Welcome again to our Holiday series from Isaiah. Today, we’re going to complete the series with a look at the Prince of Peace.*
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9.6, NIV)
Peace is often established after warfare. This is often how peace is referenced in the Hebrew Bible. So as we enter into this particular piece on peace, I want to point that out in advance. There are other aspects of peace, but I don’t focus on those here. It’s good to keep in mind what it would have meant at the time of Christ.
So enjoy and have a Merry Christmas!
Jesus is the Prince of Peace
i. The Hebrew communal concept of peace
The Israeli society, at the time of Isaiah and even Christ, is based entirely on understanding peace. The word for it is shalom.
Peace from God is not just personal peace. It’s not just good feelings that I’m supposed to have inside, that make me feel good about myself. Peace is not like self-esteem.
Peace is communal
We forge peace within community. It takes work. Peace means safety, welfare, tranquility.
If you follow it through the Hebrew Bible, peace is often established after war. The peace of Israel is established as Israel battles and takes their Promised Land, what God has for them. King David establishes the peace of Israel when he basically says “No, God has promised us more!” David launches out into battle and claims territories that God has already promised to them.
Peace is established after warfare
Are there promises God has made to you? Do you think the enemy wants you to step right into your promised land?
Do you know unsaved loved ones? Has God given you a burden for them? You want to see them saved, their lives transformed. Do you think the enemy is just going to hand those people over to you?
Peace is established because we do battle
Has God ever spoken to Mt Zion Family Worship Center about how He is going to use you to reach this region? Some of you are scrolling through prophetic words in your mind right now, that you’ve heard for the congregation.
Will the enemy lift up the gates of the strongholds he has established in Traverse City? Is he going to say, “Come right on in guys, take it”?
Peace must be established as we take the territory that God has for us
There are strongholds in Traverse City that pastors are praying about around the region, and they need to come down. The enemy is not just going to hand it over to us. We have a responsibility here to establish the peace of God.
ii. Establishing peace requires war. This is war!
It may be time for the church to stop focusing on ourselves. It may be time for the church to advance on enemy territory.
Thank God that He’s given us His Son who fights our battles for us
The same Christ who is the Mighty God warring for us, is also the Prince of Peace establishing us in the new territory that He has for us.
That’s a fuller understanding of peace. Let’s not just relegate it to a good feeling like a warm muffin inside. That’s not the Biblical understanding of peace.
iii. Jesus Christ is the Prince of Peace
He’s in command of the day and the battle, in command of what He’s going to establish in your life, and where He’s going to place you.
You won’t find peace by running to other people all the time. There is no peace in another place or another thing.
You won’t find peace by joining a group, a club, or a cause that you think will impact society.
You won’t find peace personally in your life by just becoming a better person, by adopting a better regimen, by starting that new year’s diet, or a new exercise routine. That will not bring you peace.
You won’t find peace in a vitamin, in a smoke, in a drug, or in alcohol. There is no peace in any of these things.
iv. You will only find peace in the Prince of Peace!
Quit looking for it in the wrong places!
Only the Prince of Peace can establish your life, breath life into you.
Only the Prince of Peace can establish you in your place in the Kingdom of God.
Only the Prince of Peace can make you whole.
* as previously published by Jared V. Ingle, “Isaiah Foresees the Son of God” (audio sermon, MT. ZION Family Worship Center, Traverse City, MI, December 21, 2014).