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January 2011

 

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CFF DEVOTIONAL -  January 2011

“PEACE BE WITH US”

          My great hope for this coming year for you and every person, family, business, State, and Nation is to experience and enjoy real peace.  In my lifetime as a forester, I have seen so little peace among people, families, co-workers, management, special interest groups, government offices, political representatives, and particularly Nations.  But, God desires that we know and enjoy His peace.  Why can’t we come to rest in it?

          Early on, God made a way for people to enjoy peace with Him through peace (shalom- Hebrew) offerings.  These offerings temporarily made peace between God and man by making amends or restitution for broken fellowship.  Unfortunately the offerings had to be repeated over and over again, because man was not able to maintain peace with God.  However, God persisted in His efforts to personally interact with man and bring peace and prosperity to the people of Israel.

          In one such case, Gideon came face to face with an “Angel of the Lord” and lived to tell about it.  He was hiding in a wine press threshing out a small amount of wheat that he had managed to hide from very oppressive enemies who came like locusts and snatched up the crops of the people of Israel.  The Angel of the Lord greeted Gideon as a “mighty man of valor” to which Gideon replied, in essence, “Who me?  Do you know who you are talking to?”  He further asked for “a sign” that the Angel really had the right bona fides.  It is interesting that Gideon next prepared and presented an offering to the Angel of the Lord.  This is unique, because in Scripture angels consistently reject attempts of people to worship them.  Many, therefore, believe that this is one of several pre-incarnate Old Covenant manifestations of the Lord Jesus Christ.  That is because this Angel of the Lord accepts the offering and further consumes it with fire so that Gideon finally “gets it”.  Gideon is rightly terrified, understanding that he has just seen a manifestation of God face to face and expects to die immediately.  However the Lord said, “Peace (shalom –Hebrew) be with you”.  Gideon responds with great relief and builds an altar to Jehovah Shalom, “The- Lord- Is- Peace”.  Shalom specifically means peace, but it also conveys the sense of safety, well being, friendliness, happiness, health, prosperity and rest.  All of which Gideon and the people of Israel desperately needed.

          In Isaiah 9:6 is the familiar Christmas cited scripture, “For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given … and His name will be called …Prince of Peace.”  This verse refers to the Ruler of Shalom and looks forward to the time of millennial peace when the nation will properly relate to the Lord Jesus Christ. 

          In Luke 1:79, Zachariah prophesied over John the Baptist as the one who will lead the way for Christ who comes “To guide our feet into the way of peace”.  In Luke 2:14 at the birth of Christ the angels greet the shepherds and praise God exclaiming “And on earth peace to men of goodwill” marking the beginning of the New Covenant of peace with God through Jesus Christ.  “My peace (eirene – Greek) I leave with you, my peace I give to you” (John 14:27) meaning His quietness and rest until He comes again.  In Revelation 1:5, the “Prince-Ruler (archon-Greek) of the kings of the earth”; our Prince of Peace is coming again (verse 7) “in the clouds and every eye will see Him”!  Could this be the year, 2011, when believers will at last see Him and join Him in His peace and His rest for eternity? 

Come soon Lord Jesus, Prince of Peace!  Until then, His Peace Be With Us!

Denny Lynch

 

 

 

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