Thursday, August 03, 2006

A Peace-Loving Israeli

The concept of shalom permeates Jewish society. From a casual greeting "shalom!" to a title of Divinity "SHALOM" (Judges 6.24) the word is often on their lips. Shalom means peace, the state of rest, well-being, completeness and prosperity (according to W.E. Vine).

This shalom sentiment seems a far cry from the current actions of the state of Israel as portrayed in the Western media (bbc, cnn). But let's think for a while about one Jew whose every word and action epitomized perfect shalom.

He said things like this:
  • "Let tired and troubled people come to me and I'll give you shalom" (Matthew 11.28)
  • "I bequeath shalom to you, my shalom I give to you freely" (John 14.27)

He did things like this:
  • Bring immediate shalom to nature, on a stormy night at sea. (Mark 4.35-39)
  • Grant lasting shalom to people, afraid and doubtful as they were (John 20.19-23)

The greatest shalom He offers is in our relationship with God. Naturally we are estranged from God, alienated by our sinfulness. He can provide us with forgiveness, reconciliation and shalom. How? Because he
"made shalom by the blood of His cross." (Colossians 1.20)

In His death, He suffered all the trials, troubles and torments so that we can come to know and enjoy the perfect shalom of God in our hearts. The angel song of "Shalom on earth, good-will to men" can become a reality to us when we accept Jesus as Messiah, Saviour, and Lord in our lives.

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