Peacemakers and Prodigals

“I have seen his ways, but I will heal him;
 I will lead him and restore comfort to him and to his mourners,
Creating the praise of the lips.
 Peace, peace to him who is far and to him who is near,”
 Says the LORD, “and I will heal him” (Isaiah 57:18-19).

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” (Matthew 5:9; all Scripture quotations are from the New American Standard Bible).

Matthew 5:9. Photo by Chris Light, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Throughout the Beatitudes, Jesus called His disciples to imitate God the Father. Peacemakers are sons of God because He is the God of peace. The Lord is our example of how to be a peacemaker. How does He make peace?

God reaches out to the lost, the rebellious, and the prodigal sons and daughters. No matter how far we have wandered from Him or how brazenly we have rebelled against Him, He invites us to repent, return to Him, and regain fellowship with Him.

Part of God’s mercy is His willingness to turn the other cheek. Even though we rebel against Him, He calls us back. No matter how far we wander from Him, He invites us home. Isaiah 57 is a message to wandering souls. The children of Israel had fallen into idolatry and other sins. Their rulers had sought prosperity for themselves without regard for the spiritual well-being of the people, so the entire nation fell away. By the time of Isaiah, the northern kingdom of Israel was conquered and exiled by the kingdom of Assyria. Not long thereafter, Judah would follow, being taken into exile by the Babylonians.

Exile was not God’s final word, though. Eventually, the Jews would be allowed to return to their homeland and rebuild the temple of God in Jerusalem. God would welcome them home. Even though God would say “There is no peace… for the wicked” (Isaiah 57:21), forgiveness, restoration, and peace—shalom—are available for those with contrite and humble hearts. God always offers restoration, healing, and comfort to the “lowly of spirit” and the contrite (Isaiah 57:15). He speaks peace to “him who is far and to him who is near.” He offers His peace so that we may receive healing. His wrath is real (we must repent of the false belief, shared by many contemporary Christians, that God will be apathetic about our sins), but His mercy triumphs over judgment for all who repent.

The Parable of the Prodigal Son reminds us how God welcomes us back into His peace even though we stray far from Him. Image by Loren Biser via under a Creative Commons CC0 license.

No matter how far you may have wandered from God, He invites you today to return to Him. It may feel like an infinite chasm separates you from God, but He is always no more than a prayer away from those who will come to Jesus for forgiveness.

Last of all, once you have experienced the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension (Philippians 4:7), extend that peace to those you meet. No matter how they have sinned, God wishes that they will not perish, but that they will come to repentance and salvation (2 Peter 3:9). When you have received the peace of God and become His child by faith in Christ, be a peacemaker. Offer His peace to all who will receive it.

Lord Jesus Christ, You have called us to peace with Your Father by faith in You. Thank You for Your mercy, healing, grace, peace, and forgiveness. Thank You for second chances and new life as we follow You. Enable, inspire, and empower us to share Your peace with those we meet. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

How have you experienced peace with God in your life? How have you shared that peace with others? How will you share it in the days to come? Please share your thoughts by clicking on the link below.

Copyright © 2023 Michael E. Lynch. All rights reserved.

One response to “Peacemakers and Prodigals”

  1. Thanx for the meditative thoughts this morning.

    Thanx for the rich connection to Isaiah – always helpful.

    Early in your post, you said the following:

    Peacemakers are sons of God because He is the God of peace. The Lord is our example of how to be a peacemaker. How does He make peace?

    You sparked this thought for me:

    God makes peace (shalom) at the beginning. His creation is harmonized in shalom back at Genesis 1 and 2 where he repeatedly holds judgment day saying, “It’s Good!”

    When we make peace, we play our small part in restoring creation to that peace like God, vice regents ruling in a way to bring peace for larger purposes than simple peace and quiet.

    Thanx for taking me to that meditative reflection today.

    Liked by 1 person

Share Your Thoughts and Comments

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: