December 31, 2017
READ: Micah 5:2-5
Then his people will live there undisturbed . . . and he will be the source of peace (vv.4-5).
The term Pax Romana conveys the idea that undisturbed peace reigned throughout the Roman Empire for more than 200 years. Ironically, the very basis of the Pax Romana boast (one united, stable empire) was often the obstacle to true peace. With a large territory that was subject to riots and rebellion, Rome was known to devastate conquered nations in the name of enforcing pax. All who opposed the empire paid dearly for it; as the first-century historian Tacitus wrote, “They create desolation and call it peace.”
Hundreds of years earlier, the prophet Micah had declared that true peace would be found in the rule of Jesus. After prophesying the siege and destruction of Jerusalem, Micah stated that out of Bethlehem would come a ruler who would lead His people out of captivity and be their source of peace (Micah 5:2-5).
Isaiah also associated Jesus’ reign with peace when He prophesied that “a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).
Preparing His disciples for His departure from Earth, Jesus comforted them with these words: “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid” (John 14:27).
The Roman emperors couldn’t give what they didn’t have. Despite their best efforts, peace remained elusive in the world. Our world is the same—rife with unrest, wars and rumours of war. But don’t lose hope! The source of our peace remains steadfast as ever. In Jesus, we can experience real rest. Let His peace reign in your heart.
365-day plan: Revelation 22:1-21
Read Psalm 29:11 for the promise of peace made to God’s people.
What disturbs your peace today? How has Jesus made it possible for you to experience peace in Him?