Advent 2013, Week 2: Peace
Psalm 72:1-7, 18, 19
Peace as opposed to death, enmity, insecurity, disturbance, disruption, interference, bother, trouble.
The antonyms of peace are many.
After Adam and Eve rebelled against Father in the garden the metanarrative takes on words like enmity and death and murder and so on.
Father, Son and Spirit created a perfect creation that was “good”. All of creation was woven together in perfect harmony. The earth was perfectly watered to cause the proper growth of all plant life as needed as the water rose up from within the earth.
All trees and plants were given over to Adam and Eve to cultivate and eat from (except the tree of knowledge of good and evil). Animals were given over to Adam to name and steward and use for subduing the earth.
Adam and Eve were together in perfect relationship and harmony and joy so much so that Adam sings to her “you are bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh” and he names her “woman” and they were together with no shame.
Our parents had the capacity to reproduce with no impediments. There was no miscommunication. There was no failure to put an event on the calendar. There was no “I told you that two weeks ago….No you didn’t.”
Everything worked together in perfect peaceful rhythm. Peace!
But the enemy, who has at some unspecified time between Genesis 2:1 and Genesis 3:6, rebelled and began seeking to incite rebellion among the image bearers. Satan, the Devil, the Dragon succeeds in duping our parents and just like that the perfect peaceful rhythm was crushed with the awful crushing blow of a hammer of destruction.
All of a sudden Adam and Eve were hiding from the Son walking in the Garden, ashamed of their nakedness, terrified of their creator, their bodies started dying, animals no longer trusted them, plants began to decay, weather patterns were thrown off….
Peace turned into death, enmity, insecurity, disturbance, disruption, interference, bother and trouble. Always winter and never Christmas…(C.S. Lewis)
But Father made a promise in Genesis 3. The offspring of the woman would crush the serpent even though the serpent would strike the Son’s heal, the serpent’s head would be crushed and victory would be had and peace would be restored one day!
In Advent we remember the first coming of the Son who was struck by the serpent but who crushed the serpent’s head and broke the curse of sin and began to restore the peace of Eden.
In his first coming the Son, Jesus, dies and rises and in doing so he broke the curse and the winter began to thaw and we had Christmas! But the curse breaks slowly and the Son has many sons to gather from all nations, so he builds a church of sons of Adam and daughters of Eve to go and gather the sons and daughters from all nations and fight the curse with the attitudes of the Kingdom.
We remember this first coming so that we may anticipate the second coming in which the Son will not come to die again but to finally and fully end the curse and rescue his sons and daughters!
Advent is a season of anticipation.
Week one of Advent presents us with the theme of Hope! We anticipate because we have great hope that what the Father has begun he will complete.
Week two of Advent presents us with the theme of Peace!
We anticipate the restoration of peace like it was before the fall.
The peace of created order will be restored Isaiah 11:1-10
As a picture this is unforgettable and expresses reconciliation, concord and trust with supreme effectiveness. The reign of Christ already produces this kind of transformation in the sphere of human character, and will ultimately change the whole creation (cf. Rom. 8:19–25.). – D.A. Carson
I. The Person of the Messiah (11:1–16)
A. His ancestry (11:1) : The Messiah will come from David’s family.
B. His anointing (11:2) : God’s Holy Spirit will rest on the Messiah, giving him unlimited power and wisdom.
C. His administration (11:3–5): His reign will be just and righteous as he defends the helpless and defeats the wicked.
D. His accomplishments (11:6–16)
1. The Messiah will usher in universal peace among mankind and perfect harmony among the animals (11:6–9): Everyone will live together in peace.
2. All nations will rally to him (11:10, 12a).
3. He will gather the outcasts of Israel from all over the world and will restore them to the land (11:11, 12b–14): The jealousy between Israel and Judah will end, and they will join together to fight against their enemies.
4. He will build a highway of peace from the Red Sea to the Euphrates River (11:15–16).
The peace of justice and righteousness will be restored Psalm 72:1-7, 18, 19
I. The Concern for the King (72:1) . Here David asks God:
A. To endow Solomon with divine justice.
B. To endow Solomon with divine righteousness.
II. The Characteristics of the King (72:2–17): As has been previously noted, these royal characteristics had their partial fulfillment in Solomon, but their ultimate fulfillment awaits the reign of Christ.
