Archive for December 22, 2008

prince-of-peaceNovember 21, 1873, in the icy waters of the Atlantic, two ships suddenly collided. When told her passenger ship, the Ville de Havre was sinking, a young mother gathered her four daughters on deck for a family prayer meeting. This young mother knelt with her daughters Annie (10), Maggie (8), Bessie (5) and Tanetta (2) and prayed that they might be saved or else be made willing to die. Ira Sankey revealed in his memoirs that Annie and Maggie had come to know Jesus in a small meeting in Chicago just months before. As the family huddled together, three of the daughters were swept away by the icy waves. Anna Spafford clung to her remaining daughter,  Tanetta, but the force of the waves was too strong. Her daughter was snatched away by the angry sea, and the distraught mother was knocked unconscious. She was rescued by sailors from the Loch Earn.

Back in the United States, Horatio Spafford was waiting for news of his family, and at last, ten days later (after the rescue ship had reached Cardiff), it came. saved-alone“Saved alone, what shall I do” was his wife’s message. Imagine the effect of this horrible tragedy. It was only  been a few months since the Chicago fire on October 8, 1871 caused the destruction of most of his real estate investments. Now God had not only taken his wealth but also his family. For as Horatio his loss with His Lord, a loss which could not be reversed in this life, he found that peace which indeed passes all understanding. Toward morning he told a friend named Major Whittle, “I am glad to be able to trust my Lord when it costs me something.” Then, sometime later, as he reflected on the disaster at sea, he wrote this well known hymn:

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,

When sorrows like sea-billows roll;

Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,

It is well, it is well with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,

Let this blest assurance control,

That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,

And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

My sin—Oh, the bliss of this glorious thought,

My sin—not in part, but the whole,

Is nailed to the cross and I bear it no more,

Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, 0 my soul!

And, Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight,

The clouds be rolled back as a scroll,

The trump shall resound and the Lord shall descend,

“Even so”—it is well with my soul.

Such tragedy could only become peace because Horatio Spafford knew intimately the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ.

Sar Shalom

sar-shalomJesus is our Sar Shalom, our Prince of Peace as Isaiah prophesied in Isaiah 9:6. This is the last of our Four Titles describing this Baby whose birth we celebrate at Christmas.Since His birth 2000 years ago, this world has seen little peace.

Peaceful Paradise Found?

A true story is told of a retired couple seeking to find the safest place on earth to retire to.falklands-peaceful-paradise The Iron Curtain was still up and they were concerned about surviving a nuclear war. They were blessed with wealth and so traveled extensively before making their decision. Finally they moved and after getting settled in the sent their former Pastor a Christmas Card from their new home. They described the Falkland Islands as their “peaceful paradise”. Yet four months later on March 26, 1982, their peaceful paradise became the battleground of Argentina and Great Britain. So much for Peaceful Paradise.

Once There Was Peace

There once was “peaceful paradise” on Earth. Imagine perfection here on earth. You have super strength, super memory, you never age, never sweat, never tire, never get sick. You can cover miles in a day without breaking a sweat. You have food galore. You have no fears, even of the fiercest animal. You have a gorgeous wife (Miss Universe) who is your help meet. There are no weeds, no flies, no mosquitoes. To top it off you walk with God in the evening. He is as close as you could imagine. There is no labor during childbirth. There are no disagreements between husbands and wives.

paradise-of-peaceParadise, Garden of Eden. We had that. Adam and Eve enjoyed it. Yet that wasn’t enough. You know the story. They disobeyed and the wrath of God came upon them. They were expelled from paradise, and as a consequence of their sin, their bodies started aging, childbirth became dangerous, life became hard. Conflicts entered into marriages, into family relationships. Within just a few short years the first murder took place, between brothers.

This world went from peaceful paradise to horrific hell in moments.

Into this Hell created by Sin, a baby boy was born. He is Sar Shalom. The Prince of Peace


Sar means Commander, Chief, Ruler, Captain, Prince. The picture is of a Man who is a Leader with Authority, a  Leader with Responsibility to fulfill an important task. Indeed Jesus came with Authority from God. He was responsible to fulfill the Father’s Will.

Isaiah 9:7 says “His government and its peace will never end. He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity.”

Jesus is the Prince with the Authority & Responsibility to Bring Peace to this world, to mankind.


Now most of us Gentile types reduce the meaning of this word Shalom to our ideas of peace, whether peace among people or inner peace. But shalom is a word so packed full of meaning and importance that even the best scholars, theologians, and Hebrew lexicons struggle to come up with English words to capture its full significance.

Shalom means much more than absence of war or inner peace.

