(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)
The promise we have been working on is the second of 8 Promises From God About Your Children, from the Kenneth Copeland Ministries. It is just one verse of 18 words, Isaiah 54:13; but these 18 words are powerful! “All your children shall be taught by the LORD, and great shall be the peace of your children. ” We delved into the first half in the last Gem, now let’s consider the second half: “…great shall be the peace of your children.”
First, let’s define the word peace, for there are ten words in the Hebrew Old Testament that are translated peace in the King James version of the Bible, and five seem to be related. According to Brown-Driver-Briggs’ Hebrew Definitions, the word for peace in Isaiah 54:13 is shalom. It is the most used word for peace in the Old Testament – 236 times! The Hebrew of shalom is שָÑלֹם or שָÑלוֹם, pronounced shaw-lome’ and meaning:
...completeness (in number)...safety, soundness (in body)...welfare, health, prosperity...peace, quiet, tranquility, contentment...peace, friendship...of human relationships...with God especially in covenant relationship...peace (from war)....
When I was in Israel, I learned that shalom was both a greeting and a farewell. I also learned that the Orthodox Jews usually pronounced it “Shaw’-lome,” putting the emphasis on the first syllable instead of the second, and often repeating it a second time in a row. It was my fiftieth birthday, and I challenged two young brothers one evening to a contest. We were walking through the Old Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem, and we would greet everyone we saw with “Shaw’-lome, Shaw’-lome.” The person who received back the most “Shaw’-lome”s would win the contest. I won hands down!
It was an unforgettable birthday! On the Mount of Olives that day, I got a birthday kiss from my dear wife Hope, from John – an eighty-year-old man in our group, from an Arab camel driver, and from a female camel by the name of Michael Jackson! Camels are really messy kissers! From the upper lip to the lower lip, they can cover the whole side of your head, and they leave a green slime all the way down! I did not wish the camel “Shaw’-lome” that day when she was done with me!
But let’s get back to our promise from God about our children – and let’s read the last half of Isaiah 54:13 this way: “…great shall be the shalom of your children.” Let’s take each of Brown-Driver-Briggs’ Hebrew Definitions and apply them to shalom:
- Completeness (in number)
✞ Our daughter and her husband have six boys – from teenager down to first grade! They are a handful, not just for their parents, but also for their grandparents who live just nine miles away! It seems we have one, two, or three (once in awhile more) grandboys at our house at least six nights a week! ✞ My wife and I have two daughters, one natural and one adopted. They are both our well-loved daugh- ters! But because of severe medical complications during the birth of our daughter, we decided to have only one natural child.
According to the mind and plan of God, I believe both our children and our grandchildren are the perfect number for their particular family! Whether you might have one child (or no children), or (like one family I grew up with) more than 20 children!…I guess that was the complete number for them!
If you bring God into the equation, asking Him how many children is the complete number for your family, He will guide you!
✡ Psalm 127:3 through 5 Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb is His reward. Like ar- rows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them....
We must have a small quiver or large arrows with only two daughters! But the size of the quiver of the family with over 20 arrows……..Wow! Let the Lord determine the size of your quiver and how many arrows are to be in it!
- Safety, soundness (in body) – We all want our children to be safe in their environment, and sound in health (body and mind).
✞ Pray the Lord’s protection over them every day! ✞ Ask God to heal any mental and emotional challen- ges your children may face!
- Welfare, health, prosperity – I think health might cover all the bases here, especially if we think of health in terms of physical, mental, emotional, relational, financial, and spiritual health! This calls to my mind Philippians 4:19, “But my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
- Peace, quiet, tranquillity, contentment – True righteousness only comes through a relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord! Here are three Scriptures that come to mind concerning the stated four related qualities of life:
✡ Isaiah 32:17 – “The work of righteousness will be peace, And the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever.” ✞ John 16:33 – Jesus said to His followers, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribula- tion; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” ✞ Philippians 4:6 and 7 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and suplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understand- ing, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
- Peace, friendship – Some friendships can be peaceful, others can be contentious. I believe the closest friendship one can have on earth is with one’s mate! There are Scriptures that show that peaceful friendship (as well as the opposite):
✡ Peaceful friendship ➔ Proverbs 17:17 – “A friend loves at all times....” ➔ Proverbs 18:24 – “A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Who is that friend? Ultimately, it is Jesus Christ! But we can find friends on earth who are closer than a brother! ✡ Contentious friendships (or a relationships that is supposed to be peacful!) – “Better to dwell in a corner of a housetop, Than in a house shared with a contentious woman.” Ask God to guide you in your friendships, especially that which is to be your best earthly friendship, your life’s mate!
- Of human relationships – This is very much akin to the previous part of the definition of shalom. But I think we can apply it more to the downside of human relationships. For if we would avoid the wrong choices in such relationships, we will have much more shalom in our life!
✡ Proverbs 23:6 and 7 – “Do not eat the bread of a miser, Nor desire his delicacies; For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. ‘Eat and drink!’ he says to you, But his heart is not with you.” ✞ II Corinthians 6:14through 18 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbe- lievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an un- believer? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” Therefore “Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the Lord Almighty.”
- With God especially in covenant relationship – All of the above definitions can be applied to our relationship with God, but there are no downsides to this relationship!
✡ Oh, there might feel like there are downsides from time to time, as in Proverbs 3:11 and 12 – “My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor detest His correction; for whom the Lord loves He corrects, just as a father the son in whom he delights.” The writer of Hebrews also quotes these Proverbs verses in a fuller explanation of the idea (see Hebrews 12:4-13). ✞ II Corinthians 12:9 and 10 And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproach- es, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. ✞ James 1:2 through 4 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let pa- tience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
- Peace (from war)
✡ Proverbs 16:7 – “When a man's ways please the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.” ✞ This also works for peace between nations! “When a nation's ways please the Lord, He makes even its enemies to be at peace with it.” This is one of the main reasons why America needs heaven-sent revival!
All of the above is wrapped up in the idea of shalom! But it starts with peace with God ! As it says in Romans 5:1and 2:
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
So the first step in experiencing shalom for ourselves and our children, is to obtain shalom with God through trusting Jesus Christ, God’s Son, as your Savior, and following Him as your Lord!
Read the Gospel of John! But before you start the portion you are going to read each day, start with this prayer, “God, what do you have here for me? Show me!” I think you may be surprised at what the Lord reveals to you as you approach this gospel with an open heart!