God’s Peaceful Word

Psalm 119:161-168
Princes persecute me without cause,
But my heart stands in awe
of Your word.
I rejoice at Your word
As one who finds great treasure.
I hate and abhor lying,
But I love Your law.
Seven times a day I praise You,
Because of Your righteous judgments.
Great peace have those
who love Your law,
And nothing causes them to stumble.
LORD, I hope for Your salvation,
And I do Your commandments.
My soul keeps Your testimonies,
And I love them exceedingly.
I keep Your precepts and
Your testimonies,
For all my ways are before You.

John Lennon once wrote, “Imagine all the people living life in peace. You may say that I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us, and the world will be as one.” This sentiment became the most popular song of Lennon’s solo career, and its impact on popular culture both in the United States and Great Britain is difficult to overestimate. Following its use at the closing ceremonies of the 2012 London Olympics, this 30-year-old song re-entered the UK Top 40, rising all the way to #18. Clearly, the ideal of a world at peace is shared by many people, and Lennon believed that peace would naturally spring from a world in which there was no religion, nationality, or private property. But this idealistic fantasy runs contrary to the wisdom of God as revealed in the 21st stanza of Psalm 119. Instead of finding peace within the hearts of men who have been stripped of their individualism and personal rights, we find that peace comes from God to those who love His word.

Would you like to enjoy true peace? Then we must learn from the words of the Psalmist to stand in awe of God’s word, rejoicing in it as one who finds a priceless treasure. Sadly, the Scriptures are so readily and cheaply available to us as Americans that we have little reason to value our copy of the Bible, and we do not think highly enough of its Author to do more than carry it to church or take the occasional glance at its pages. And yet God’s word remains the only sure source of truth in a world filled with manipulation and deceit. We would be wise to emulate the Psalmist whose praise is continually directed to God because of His righteousness is revealed through His word. When was the last time your heart overflowed with praise to God as you saw Him revealed in the pages of Scripture?

He does not withhold peace from mankind, but men have rejected His law and so cannot find peace. Instead of walking in His precepts, we have sought to forge our own pathway to peace, only to find that it constantly eludes us at every turn. Let us pursue peace, then, not by looking within or by trusting in the ideas of men, but by turning to the LORD and hoping in his salvation. Let us strive to obey His word, not out of obligation but as a grateful response to the One who has so loved us and given Himself for us. Let us remember that He sees all of our ways, and He promises to keep from stumbling all those who love His law. Someday the world will enjoy peace, because all will know the One whose word brings righteousness and peace.

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