Read: Jeremiah 33:1-9
I will heal my people and let them enjoy abundant peace and security. (v. 6 NIV)
Throughout the Old Testament, God promised one thing above all others: peace. The Hebrew word for “peace” is shalom, a term with sweeping, almost cosmic implications. Shalom, best understood, means “all things as they were meant to be.”
During the exile, God’s people experienced the opposite of shalom. Jerusalem’s buildings were torn down and its streets filled with the casualties of war. But God would not hide his face forever. He would cleanse his people and forgive their sin (v. 8), heal Jerusalem and its inhabitants (v. 6), and use Jerusalem’s newfound “prosperity and peace” to bless the nations of the world (v. 9 NIV).
During the exile, these promises seemed impossibly far off. God’s people waited 500 years for the firstfruits of shalom: the birth of Jesus, the Prince of Peace. Jesus represented the redemption of the Holy City and initiated peace between humanity and God.
A greater peace is coming. Revelation 21 describes the return of the King, the reunion of heaven and earth, and the restoration of creation. In an age of environmental degradation, racial tension, and political division, we depend on this promise of peace. God has already made peace with us through the Prince of Peace. On that basis, we can expect the great peace that is still to come. —Ben Van Arragon
As you pray, ask God for the patience to wait for his peace.
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.