And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God: we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation. – Isaiah 25:9
Scripture Reading: Isaiah 26:1-12
What does “perfect peace” mean to us? It would seem that those who live in peace may soon take it for granted. During times of war and conflict, we pray ever so hard for victory and divine protection upon our troops (and usually our enemies are praying the same thing). Peace becomes most valuable when it’s something we don’t possess.
We can pray for “world peace,” but biblically we can see that there will be no lasting peace until the Prince of Peace rules. Clashes over race, religion, philosophy, politics, land, natural resources, etc., will continue until the return of Christ. Violence is the way and nature of mankind.
The Middle East is on fire with bombings. Long gone are the peace talks in Israel, peace talks in Jordan, peace discussions with Iran, or the peace negotiations with Egypt. And there will never be true peace because men are not turning to the One True God, the source of Peace! Pray, people of God, pray!
We are in turmoil in our states, in conflict in our cities, and many neighborhoods are bloody combat zones. Some public schools in the large inner cities are dealing with student bodies laden with weapons, drugs, illicit sex, and demonism. Teachers’ and students’ lives are at high risk. Pray!
How about wars on the “home front?” We see strife between parents and kids, discord in marriages, battles between brothers, and millions of unborn children destroyed for convenience sake. Our Christian homes and churches are not immune to this satanic assault! Pray church, pray!
And what of the wars raging inside of people? Satan wants control of our thinking and emotions. All the weapons and schemes in his arsenal are aimed at dominating and destroying us! Cry out for God’s peace!
- What did Isaiah say will one day be the strong defense of the righteous who remain faithful? Isaiah 26:1-2.
- What great promise of “perfect peace” was revealed in this prayer, and what condition was placed upon it? Isaiah 26:3-4; Phil. 4:6-9 Note: The double expression of peace, “shalom, shalom,” is a Hebrew way of heavily emphasizing an important word. In this case, “perfect peace” includes safety, happiness, well-being, health, peace of mind, contentment, and fulfillment. The term used in the same verse for “mind,” is unusual. It literally means, “the creative imagination.” One who keeps his thoughts upon God and His righteousness, will enjoy all the benefits implied by “shalom, shalom.” (Paraphrase of thoughts taken from the Spirit-Filled Life Bible marginal notes on Is. 26:3-4*).
- How does God deal with the haughty enemies of His people? Isaiah 26:5-6; Rev. 18:1-9,21.
- How are God’s judgments applied to instructing the unredeemed? Isaiah 26:7-9; Psalm 51:10-13.
- Will all who receive favor and mercy from God turn from their wickedness? Isaiah 26:10-11.
- What contrasts between God and Judah’s captors did Isaiah make? Isaiah 26:12-15.
- What confession of failure does Isaiah make on behalf of Judah? Isaiah 26:16-18.
- What promises of final victory for God’s people did Isaiah pray prophetically? Isaiah 26:19-21.
The Hebrew word for peace, shalom, comes from the root verb, shalam, which means “to be complete, perfect, and full.” So shalom is much more than the absence of war and conflict; it is the wholeness that the entire human race seeks. It is God’s delight for us to walk in wholeness and total well-being. In Isaiah 53:5, Jesus was chastised for our shalom. Through the Messiah, we can have the perfect peace of God in our hearts. In prayer, claim the shalom that is yours in Christ.
* Spirit-Filled Life Bible (NKJV), [Nashville: Thomas Nelson, Inc., copyright 1991].