Ruled by Peace and RighteousnessDaily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
“I will exchange your bronze for gold, your iron for silver, your wood for bronze, and your stones for iron. I will make peace your leader and righteousness your ruler.”
The Israelites knew what it was like to have unjust rulers. Not only had they experienced the oppression of foreign tyrants, but even their own kings had used their authority to take advantage of the people for selfish gain. No doubt the children of Israel ached for rulers who would guide the nation into prosperity.
Thus the prophecy of Isaiah came as water to parched souls. In time, the Lord would make peace their leader and righteousness their ruler. Peace (shalom in Hebrew) means more than the absence of conflict. It offers a picture of life as it was meant to be: abundant, productive, restful. Righteousness (tzedaqa in Hebrew) has to do with all relationships being in sync, just as God intended them to be.
In this season of Advent, we join the Jews in their longing for the fullness of peace and righteousness. We are preparing to celebrate the coming of one who is the peaceful, right ruler. Jesus has come—and will come again—to fulfill the vision of Isaiah 60. Thus, along with Isaac Watts, we sing:
Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And Heaven and nature sing.
He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove;
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: What would your life be like if peace were your leader and righteousness your ruler? How would you act differently in your workplace? your family? the community?
PRAYER: What a marvelous vision, Lord, of a world made right! Even today we long for a world in which peace is our leader and righteousness our ruler. May this day come!
In the meanwhile, we thank you that Christ has come to fulfill this vision. Though his work isn’t finished, he has begun to rule with peace and righteousness. May we live under this gracious sovereignty, bringing your peace and righteousness to our world. Our colleagues need this. So do our families and community. Our schools need it. Also our government.
O Lord, may your kingdom come in all of its fullness. In the meanwhile, may we live each day under your reign of peace and righteousness. Amen.