Shalom expresses completeness, wholeness, harmony, fulfillment, health, safety. Implicit in Shalom is the idea of unimpaired relationships with others and fulfillment in all of your undertakings. Shalom pictures Growth and Prosperity. In nearly two-thirds of its occurrences, shālôm describes the state of fulfillment which is the result of God’s presence.

Aaronic Blessing

The Aaronic blessing of (Numbers 6:24-26) pictures the man whom God has Given Shalom: He is Blessed (bārak), Guarded (shāmar), and Treated Graciously (ḥānan), by God!

Shalom is What Man Enjoyed in the Garden of Eden.

“Shalom,” pictures all that God desires and plans for all creation. It is God’s heart desire, God’s perfect and full will, and therefore God’s decreed plan that all the human race, that all the animal world, that all the beings ever created, that all the universe dwell in perfect, full, and eternal Shalom.

Jesus Was Born to Restore Shalom to Earth

angels-announce-the-shalom-of-jesusWhen the Angels sang to the Shepherds, they were singing to the whole earth for ages to come: The Angels knew that with Christ appearing on earth, finally Peace would be possible.

Luke 2:14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

This is the gospel in one sentence. God’s glory, God’s peace, and God’s favor resting once again upon the wayward human race! This one-sentence gospel proclamation of “God’s peace to all people” connects this angelic declaration to our prophetic passage from Isaiah wherein Christ is called the “Prince of Peace.” In Shalom we discover the entire Gospel in one word.

Shalom is Man’s Longing

When the Shepherds heard this proclamation by the angels that God’s peace, God’s shalom, and God’s favor, God’s grace, now rests upon all because of this child born in Bethlehem, they would have understood this good news to be the fulfillment of all the longings of the Jewish people for God to usher in the promised day of Shalom. Christ the newborn king, Christ the Wonderful Counselor, Christ the Mighty God and Eternal Father, also came to planet earth to become the Prince of Shalom. Through Christ’s life, death, and Resurrection the longed-for divine promise of universal Shalom was finally ushered in.

We need to understand why Jesus is called Prince of Peace and what it means for all those who are born again children of God.

Man Can Never bring Shalom to this World.

Mans Conduct means NO PeaceGod’s meaning of Shalom revolves around the way we live. It was Adam and Eve’s conduct that shattered the peace between man and God. Cain’s conduct broke the peace between him and Abel and him and God. As it is with all of us, conduct makes or breaks the peace!

  • Man’s Conduct broke the peace between God and Man

Romans 3:10-12 (NKJV) As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one; There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one.”

Romans 3:23 (NKJV) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

Romans 1:18 (ESV) For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.

  • Man’s Conduct brought the Ruin of Sin upon all men.

Romans 5:12 (NKJV) Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned.

Sickness, Psychological problems, Depression, Physical problems, we are all struggling against death-death to our souls, death to our bodies because of Sin! God meant what He said “On that day you eat thereof, you shall surely die!”

  • Man’s Conduct Destroyed the Completeness of God’s Creation.

When God completed His creation, the Bible records: “And God saw His Creation and said it was Very Good.” Sin corrupted this world and destroyed the Paradise that God had created. His Creation became a pre-cursor to the Hell that awaits all those who die in their sins.

Romans 8:20 “Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse.”

  • Man’s Conduct Ruined Fulfillment of God’s Purpose for our lives.

Romans 8:21-23 (NLT) the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. 22 For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us.

Jesus had the Authority to Bring Shalom to this world.

jesus-had-authority-to-restore-shalomJesus Christ came to this world armed with a Divine Command: Bring Glory to the Father by Destroying the Power of Satan and Redeeming Mankind. Jesus broke down all barriers to True Shalom because He and only He had the Authority and the Power and the CONDUCT to do so!

Luke 1:79 (KJV) To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.

  • Jesus’ Conduct brought Shalom between God and Man

Romans 5:1 (KJV) Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

Romans 5:10 (NKJV) For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.

  • Jesus’ Conduct brought Shalom to Men

Jesus himself is our PEACE!

Ephesians 2:13-16 (NKJV) 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, 15 having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, 16 and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity.

  • Jesus’ Conduct brought Shalom to the sin-sick souls of man

Romans 5:19 (NKJV) For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.

