I never thought a trip to Israel was important
Taking a class as I head toward my doctorate brought a concept to light about the greeting that seems to be prevalent over there. In Hawaii, you might use the phrase Aloha, coming and going. In the deep south it could possibly be, “Hi y’all”. But when you think and talk about Israel, the popular phrase is Shalom.
It’s not a word found in the New Testament, because it’s roots are in Hebrew, not Greek or Aramaic. But the translated word into any language might simply say, “Peace.” In Israel, they simply said “Shalom”.
- Not the “Peace” of the 60’s when they marched against war or used a symbol found in the roots of the UK Nuclear Disarmament movement.
- Nor is the holding up of two fingers to represent “Peace!”
- Nor is the symbol of the dove that prevails through out the world peace movement.
In fact, Jesus speaks of Peace that he gives that has nothing to do with the world. (John 14:27) It is his peace that can calm the storms with a spoken word. (Mark 4:39) He speaks peace to a troubled soul and causes a spirit to leave a man. (Mark 1:25) It is what Paul tells us that we are sanctified (separated unto God) by the very God of Peace. (1 Th 5;23)
It’s almost as thinking about the final day of creation when God looked over all his work and said, “It is very good.” There was a completeness, almost a final smile of approval, that everything he saw was whole. Complete. Harmonious..
It’s almost as if he looked and uttered, “Shalom.”
From those early days of man until now there has not seemingly been a moment when I think God could look over his creation and utter that phrase. From the corrupted nature of mankind and the creation, it would seem like we can find no real peace. Pollution, crime, moral failures. It’s almost as if the bleak landscape of Hollywood’s genius minds are at work to paint as negative a picture as possible.
Of course, you can live in the negativity with relative ease. There are times when we struggle with disharmony, deep disagreements between individuals, war, disease, and a plethora of load bearing news. There is a spiritual side of me that says to shrug off this constant press of negativity and live an over coming and peaceful existence with all mankind. (Romans 12:10, Mark 9:50)
Hey, you can shake off those constant bad reports and live a life of Peace in the Holy Spirit – that’s the only source of peace.But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23 ESV)
There is no law, or situation, against which the Spirit cannot produce an offspring of Love. Joy. Peace. Patience. Kindness. Goodness. Faithfulness. Gentleness. Self Control. These are the true offspring of a relationship with God that centers around “Shalom.”
Where is your peace today?