Shalom. It’s a word we’re familiar with, but it’s biblical definition is much more complex than our English word, peace. In the original language, Shalom is defined as completeness, wholeness, health, peace, welfare, safety soundness, tranquility, prosperity, perfection, fullness, rest, harmony, the absence of agitation or discord.
As we probe the precepts of Proverbs, we find that peace – or the lack thereof – is threaded throughout this wonderful book of wisdom. Although Scripture identifies three very important aspects of peace (peace with God, peace of God and peace with one another), Proverbs primarily focuses on peace with one another – with those in our homes – with our friends – – with acquaintances – with those in our churches – and with other nations.
Today, we’re going to examine peace in Proverbs and the commands and benefits of walking in peace as well as the consequences of choosing not to.
So, let’s take a walk through the peace we find in Proverbs:
Proverbs 3:2 – Obeying God’s Commandments and walking in wisdom infuses peace into our lives.
Proverbs 3:17 – Wisdom paves a peaceful path through life.
Proverbs 6:12-15 –Wicked men who stir up strife wind up hurting themselves in the process.
Proverbs 6:16-19 – Those who sow discord among the brethren are among the six things God hates.
Proverbs 7:9-15, 10:10 – Seduction masqueraded as peace is the epitome of a hypocrite.
Proverbs 12:20 – In contrast to the demented minds of evil doers, those who plan peace find joy.
Proverbs 13:10 – Strife begins in the heart of the proud. Got pride? – no peace. Know peace? – got no pride problem.
Proverbs 15:1, 18 – Our words can speak peace into conflicting circumstances.
Proverbs 16:7 – When our ways please the Lord it affects the way others treat us.
Proverbs 16:27-30 – The destructive influences of a strife stirrers have disastrous ramifications.
Proverbs 17:1, 21:9, 19, 25:24 – Our homes should be a haven of peace not a war zone.
Proverbs 18:19 – Restoring relationships with those who are closest to us can sometimes be the most difficult.
Proverbs 20:3, 22:10 – Avoiding confrontation with strife strates can help you be a strife stopper.
Psalm 34:14 calls us to, “Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.”
Peace with God is what we’re given when we become children of the Most High God (John 16:33); the peace of God is ours when our minds are fixed on Christ (Phil 4:7); peace with one another is also accomplished when we love each other well (1 Thes 5:12-14).
George Washington once said, “Observe good faith and justice toward all nations. Cultivate peace and harmony with all.”
Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” Matthew 5:9
When you’re in your home, pursue peace. When you’re with your neighbors, pursue peace. When you’re in the company of friends, pursue peace. When you’re dealing with those in the body of Christ, pursue peace. When you have opportunity to minister in other nations, pursue peace.
When others hurt your feelings do you find it difficult to maintain peace? Would you consider your home a haven of peace? Are you a peace maker, a strife starter or a strife stopper?
Shalom to you, sweet friends!