WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
NOVEMBER 01, 2023
TOPIC: PEACE ON EVERY SIDE
BY T. O. BANSO
“You know that my father, David, was not able to build a Temple to honor the name of the Lord his God because of the many wars waged against him by surrounding nations. He could not build until the Lord gave him victory over all his enemies. But now the Lord my God has given me peace on every side; I have no enemies, and all is well” (1 Kings 5:3-4 New Living Translation).
One of the names of Jesus is the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). Peace is a scarce commodity in many places today. Many people don’t have peace of mind. Sinners lack peace of mind. The LORD says there is no peace for the wicked (Isaiah 48:22). There is violence, a breakdown of law and order, and an increase in all kinds of crime in some nations with innocent people being killed. Many law-abiding citizens are living in palpable fear.
A major prayer point among citizens today in some countries is for peace and security, which the security agencies in some climes are unable to guarantee because of many factors.
One day, Jesus went to Jerusalem. As He and His disciples came closer to the city, He began to weep over it: “How I wish today that you of all people would understand the way to peace. But now it is too late, and peace is hidden from your eyes” (Luke 19:42 New Living Translation). May it not be too late for us to understand the way to peace. May we all understand the way to peace early.
The New King James Version renders Luke 19:42-44 thus: “If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side, and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation” (New King James Version).
Jerusalem, at the time Jesus spoke, was experiencing some peace though it was under Roman domination. But Jesus gave a prophecy of what would happen to it in years to come. What He saw was so disheartening that He wept.
The religious leaders, out of envy, would crucify the Prince of Peace not long from the time He spoke. They rejected Jesus Christ. They didn’t understand the way to peace or find the way of peace. The things that made for Jerusalem’s peace were hidden from it. The enemies would besiege Jerusalem on every side and level it to the ground. No stone would be left on another. This would happen because they did not recognize the time of God’s coming to them; they did not recognize it when God visited them
The words of Jesus came to pass in A.D 70 when the Romans, led by Titus, besieged Jerusalem to quash a Jewish revolt that had begun at about A.D 66. The Romans entered the city, burnt it, and killed several Jews.
Some things make for our peace or bring us peace, the most important being accepting Jesus as our Lord and Saviour. When we are blind to or neglect what makes for our peace, we experience a lack of peace. Sinners must invite the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ, into their hearts to have peace. Also, people must diligently work for peace, not violence, crisis, war, etc. by their words, actions, or inaction. Matthew 5:9 says God blesses those who work for peace or the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God.
The government and its people must work for peace. We must pray for it but we must also work for it. We must not pay lip service to peace because, without peace, not much personal or national development can be achieved. Resources meant for development are diverted to prosecuting a war or trying to restore peace. This is not the best.
It is better to avoid war as much as possible. This is wisdom. Wisdom says, “But all who listen to me will live in peace, untroubled by fear of harm” (Proverbs 1:33 New Living Translation). The New King James Version puts it this way: “But whoever listens to me will dwell safely, and will be secure, without fear of evil.”
Individuals and nations need peace. We need all-round peace. David spent much of his time, fighting wars; he couldn’t think early of building the LORD a Temple. Finally, when he wanted to build the LORD a temple, He said the assignment was not for him.
Hear the LORD: “Behold, a son shall be born to you, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies all around. His name shall be Solomon, for I will give peace and quietness to Israel in his days. He shall build a house for My name, and he shall be My son, and I will be his Father; and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever” (1 Chronicles 22:9-10 New King James Version).
Take note of the phrase: “For I will give peace and quietness to Israel in his days.” May the Lord do the same for us today. May He give peace and quietness to our nations. May all forms of violence cease. May peace be restored to our land in Jesus’ name. The LORD gave peace and quietness to Israel because this atmosphere was needed to build the Temple, which lasted seven years. Wars would have been a distraction.
Solomon also spoke about this in 1 Kings 5:3-4: “You know that my father, David, was not able to build a Temple to honor the name of the Lord his God because of the many wars waged against him by surrounding nations. He could not build until the Lord gave him victory over all his enemies. But now the Lord my God has given me peace on every side; I have no enemies, and all is well” (New Living Translation). Many translations use the word “rest” in place of peace.
David could not build because he was fighting many wars with surrounding nations. It took some time before the LORD gave him victory over all his enemies. But Solomon’s case was different. The LORD gave him peace or rest on every side, and he had no enemies and all was well. Work for peace in your marriage, home, society, and nation. Many good things cannot be done in wartime or crisis time.
Leaders, including political and community leaders, don’t always do the right things that promote peace. Sometimes their decisions can precipitate a crisis. They may not be just and fair. Sometimes their advisers give wrong counsel that could cause unrest. That’s why we need to pray for them. Paul says in 1 Timothy 2:2 that we should pray for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.
In some cases, the citizens are blind to or despise the things that make for their peace; they beat the drums of war, probably because they feel the section they come from or the group they belong to is stronger. That’s a faulty mindset.
The king of Israel, Ahab, sent this word to Ben-hadad, king of Syria, who was boasting and threatening to attack and destroy Samaria: “A warrior putting on his sword for battle should not boast like a warrior who has already won” (1 Kings 20:11 New Living Translation). The New King James puts it this way: “Let not the one who puts on his armor boast like the one who takes it off.” The LORD eventually gave Ahab victory over Ben-hadad.
People should wage peace, not war. Nobody is sure how and when any war that starts will end. It’s better to establish peace and guard it jealously. Even the victor in a war suffers some losses.
God has called His children to peace or wants His children to live in peace (1 Corinthians 7:15b). He doesn’t want the loss of lives and property, which happens when there is a breakdown of law and order. Hebrews 12:14a says we should pursue peace with all people. In other words, we should work at living in peace with everyone. Similarly, Romans 12:18 says to do your part to live in peace with everyone, as much as possible. “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men” (Romans 12:18 New King James Version).
Work for peace in your life, family, community, church, place of work, and nation. Also, pray for peace. The Lord will grant your prayer and reward your work for peace.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Holy Spirit, let sinners be convicted of their sins and be at peace with God. Let them not continue to reject the way of peace. Father, put an end to violence and bloodshed in our nations. Let all bloodshed and destruction stop. Help us to live in peace and safety. Cause our governments at all levels to be just and fair to all. Father, give me peace on every side, all-round peace.
(For over 900 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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