Peace: Week Two – Day Five
His delight shall be in the fear of the LORD. He shall not judge by what his eyes see or decide by what his ears hear; but with righteousness he shall judge the poor and decide with equity for the meek of the earth.
– Isaiah 11:3-4 (NRSV)
If someone asked you for a definition of “peace,” what would you say? Perhaps you would talk about the inner calm you get from prayer. Maybe you would use words like “tranquility” or “harmony.” You might talk about meditation or circles of hippies singing “Kumbayah” and everyone getting along. This verse from Isaiah does not talk about peace in that way.
Isaiah describes the ministry of Jesus, the Prince of Peace, as one of judgment. This passage throws around words like righteousness, equity, and “meek of the earth.” This is the sort of turn-the-world-upside-down peace in which the winners become losers and the losers become winners. As Jesus put it in His own words, “The first shall be last, and the last shall be first.” Moreover, Jesus isn’t the sort of judge who hears testimony or can be corrupted. It says He doesn’t need His ears or His eyes to know what’s right. Jesus already knows how to righteously judge.
There certainly hasn’t been a lot of peace this year. There have been protests and counterprotests, riots and prayer walks. More than wearing their emotions on their sleeves, people have started printing up t-shirts broadcasting their frustrations everywhere they go. Maybe you’ve even posted or protested too, possibly using some mantra like Back the Blue, Black Lives Matter, Pro-Life, or Love Wins. In our world, everyone has got a slogan, and no one is at peace.
We live in a broken, mixed-up world, and on the other side of Christmas that will still be true. We are all sinful people trying our best to do what we think is best. During Advent, we are awaiting the arrival of Jesus the Righteous King. When He sits down to judge the people of this world, He will do so with perfect justice. Until that day, we are called to seek justice and equity the best we can.
Today, take time to consider someone else’s point of view. How can you lovingly pray for those who are not at peace?