Isn’t it ironic that “peacemaker” is the name of a gun? The Peacemaker was designed in 1873 and the standard military service pistol until 1892. I sometimes think we must have the same definition for “peacemaker”—a weapon of war.
More and more I see people starting fights over things not worth fighting about. More and more I see people not only excusing their aggressive behavior, but justifying it as righteous. Maybe it is because I am older now, but “zealous” no longer means “quick to fight” to me, and I think it never did to God.
“Blessed are the peacemakers,” is not a concept foreign to the old law. God’s people have always understood that righteousness is not about contention. David is a prime example.
He refused to harm Saul, whom he called “the Lord’s anointed,” even though Saul had sworn to kill him, 1 Sam 24:6.
He bowed before Saul, even though he himself had been anointed king, 24:8.
He promised not to harm Saul’s heirs, even though they might have tried to claim the throne God wanted him to have, 24:21,22.
It’s easier when those around you have the same attitude, but David even managed to keep his peacemaking attitude when surrounded by warmongers, Psa 120:6,7.
Yet this is a man who did fight for God, who lived in a time of a physical kingdom that fought physical wars against physical enemies. He bravely went into battles and killed God’s adversaries, so much so that he was not allowed to build the Temple with his blood-stained hands, so we cannot call him a wimpy, namby-pamby by any means. He simply knew when it was time to fight and when it wasn’t. Like Paul in Acts 16:3 and Gal 2:3-5, he depended on the circumstances to help him decide what justified either action in exactly the same issue, and never let his passion for God push him further than he knew his Father would want. It wasn’t about having his own way, about not allowing anyone to tell him what he could and couldn’t do. In all things the ultimate mission, God’s mission, was his goal, not saving face.
Jesus’ mission was the same—peace. He brought peace between men (Eph. 2:12-14) and peace between man and God (Rom 5:1-2). Then he told us that was our mission too—bringing peace to the world.
Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God. Whose children are you?
It is an honor for a man to keep aloof from strife, but every fool will be quarreling. Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you. Prov 20:3; Psa 34:14; Heb 12:14; Rom 12:18; 2 Cor 13:11.