ODJ: peace in a ravaged world

August 11, 2014 

READ: Isaiah 32:14-20

And this righteousness will bring peace (v.17).

Amid the horrific stories of shootings in schools, the news in August 2013 of Antoinette Tuff’s heroism was a beautiful exception. Antoinette, on staff at a school in America, confronted 20 year old Michael Hill when he entered the school building carrying weapons, including an assault rifle. “I just started talking to him,” Tuff said, “and let him know what was going on with me and that it would be okay.” Remarkably, Hill laid down his weapons and surrendered. Accounts of Tuff’s courage swept across the world, but she resisted acclaim. “I give it all to God. I’m not the hero. I was terrified.”

Antoinette Tuff exhibited God’s strength and mercy in what looked to be a violent moment. She didn’t run. She faced her fear with God’s help.

The prophet Isaiah promised Israel, a nation beset 
by violence and ruin, that God would be present with them. “Justice will rule in the wilderness. . . . And this righteousness will bring peace. Yes, it will bring quietness and confidence forever” (Isaiah 32:16-17). When God acts in righteousness, peace prevails: “My people will live in safety. . . . They will be at rest” (v.18).

Isaiah’s words don’t promise that we’ll never experience harm, but that—in the end—God’s righteousness and God’s wellbeing (one of the meanings for the word “peace”) will have the final say. In Jesus, God has stepped into the middle of all our violence, into the centre of everything that seeks to ruin us. God won’t let sin ravage our world unchecked. He loves us and has moved to enact our healing. Because of this, Isaiah can proclaim with confidence: “The LORD will greatly bless his people” (v.20). —Winn Collier

365-day plan› Luke 13:22-35

Read the earlier portion of Isaiah 32. What do you notice in these dire and disturbing words? Where do you find parallels to your world?
Where is your world ravaged and in need of God’s peace and righteousness? List two or three of these places, and pray for God to act, if it is His will.