A. The moral equity of the King’s reign (72:2)
B. The prosperity of the King’s reign (72:3, 6–7, 16): The entire earth will blossom, producing vast harvests of grain and fruit.
C. The security of the King’s reign (72:4) : The poor, the needy, and the orphans will be delivered from their oppressors.
D. The duration of the King’s reign (72:5, 15, 17): It will outlast the sun and the moon.
E. The extent of the King’s reign (72:8)
1. “From sea to sea.”
2. “To the ends of the earth.”
F. The glory of the King’s reign (72:9–11, 15)
1. Desert nomads and kings will pay tribute to him.
2. All nations will bow down to him and serve him.
G. The compassion of the King’s reign (72:12–14): In great pity, he will rescue the weak and needy, viewing their lives as precious!
III. The Confidence in the King (72:18–19): The psalmist offers up praise to Israel’s glorious God and coming ruler Jesus Christ.
Peace will come to the growing church that is made up of Jew and Gentile (people from all nations) Romans 15:4-13 (verse 9 “in order that the Gentiles”)
The Prompting of Paul (15:1–4, 8–12)
A. His exhortation (15:1–2): Paul urges the mature believer not to please himself but to build up the faith of weaker Christians.
B. His example (15:3–4, 8–12)
1. He points to the Scriptures (15:4) : Its pages are full of examples where many endured and encouraged others.
2. He points to the Savior (15:3, 8–12).
a. Jesus came not to gratify himself but to give himself (15:3) .
b. Jesus came to guarantee God’s salvation to Jews and Gentiles (15:8–12).
(1) To the Jews (15:8) : He came to show that God keeps his promises to the Jews.
(2) To the Gentiles (15:9–12): See also Deuteronomy 32:43; Psalm 18:49; and Isaiah 11:10.
II. The Prayer of Paul (15:5–7, 13)
A. He prays that God would favor the Roman church with endurance, encouragement, and unity (15:5–7).
B. He prays that God will fill the Roman church with joy, peace, and hope (15:13) .
Peace will come to our soul, until then we pursue holiness Matthew 3:1-12
On this side of the fall and on the short side of the restoration of all things, our souls are constantly raked with the ravages of sin and rebellion and we find ourselves in the disturbing pattern of short seasons of peace disrupted by long seasons of grief and struggle.
Sin seems so easy and holiness seems so hard to get to.
Yet the Lord demands we strive to be like him, holy. So we strive!
Too often in the history of the church, people have trusted in living in a “Christian” country, being raised in a Christian family, holding membership or even office in a local church, and even in verbal claims to have repented and to have trusted in Christ. Yet without the evidence of a changed life and perseverance in belief, all such grounds of trust prove futile. – Craig Blomberg
We trust not in our titles, rather we trust in the Gospel that awakens the soul to the need to strive and struggle toward the Kingdom.
Fret not! peace will come to our striving souls. Those who are striving will get the completion of peace. The Lord promised he would complete us (Philippians 1:6). Until then we struggle and repent.
I. John Ministers to the Multitudes (3:1–12)
A. What John preaches (3:1–4)
1. His message (3:1–3)
a. As proclaimed (3:1–2): “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.”
b. As predicted (3:3) : Isaiah the prophet foretold John’s ministry and message some 700 years earlier (Isa. 40:3).
2. His mantle (3:4): He wears a garment of camel’s hair and a leather belt, and he eats locusts and wild honey.
B. To whom John preaches (3:5–10)
1. To the people of Israel (3:5–6): Many accept his message, repent of their sins, and are baptized.
2. To the religious leaders of Israel (3:7–10)
a. John’s description of these wicked men (3:7) : He refers to them as a brood of snakes!
b. The leaders’ demand of John (3:8–10): He warns them to truly repent and do good works or be destroyed.
C. For whom John preaches (3:11–12): He is preparing the way for the coming of the Messiah.
As we enter a time of response to the Lord’s promise of coming peace in full, remember that we are not just invited to come and worship. Worship is a command.
Father, Son and Spirit delight in singing. He put a hymn book in the middle of our canon. He rejoices over his people with loud singing (Zephaniah 3:17).
Therefore, I invite you to come to the Lord and fight the disruptive influences of the fall and enter the peace of singing to the audience of 1, Jesus, our great King.