Shalom

How blessed are those who make peace! For they will be called sons of God.

Matthew 5:9 CJB

I am a middle child. I have three older sisters and two younger. My oldest sister, Cindy, is nine years older than me, while my youngest sister, Melanie, is nine years younger.

The term most often applied to middle children is peacemakers. That was my role as a child in our loud and sometimes chaotic family. I hated conflict and strove to make peace.

What is a peacemaker?

Google defines it as : “A person who brings about peace, especially by reconciling adversaries.” But, the Hebrew language doesn’t use the word peacemaker, but the phrase “those who make peace.”

In English the word peace means, “freedom from disturbance; tranquility.”

Perhaps the best known Hebrew word for most Christians is shalom. Although people use it as a greeting, most people will say shalom means “peace.” But, if you know me, or have read my blog for any amount of time, you might predict I will tell you there is more to the meaning of the word shalom than just peace. 🙂

Shalom means more than “freedom from disturbance” or absence of strife. Strong’s Concordance, as well as the Hebrew defines shalom as:

Completeness, soundness, welfare, peace

https://biblehub.com/hebrew/7965.htm

Completeness means, Having no deficiency; perfect. Finished; ended; concluded; as, the edifice is complete.https://av1611.com/kjbp/kjv-dictionary/complete.html

Soundness is, “The ability to withstand force or stress without being distorted, dislodged, or damaged.” https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/soundness

The Prince of Peace

Isaiah 9:6 tells us Jesus is the Prince of Shalom or Peace. However, Jesus never promised us a world without disturbance or strife. Actually, quite the opposite.

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.

John 16:33 ESV

They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.

John 12:53 ESV

But, Jesus did promise to make us complete. He promised to give us a sound mind and told us He would never leave us or forsake us.

For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.

Colossians 2:9-10 NKJV

Jesus said, “O the Blessedness of those who make peace…” So, how do we carry out completeness and soundness?

How can we bring people to a place of completion while helping them withstand the battles around them? Prayer, discipleship, helping them discover their identity in Christ, and simply walking this Christian life beside them.

Again, taking in all the Beatitudes we have covered up until now, we find it begins with our heart, humility, and compassion.

In Exodus 34, God describes Himself to Moses:

“YUD-HEH-VAV-HEH!!! Yud-Heh-Vav-Heh [Adonai] is God, merciful and compassionate, slow to anger, rich in grace and truth; showing grace to the thousandth generation, forgiving offenses, crimes and sins; 

Exodus 34:6 CJB

God described Himself as merciful first. Jesus used this exact Hebrew word in the Beatitude: How blessed are those who show mercy! For they will be shown mercy.

Throughout these Beatitudes, Jesus is telling us to be like Him and the Father.

This brings us to the promise of this verse: For they will be called the sons of God. We are most like the Son of God when we are a peaceful, encouraging, and loving presence in people’s lives.

We are most like the Son of God when we are a peaceful, encouraging, and loving presence in people’s lives.

My twins were born at twenty-seven weeks, weighing two pounds and unable to breathe without a ventilator. Women from my church provided me with rides to the hospital, since the doctor had not cleared me to drive. I remember one particular day clearly. While sitting next to their isolettes, I watched Alexandria’s tiny body struggle to breathe–her lungs collapsed. She was already on a ventilator, but the neonatal staff could not keep her lungs inflated. She was so weak and gray-looking from the lack of oxygen circulating in her fragile body.

My driver, who I met for the first time that day, was eight months pregnant, and had three other children at home. I knew she needed to go, but I could not leave Alexandria. I told her to leave me there, but she would not go. She stayed with me until my baby girl was stable. My husband was at our restaurant and since this sister did not want me to be alone at home, she took me there. I don’t see her anymore but will always remember this woman’s kindness and the care she and the other women who took me back and forth to the hospital gave me for six weeks.

They were Jesus to me during my time of need.

Ask the Lord how you can give peace to someone this week.

Here are links to the other Beatitudes in this series…

The Poor in Spirit

Blessed are those who mourn

Blessed are those who are Meek

Blessed are those who Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness

Blessed are those who show Mercy

Blessed are the Pure in Heart

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8 thoughts on “Shalom

  1. Oh, but how I pray God will continue molding me so I might one day be seen as a peacemaker and not a warmonger. Loved this post ma’am.

  2. I was a middle child sandwiched between my two brothers. I wasn’t a peacemaker because as you said with your family it was chaos in between tons of work on the farm. I allow things to get to me to the point that I lose sleep over it. Peace, completeness, soundness would be very nice to have!
    Thanks for going deeper!
    Ben C.

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