Read: Jeremiah 6:9-17
They have healed the wound of my people lightly, saying, “Peace, peace,” when there is no peace. (v. 14)
I live in the United States. In the last year, my country has been deeply divided over issues of social justice. As a pastor, I have seen that this division continues within the church. Issues of social justice are not new, and neither are fights over them. At the time of Jeremiah, God’s people were convinced that they were living godly, righteous lives. They offered sacrifices, prayed for God’s blessing, and amassed wealth while ignoring the poor.
God demanded something different—peace. The Hebrew word for “peace” is shalom, which in short means “life made right.” God decreed in the law that the Israelites provide food, shelter, medical care, and legal justice to all. He told his people that if anyone went without shalom, none should have it. In the exile, God upended the peace of a people who denied his call to shalom.
When I read this passage, I see myself and my own community in it, and maybe you do too. God decrees generous hearts and a generous society because he is generous. As the apostle John wrote, “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God” (1 John 3:1). Through Jesus, God claims us as his children, fills our lives to overflowing with his good gifts and then invites us to share his true peace. —Ben Van Arragon
As you pray, ask God to replace your partial peace with his shalom.
About the Author
Ben Van Arragon is a pastor, husband, and father of two teenage daughters. He has served the First Christian Reformed Church of Detroit since 2008. He writes and produces video teaching on the Bible and Reformed creeds and confessions. His writing for Words of Hope includes series on Jeremiah, Exodus, and Work and Rest.