Henry W. Longfellow, 1863 said, “I heard the bells on Christmas day, their old familiar carols play, and wild and sweet the words repeat of peace on earth, good will to men. And in despair, I bowed my head, “There is no peace on earth”, I said, “for hate is strong and mocks the song of peace on earth, good will to men!“ Then pealed the bells more loud and deep, “God is not dead, nor does He sleep!” The wrong shall fail, the right prevail with peace on earth, good will to men!”
Jeremiah 6:14; 8:11, “They have healed the brokenness of my people superficially, saying, “Peace! Peace! But there is no peace.”
Some of the darkest days of America’s history were from 1861 to 1865 – the Civil War. Our young country was torn apart, neighbors were fighting neighbors, and even distant family members were on opposite sides of the Mason-Dixon Line. Longfellow felt the weight of what was at stake. The very heart of our nation was being bled out by greed, passion, hate, and polar opposite ideologies. Where was the hope? Where was the peace?
The Israelites were headed for disaster. They had turned away from Jehovah God, and He was about to send them into captivity for the wrongs they had done. The priests and the prophets were trying to calm everyone down by saying it was all going to be fine. There is no problem! That Isaiah guy is off his rocker and doesn’t know what he is talking about! We’ve done nothing wrong. God is not going to judge us! Peace! Peace!
As a nation, we find ourselves in a time of turmoil. Differing views of what is right and what is wrong abound. There is no peace from the highest offices in the land right down to the smallest apartment down the street. We need peace! We desperately need deep-down, mind-calming peace in our homes and offices and churches and government.
One of the names for Jesus in an Old Testament prophecy about His birth is the Prince of Peace. He is the ruler of all peace. He passes it out like bread and fish to the masses who look to Him for it. He is Wonderful, our Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. It’s of interest to note that this verse in Isaiah 9 also says, “the government shall be upon His shoulders.” All government is Christ’s responsibility and He is aware and working things out in all governments everywhere according to His plan and His glory. We can be at peace because He is our Prince of Peace.
“God is not dead nor does He sleep.” We can lie down in safety and rest because He brings us the peace we need, not the temporary, fingers in the ears (la-la-la-la); everything is going to be alright, kind of peace like the world gives. Jesus brings the purest, heaviest peace that can be known. He has settled our past, present, and future through His finished and sufficient work, and we can trust Him to carry us forward.
- Psalm 4:8, “In peace I will lie down and sleep, for You alone, LORD, have made me dwell in safety.”
- Isaiah 26:3, “The mind that is fixed on You, You will keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in You.”
- Romans 8:6, “The mind set on the things of the Spirit is life and peace.”