TiO 45 – Peace On Earth – Shalom: True Peace

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The Main Idea

Peace is not supposed to be a fleeting experience for the follower of Jesus. The provision of peace is

something that God has promised. Not just that, he has created a covenant (contract) to provide us with

peace, even if everything else should crumble to the ground. This peace (shalom) is not what we would

intuitively think it is, though.

Warm Up Questions: (Choose 1 or 2)

Q1: Are you travelling for Christmas? Where?

Q2: Do you usually spend time with your family (immediate or extended) at Christmas?

Q3: What emotions come to mind when you think of Christmas and the Christmas season?

Dig a Little Deeper

We talk about peace. We desire peace. But the Old Testament word that most often gets translated as

“peace”, shalom, does not mean peace in the way that we often think of it. Jon took us through Isaiah 54 as

well as through Syria and Swaziland to show us what peace can look like even in places where peace is not

readily apparent.

Read Isaiah 54:1-10

The situation in Israel was desperate at the time Isaiah wrote this. Israel had been overrun and was in ruins.

They continued to be in captivity and were desperate.

Q1: To what does verse 1 compare Israel’s current state?

Q2: What emotions do you think are attached with the inability to have children?

God does not want Israel to be in despair over her situation. Instead, he encourages them to look to the

future.

Q3: According to verses 2-6, what should Israel’s response be to her current situation?

– 2 –

And this response is not just to be wishful thinking.

Q4: According to verses 7-8, where is Israel’s hope to be found?

In the Bible, poets and prophets often use parallelism to convey meaning. In verses 9-10 Isaiah holds up a

story that all of Israel would recognize and says, “You know what this familiar story means. Your current

story is just like that one.”

Q5: According to verses 9-10, how does Isaiah compare the promise to Noah to the current promise he is

giving?

In verse 10, Isaiah refers to God’s “covenant of peace”, here the word shalom is translated as peace. This

peace is not just a hope or a promise, it is a covenant, a contract between God and the people of Israel.

Q6: What is the contract that God has made with the people of Israel?

Jon concluded with a picture of peace, real peace, as he said, “Peace does not need the waters to slow, the

storms to fade, or the winds to die down. Peace is finding wholeness in the midst of all of those things.”

Next Steps

In John 14:27 Jesus says to his disciples, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you

as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.”

Peace in our lives is a promise, it is a goal, and it can be our expectation.

During this Christmas season, even as we celebrate many do not have peace: and this may describe your

world.

Q1: In what areas of your life do you need peace, that knowledge of the wholeness of God and his calm in

the midst of chaos?

Pray together for the peace that only Jesus can bri

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