2 Peter 1:2-4 (NKJV) 2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, 3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, 4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

  • Jesus’ Conduct brought Shalom to God’s Creation

Isaiah 11:1-8 (NKJV) 1 There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, And a Branch shall grow out of his roots. 2 The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, The Spirit of wisdom and understanding, The Spirit of counsel and might, The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord. 3 His delight is in the fear of the Lord, And He shall not judge by the sight of His eyes, Nor decide by the hearing of His ears; 4 But with righteousness He shall judge the poor, And decide with equity for the meek of the earth; He shall strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, And with the breath of His lips He shall slay the wicked. 5 Righteousness shall be the belt of His loins, And faithfulness the belt of His waist. 6 “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, The leopard shall lie down with the young goat, The calf and the young lion and the fatling together; And a little child shall lead them. 7 The cow and the bear shall graze; Their young ones shall lie down together; And the lion shall eat straw like the ox. 8 The nursing child shall play by the cobra’s hole, And the weaned child shall put his hand in the viper’s den.

  • Jesus’ Conduct brought Shalom – God’s Purpose to our lives and to this world.

2 Timothy 1:9 (NKJV) who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began,

Ephesians 3:10-11 (NKJV) 10 to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, 11 according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord,

Jesus’ Conduct means Shalom is possible for this World. Peace is available by faith, and Peace will be available when Christ reigns.

We have the Authority for Peace in our World through Jesus Christ

John 14:27 (NKJV) Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

John 16:33 (NKJV) These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

Philippians 4:6-7 (NKJV) Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

To Experience Shalom, we must Submit to the Authority of the Prince of Shalom!

Philippians 4:9 (NKJV) The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.

Psalms 37:37 (KJV) Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace.

submit-to-the-authority-of-jesus-our-sar-shalomAre you at peace with God? Shalom is the result of God’s Presence in our Lives! As you rest your head upon your pillow tonight, do you know your sins are forgiven and that you are confident you are God’s born again child? Give your heart and life to Jesus, submit to the authority of the Cross for forgiveness of your sins. Are you at peace in your heart with your past failings, with what God has done in your life, with what God is doing in your life? Submit your will and your fears to the authority of the Prince of Peace. Rest in His authority over the events of your life. Do you struggle with fears and anxieties? Realize that Jesus has given you His peace, that He has overcome the world, and under His Authority He will allow only that which is for His Glory and our edification in the faith. Are you walking in peace with your family, your friends, your neighbors? Is their hatred or resentment toward others? Submit your grievances to the one who has the authority to bring peace between the worst of enemies. And as much as is in you, on your part, live in peace with all men. Are you struggling with fulfillment and purpose in your life? Then submit your will and plans and possessions to the authority and control of the Prince!

The Authority of Jesus is not Because of a Kingly Crown.

With earthly Kings and Prices, crowns have always been the sign of authority and Kingship.

Charlemagne, whom historians say should deserve to be called “great” above all others, wore an octagonal crown. Each of the eight sides was a plaque of gold, and each plaque was studded with emeralds, sapphires, and pearls. The cost was the price of a king’s ransom.

Richard the Lion Heart had a crown so heavy that two earls had to stand, one on either side, to hold his head.

The crown that Queen Elizabeth wore was worth over $20 million in 1937.

Put them all together, from all of Europe and from the archives of the East, all of them are but trinkets compared to Christ’s crown.

Revelation 19 says he has many diadems. He wears a crown of righteousness. He wears a crown of glory. He wears a crown of life. He wears a crown of peace and power. Among those crowns, one outshines the rest. It was not formed by the skilled fingers of a goldsmith, nor created by the genius of a craftsman. It was put together hurriedly by the rough hands of Roman soldiers. It was not placed upon its wearer’s head in pomp and ceremony, but in the hollow mockery of ridicule and blasphemy.

It is a crown of thorns.

The Crown of Peace that our Prince of Peace wears is that hastily made Crown of Thorns.authority-for-peace-is-from-his-crown

In Isaiah 53:5, we read this about Christ:“But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us Shalom was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.”

The amazing thing is that the crown of thorns belonged to you and me. I deserved to wear that crown. I deserved to feel the thrust of the thorns. I deserved to feel the blood streaming upon my brow. I deserved the judgment of God upon my sins.

He freely took my crown of thorns. That Crown is His Authority to offer you and me His Peace, God’s Shalom. He offers to each of us His crown of life, the crown that fadeth not away. He Offers us His Peace. He IS OUR PEACE!

Shalom happens because of God’s Presence. Is Jesus living in your heart today?

A friend visited an elderly woman badly crippled by arthritis. When asked, “Do you suffer much?” she responded, “Yes, but there is no nail here,” and she pointed to her hand. “He had the nails, I have the peace.” She pointed to her head. “There are no thorns here. He had the thorns, I have the peace.” She touched her side. “There is no spear here. He had the spear, I have the peace.”

That is what the coming of our Sar Shalom means for us-He gave of himself so that we might have the Shalom of God.