Today is the day in Canada when we pause to remember all those who have given their lives in war for the sake of our country. Millions of young men and women have paid the ultimate price in the cause of preserving freedom and ending oppression. Even as you are reading this, there are countless numbers of people who are dying because they are caught in some sort of conflict. Will this ever end? Thankfully, the Gospel of God’s Kingdom points to a time when wars will cease
The Reign of Peace
Let’s look at one of Isaiah’s prophecies about the reign of God’s King.
6 For a child is born to us,
a son is given to us.
The government will rest on his shoulders.
And he will be called:
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 His government and its peace
will never end.
He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David
for all eternity.
The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies
will make this happen! Isaiah 9:6 – 7 NLT
This is a well known prophetic statement regarding the Lord Jesus Christ. Notice that the responsibility to govern will be placed upon Him, and one of the titles ascribed to Him as He reigns is Prince of Peace. It can also be seen in verse 7 that one of the results of His reign will be peace. Said another way, peace results when the Prince of Peace reigns.
In both verses the Hebrew word for peace is shalom. More than simply being the absence of conflict or agitation, shalom indicates a state of well-being in every sense of the term. Shalom is the result of everything working together in harmony with God’s original purpose. All of creation, man and beast, will dwell together in absolute harmony when this King takes His rightful place on the throne.
Peace to the Nations
Zechariah prophesied the following.
9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your king is coming to you;
righteous and having salvation is he,
humble and mounted on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
10 I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim
and the war horse from Jerusalem;
and the battle bow shall be cut off,
and he shall speak peace to the nations;
his rule shall be from sea to sea,
and from the River to the ends of the earth. Zechariah 9:9 – 10 ESV
Part of this prophecy was fulfilled when the Lord Jesus rode in to Jerusalem on the back of a donkey (see Matthew 21:1 – 11). Once He finally takes His place as King over all, war and conflict will cease in Jerusalem and the nation of Israel. But it won’t stop there. King Jesus will actually speak peace to all the nations of the world. The prophet Micah tells us what will happen when He does.
1 In the last days, the mountain of the Lord’s house
will be the highest of all—
the most important place on earth.
It will be raised above the other hills,
and people from all over the world will stream there to worship.
2 People from many nations will come and say,
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
to the house of Jacob’s God.
There he will teach us his ways,
and we will walk in his paths.”
For the Lord’s teaching will go out from Zion;
his word will go out from Jerusalem.
3 The Lord will mediate between peoples
and will settle disputes between strong nations far away.
They will hammer their swords into plowshares
and their spears into pruning hooks.
Nation will no longer fight against nation,
nor train for war anymore. Micah 4:1 – 3 NLT
Imagine, weapons once used for war being transformed into tools for agriculture. There will no longer be strife among the nations. Young men and women will no longer train to be soldiers to fight. It can’t come soon enough.
In the Mean Time
As we wait for that Day when the Prince of Peace will reign over all, we must seek to promote God’s shalom on every level of society. We must seek to dwell together in harmony as God’s people. We must build strong families that are strongholds of love and security. We must seek to develop healthy communities where justice is the order of the day. We must seek to bring warring factions to the table of negotiation so disputes can be settled without the shedding of blood. We must value every single person as someone who has been made in God’s image and for whom King Jesus died. This will only be a foretaste of the peace yet to come, but let’s experience all of it that we can in the mean time. Every day in ever way let us be agents of the King’s shalom by living in the Reign.