Psalm 7, Isaiah 36:13-20, Luke 14:31-33
Peace is fleeting. We look around the world and cannot help but recognize that a lack of conflict only lasts for a short time. World leaders are speaking well of one another, then the next day attacking one another. People at work or school say positive or encouraging things to us, then say horrible and damaging things to others about us.
As editors and news-writers know, bad news, wars and bad behavior sells. It seems that we are conditioned to seek out the bad stuff. Good or heart-warming stories often don’t get the eyeballs or the clicks, at least in comparison to the bad.
When trying to convince the people of Jerusalem to surrender, King Sennacherib has his messenger make huge promises that after taking a moment, one realizes is impossible for the King to do without devastating the other countries he has already dominated (and probably made similar promises to). This is similar to politicians and leaders who make wild promises to those already in their camp, and then even more to those outside their camp in an attempt to draw them in. This is often the promised peace of the world.
King Sennacherib promises peace, his peace. His peace is the surrendering of self, property and even national identity to be pulled into his sphere of influence, and be controlled. Even in the United States we have people who express themselves in the same way as King Sennacherib.
All too often, we allow ourselves to believe that everything will be alright (we’ll be “at peace”) when have an item, prosperity, land, or health. We can deceive ourselves and put too much emphasis on what will pass away, rather than what is eternal.
1) If you listen to a person, such as a politician, talk in a peaceful way or in a warlike way, which are you more likely to respect? Is one perspective more realistic than the other?
2) How do you think that is different than how Jesus speaks of peace?
KD) How do you talk about peace with your friends? How can you help adults in your life learn (or re-learn) about peace?