Psalm 120- Defining Peace

 
Psalm 120
In my trouble I cried to the Lord,
And He answered me.
2 Deliver my soul, O Lord, from lying lips,
From a deceitful tongue.
3 What shall be given to you, and what more shall be done to you,
You deceitful tongue?
4 Sharp arrows of the warrior,
With the burning coals of the broom tree.

5 Woe is me, for I sojourn in Meshech,
For I dwell among the tents of Kedar!
6 Too long has my soul had its dwelling
With those who hate peace.
7 I am for peace, but when I speak,
They are for war.

Peace. The Psalmist says that He is for peace, and those who hate peace….they are for war. At first read, it would seem odd that a great warrior would say that He was for peace. It begs that we dig deeper into the meaning of the word “peace.”
One of the reasons that discussions and debates seem to go nowhere, is because we are using the same words with entirely different meanings. Some say “choice” even though it generally means the death of an innocent. Some say “tolerance” but really mean “be tolerant with my view while I am completely intolerant of yours.” And of course “Reality” TV in no way implies that the scenes depicted are a true reality.
The importance a words true meaning is one reason that in the Creation v. Evolution debate, Ken Ham spent such a huge chunk of time defining terms. It was necessary. But (yawn) who cares about defining the words we are talking about anymore? We live in a world, where words mean little. Defining words is boring. It is much easier to take a sound bite of a quote, and exploit it for all it is worth.
However, when seeking out the heart of God through His written Word, it is necessary to slow down sometimes, and through prayer and some good commentaries, dig a little deeper. Truth be told, I want to just breeze through these Psalms! I am aching to get back to David’s story in Samuel. But I know there is more to be had for me right now, if I would just be patient.
So what did Jesus have to say about peace?
Matthew 10:34-36
Don’t assume that I came to bring peace on the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household.
Jesus, who is called the “Prince of Peace” claims that he did not come to bring peace, meaning the absence of war or fighting, on the earth. Why? Well, for one, He knew that as long as there is sin in the world, this could never happen. So what kind of peace is He talking about?
Ephesians 6:15

15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

The image here is of the Roman soldier’s sturdy sandals, which gave him stability and protection in battle. Again we see peace, somehow linked with war.
Romans 10:15

15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

I love how Matthew Henry expounds on this verse:
(Peace) It is the word of reconciliation between God and man….. it is glad tidings of good things. The things of the gospel are good things indeed, the best things; tidings concerning them are the most joyful tidings, the best news that ever came from heaven to earth.
So what is peace?
Peace is reconciliation with God.
It is this definition that makes this portion of the Psalms, and even Jesus title as “The Prince of Peace” become so clear.
All of a sudden, I can relate to this verse:
Too long has my soul had it’s dwelling with those who hate peace.”
Since the beginning, this has been the battle. Those who hate the idea of reconciling with or submission to a Holy Godhave always been out for war. They will lie, cheat, steal, and fight to the end. 
Regardless of the words you use, or the kindness you offer, their problem is not with you, it is with the One that sent you.
And yet, despite the war that rages, we have peace. If you have called on Jesus as your Lord, you have been reconciled with God.  Peace.
Ephesains 2:17 And He came and preached peace to you who were far away, and peace to those who were near; 18 for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.
And here is the verse of the day, one to meditate on and reflect back on, when all seems not so peaceful..
One of my favorites:
Ephesians 2:14a For He Himself is our peace!
I pray that we would feel His peace, and that we would be reconciled with Him in the quietness of our hearts, throughout the moments in the day. I pray that we would call out to Him when our soul is anxious or weary and we would be reminded that He is our peace. And in a world wants to war against this peace, this reconciliation, I pray that we would speak boldly, and share the Gospel of peace!
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