The Pathway to Peace
Yael Eckstein | November 7, 2022
If you follow my decrees and are careful to obey my commands… I will grant peace in the land, and you will lie down and no one will make you afraid. I will remove wild beasts from the land, and the sword will not pass through your country. —Leviticus 26:3-6
Peace, shalom, is a paramount value for both Christians and Jews. Explore this elusive attribute through my devotions and what we can learn about adding it to our lives, our relationships, and our world.
Ever since the founding of the State of Israel, the number one dream of all Israelis has been peace. We have always yearned for peace and have made unprecedented compromises for peace. From surrendering the Sinai to Egypt to withdrawing from the Gaza Strip, Israel has bent over backwards in pursuit of this lofty goal.
While political leaders get all the credit, as people of faith, we know from the Bible that God alone grants us peace. (See Isaiah 45:7.) And for us to merit peace from God, we must make peace with God.
We see this message over and over in the Bible.
The Pathway to Peace
We read in Leviticus, “‘If you follow my decrees and are careful to obey my commands… I will grant peace in the land, and you will lie down and no one will make you afraid. I will remove wild beasts from the land, and the sword will not pass through your country.’” As the verse promises, when we obey God’s Word, He will give us peace.
We find another example in the Book of Esther. The story begins with King Xerxes hosting a huge feast. According to Jewish tradition, King Xerxes used the vessels he plundered from the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and invited the Jews so that they might abandon their traditions and become like other Persians.
By using their holy vessels, the king was telling the Jews to give up on their Temple and their faith and embrace Persia as their new Jerusalem. Tradition teaches that Mordechai told the Jews not to go to the feast. But many went anyway.
It has been said that when God’s people forget who they are, He sends an enemy to remind them. And that’s exactly what happened when God responded by sending Haman and his evil plans.
The turning point in the story was when Esther told Mordecai to gather all the Jews to fast and pray for three days. From that point in the story, everything turned around, leading to the victory over the enemies of the Jews.
Most people think that the pathway to peace with our enemies is to appease them and win them over. But the Bible teaches otherwise; if we want peace, we need to please God.
We live in a time of conflict in the world. We can do our part for peace by getting right with God.