Advent: Peace (John Rainey)

As we’re working through Advent, reflecting on what promises Israel had to look forward to, as well as what Christ followers have to anticipate - we come to week two, promises of peace. God made a covenant promise with His people after He freed them from slavery in Egypt, it’s called the Mosaic Covenant and is found in Exodus 19. Basically God promised that if His people would follow His good, righteous commands, the He would bless, provide, and protect them. If you’ve read through the Old Testament, you know Israel had their fair share of ups and downs, but it got to a point so low of them becoming like evil nations around them, that God’s patience was worn and His protection would be removed. They disobedience and disregard for God had led them to be exiles in the enemy country Babylon. God, however, did not leave them high and dry, He gave Isaiah a promise to give to His people… 

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.

Of the greatness of his government and peace

    there will be no end.

He will reign on David’s throne

    and over his kingdom,

establishing and upholding it

    with justice and righteousness

    from that time on and forever.

The zeal of the Lord Almighty

    will accomplish this.

Isaiah 9:6-7

God promised that exile would not last, and that there would be a child born who would raise up and rule with true justice and righteousness, a promise people in exile would have longed for. And God was good on His word, but the revealed promise did not come how Israel had expected. Instead of freeing them from oppressive nations (like Babylon or later Rome), He offered to free them from something much more dangerous and oppressive: sin. In Christmas, God gave Israel and offered to all of us, the gift of spiritual peace. In our sin, we are spiritual exile and in spiritual bondage — our relationship with our Maker destroyed in our rebellion against Him and His good standard. 

Jesus, in HIs perfect life, sacrificial death, and miraculous resurrection, offers us the gift of spiritual peace. We can have a relationship with God, and experience this peace for all of eternity, if we accept His Son as our King. This is the greatest Christmas gift we could ever receive. Is this a gift you have opened? Do you have spiritual peace with your Maker? If not, trust in Jesus as the sufficient payment for you sin and His resurrection as the power to forgive and restore relationship to God — and receive spiritual peace forever.