God's Gift

Friday: Prince of Peace

Isaiah 9:6 In this week’s lessons, we look at the four names of Christ seen in Isaiah’s prophecy concerning the child to be born.
Prince of Peace

And then finally there is the title Prince of Peace. That title more than any other is associated with Christmas because it’s what the angels were talking about. They said “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” You and I need wisdom. We need power. We need this kind of all-embracing home. And we also need peace, because in ourselves we are not at peace. James describes the wicked—which is what we are apart from the work of Christ—as a troubled sea that has no rest. Somebody has said that the chief problem with the human race is that human beings don’t know how to sit in their room and be still. We’re always up to something. We’re always restless. We’re churning around inside. We just cannot sit quietly and contemplate God and be content. Jesus is the One who comes to bring peace because He Himself embodies peace, and give His peace to us.

There are different kinds of peace we need. We need peace with God first of all, because we’re not at peace with God apart from the work of Christ. We are sinners and therefore are at war with God. We may not like it, and we may not like to admit it. We may say, “Oh, no, I’m not at war with God.” But we are, because we’re going our own way and not acknowledging His rule over us. Part of the work of Christ is to bridge that gap to achieve reconciliation. That’s why in the fifth chapter of Romans, peace is described as one of the results of justification. That chapter begins, “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” That’s where it starts. It’s the peace that we need.

But there’s a second kind of peace that we need, and that’s internal peace. It’s the peace of God which is meant to flood our souls as we live in harmony with His will and have the Holy Spirit at work in us. As Paul wrote to the Philippians, “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:7). It’s something for which we pray and which God increasingly works into our lives as we strive daily to obey Him. Jesus Christ is the source of that peace.

I wonder at this Christmastime if you’ve experienced those things that the Lord Jesus Christ can bring. Like all the other Old Testament figures, Isaiah was looking for the coming of the One who should be all these things. They perhaps inevitably saw it as something that was far distant, something to be hoped for, but yet not something to be fully realized in their day.

I think of that great sentinel, Simeon, waiting for the coming of Christ. Unlike Old Testament saints, Simeon had received this marvelous revelation that he wouldn’t die until he had seen the Lord’s Christ. But until the Messiah was revealed to him, he, like Isaiah, was waiting in hope for that Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace. At last that child was born. The Son of God was given. Simeon stood there and he held that baby in his arms, the Savior who was all these things about which Isaiah speaks. 

Our passage in Isaiah 9 ends, “The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.” Has He accomplished that in your heart? Have you found Christ to be all those things? If not, you need to bow before a text like this and pray, “O God, I have read these things, and I do believe them. I believe that Jesus is all these things. But I know that I still trust my own will, my own wisdom, and I somehow think that I am able to run my own life. I often feel very alienated from you and that heavenly home that you’ve provided. And I often don’t really know the wonder of your peace. I ask you to give me that and to make it real to me through Jesus Christ.”

If you sincerely pray that, God, who sent His Son to be born as a child, will send Him in a special way into your heart. And if that happens, Jesus will be each of these things for you personally, and so bless your life and enrich it, and make you a channel of blessing to other people.

Study Questions
  1. What is the first kind of peace we need? How is it achieved?
  2. Describe the second kind of peace we need.

Reflection: What contributes to the general lack of peace we see in our world today, and also experience ourselves?

For Further Study: Download for free and listen to Donald Barnhouse’s message, “When Love Came Down.” (Discount will be applied at checkout.)

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