Presentation on theme: "God’s Peace On Earth Luke 2:8-20; Micah 5:2-5 The Old Testament is God’s book of promise and hope. God used his prophets to warn the people of this impending."— Presentation transcript:
God’s Peace On Earth Luke 2:8-20; Micah 5:2-5 The Old Testament is God’s book of promise and hope. God used his prophets to warn the people of this impending punishment. Along with the prophet’s message of judgment was the message that better days were coming. God’s people clung to that hope of better days. They gave that hope a name – Shalom Shalom “Peace”
1. God’s Peace Foretold Shalom For the Jews, Shalom meant completeness; wholeness Shalom indicated more than a positive state in my soul or a private transaction between God and me. The longing for God's shalom included those things, but for those radical Jewish believers, peace was much bigger and broader. Shalom meant not only inner peace or spiritual peace; it meant wholeness and completeness throughout all creation. It meant the end of injustice. It meant the rich would no longer devour the poor. It meant all brokenness would be set right and healed. It meant that people would love one another. (Matt Woodley, managing editor of PreachingToday.com)
Shalom can only come from God. For the Jewish people, that hope of Shalom was connected with one person – the Messiah Isaiah 9:6 (NIV) - 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.
Micah 5:2,4,5 (NIV) – 2 “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.”… 4 He will stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the L ORD, in the majesty of the name of the L ORD his God. And they will live securely, for then his greatness will reach to the ends of the earth. 5 And he will be their peace.
2. God’s Peace Delivered 700 years after Micah’s prophecy angels appeared to simple shepherds. Luke 2:11 “He is Christ the Lord.” Christ Anointed One. A reference to the Messiah of the Old Testament. Luke 2:14 [NIV] - “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth…” Peace - Shalom Christ the Lord – would be Shalom on earth.
Angels had always sung about the glory of God. The angels’ song for the shepherds that night was a glimpse of heaven on earth. Revelation 5:11–12 (NIV) 11 Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. 12 In a loud voice they sang: “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!”
The angels sang “Peace on earth” – that was something new. When they had sung this, they sang what they had never sung before. “Glory to God in the highest” was an old, old song. They had sung that from before the foundations of the world. But now, they sang as if it were a new song before the throne of God: for they added this stanza – “on earth, peace.” (Charles Spurgeon) Since the day sin entered the word and Adam and Eve were driven out of the Garden of Eden there had been no real peace on earth.
3. God’s Peace Secured God’s peace comes through faith. Romans 5:1 (NIV) - Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. We experience God’s peace – his Shalom AFTER we have experienced his salvation through faith. Justification comes first – then peace follows. Justification we have been made right in God’s eyes
We also experience God’s peace in dealing with the challenges of our everyday lives. Peace comes from God through his Holy Spirit who lives in us. John 14:26–27 (NIV) 26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 27 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.
The world defines peace as absence of conflict. Jesus Christ offers us peace even in the midst of the chaos. Philippians 4:6–7 (NIV) - Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
We all still long for better days. Micah’s prophecy also looked even further in the future to the day when Christ will come back again a second time. Micah 5:4b,5 [NIV] - And they will live securely, for then his greatness will reach to the ends of the earth. 5 And he will be their peace. Peace on earth will truly be established as Christ will conquer Satan and his forces and all wars and hostilities will cease.
Micah 4:3 (NIV) – 3 He will judge between many peoples and will settle disputes for strong nations far and wide. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.
Shalom. This Christmas, let’s remember that we all need God’s peace – his Shalom. Jesus Christ became our peace That peace first needs to find its way into our heart. Then we can become God’s instruments of peace in the lives of others. Shalom. This Christmas, let’s share God’s Shalom. Jesus Christ – our Saviour He is our peace.