Thoughts on the Beatitudes (12) - Evan Gear

Matthew 5:9 — “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”
Peace, there are many ways to take such a word and therefore there are many ways to make peace. The Scriptures teach us that there is a type of peace that the world understands (see John 14:27). We may call it false peace. It is a thing as old as, at least, the time of the prophet Jeremiah.

He rebukes the purveyors of it in his day writing: They have healed the wound of my people lightly, saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace (Jer. 6:14, see also Jer. 8:11; Ezek. 13:10). For this reason, Jeremiah is compelled to speak. The LORD sends him to tell them of war (Jer. 6:22f). And such warfare is the common state of man; not only against one another but against God. Spiritually we are at war but prefer to ignore the fact or cover it up. Most often this is done by claiming a peace that is a lying peace. It is a contentment with the world in its fallen state. We hear and say things like, “this is natural.” Or, “this is the way it has always been.”

Though I speak of this state as peace there are, of course, wars. There is always blood being shed somewhere in our world. But even that ends up being a fight to win this false peace. As the prophet Isaiah (28:15) describes this state of things:
We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement… we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves…

The peace of the world is such a peace. It is a communion with lies, sin, and death. If the true peace is to be found in such a state, it must then come as a destructive force against the imposter. In the words of Isaiah it will come like an overwhelming scourge that shall sweep away the refuge of lies. True peace wields a sword against false peace. The peace of God swallows up the peace of this world. Thus, he who makes peace — blessed are the peacemakers — will find his peacemaking warfare. As the Psalmist in Ps. 120:7 observes: I am for peace but when I speak, they are for war. It is not surprising then for us to read the description of our Prince of Peace coming with armies and sword proceeding from his mouth (See Matt. 10:13 and Rev. 19:11-15). He rides a white horse and he makes war. He is the Son of God and all those with him making peace shall be called sons in Him.
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