and restarts it.

So, as you can imagine, there are many situations where the crew may need to turn off a non-vital electrical bus to combat a casualty, or perhaps the casualty itself causes power to flicker. As a result, the entire submarine knows something happened because the hum of the fan and the blowing through the vents in every space goes away. And with an environment that is already focused on being as quiet and stealthy as possible, that sound going away is deafening. To this day, if things suddenly get quiet, I am immediately brought back to those moments and a little bit of anxiety creeps in as I try to figure out what happened and if I need to take any action.

Isn't that interesting, though? In a moment where there's peace, I've been conditioned to figure out why. I don't know if you've noticed anything similar in your life, but I started to think about this and how I got here. I looked around at the world and realized it's designed to condition us in this way. What I mean is, the part of the world that man, and Satan, runs has become a place that puts us at a higher level of constant noise. Audio noise, from television, radio, automatically playing videos on your phone, power tools, the list goes on. Visual noise, from billboards, television, street signs, telephone poles, buildings. Again, the list goes on. Mental noise, from propaganda, lies, advertisements trying to coerce you to buy things, demons trying to get you to think things, etc.

There is a lot of stuff out there meant to keep our eyes, ears and mind at a constant level of barrage, which reduces our capacity to block it out and wears us out. Not to mention the fact that as this stuff keeps inundating us some of it permeates our subconscious. Before we even realize it, we're laughing along with a laugh track at a sitcom joke that's actually very hurtful when you think about it. We're conditioned to think that's what funny is instead of seeing it for what it is.

So what does scripture say about peace? I'm sure you've heard of shalom, and this is the Hebrew word for peace. In Greek, it's eirene. Shalom means completeness, soundness, welfare, and peace, and eirene means one, quietness, rest and peace, according to Strong's concordance. "Peace," occurs in 400 verses of the KJV. Let's take a look at a few of those to see what we can find.

First, if we look at Psalm 4, we find peace associated with safety. Only Yehovah makes us dwell in safety (Psalm 4:8), which allows us to lay in peace. But, if we back up a few verses we see in this same Psalm that God sets apart those that are godly for Himself, and that we are to put our trust in Him. This is how we get the safety that gives us peace.

We also see that Yehovah will bless us with peace (Psalm 29:11). In this Psalm, we are to give God glory and worship. The peace given comes from His power and Kingship.

In the context of this day of constant spiritual battle (Ephesians 6:10-13), we find that He will deliver our soul in peace from the battle against us (Psalm 55:18). But what do we have to do to obtain that deliverance? What do we have to do to receive that peace? We must call upon Yehovah, praying and crying aloud (Psalm 55:16-17).

While these are very comforting in and of themselves, what's more comforting to me are the words from our Savior, Jesus Christ, Yahusha Ha"Mashiach. The words I want to focus on are in John 14. He's talking about when He leaves and how the Holy Spirit will be sent in His name, and how the Holy Spirit will teach us and remind us of the things Jesus said (John 14:26). He then says, "Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives, give I to you." (John 14:27).

What sort of peace, do you think He was talking about? God is our personal God, and Jesus is our personal Savior, so what does it mean to you when He says He gives you peace? At a minimum, He sets it apart from what the world gives. To me, it's a lack of noise, of all kinds, and a lack of feeling some sort of obligation to the world to be what it is trying to mold me into. For everything from career expectations, to belief systems, to what I'm supposed to be ok with being done to me medically, part of my peace comes from Jesus reminding me that this life, this physical form, is temporary. Whatever the world says matters actually means nothing, and holding to Him and His Word means everything. He is the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6).

Think about His peace this week. Seek it (Psalm 34:14), and find out what peace He's trying to give you, or what peace you need, in your life. Ask Him to show you where you need it, and help you receive it. And when you discern that you're in the midst of spiritual battle, call on Him for your soul to be delivered into peace.

Shabbat shalom and God bless you!

-Rob and Sara Gene

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