Summary: The citizens of Jerusalem clearly have a longing for peace. In fact the Jewish word for Peace – Shalom- comes from the word Jerusalem. It is for that reason that Jews refer to it as the City of Peace”.

The Promise of Peace

Isaiah 40:1-11

"Peace on Earth will come to stay when we live Christmas every day." - Helen Steiner Rice

Here is another famous quote from King David concerning peace.

Psalm 122:6-9

6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:

“May those who love you be secure.

7 May there be peace within your walls

and security within your citadels.”

8 For the sake of my family and friends,

I will say, “Peace be within you.”

9 For the sake of the house of the LORD our God,

I will seek your prosperity.

This week has been a historic one for Jerusalem concerning her peace and security. Some 22 years ago the United States of America voted unanimously to recognize Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel in place of Tel Aviv.

However despite this promise from every U.S. President since 1995 not one of them dared to make it official until this week when President Donald Trump made the proclamation.

Why all the fuss?

Isn’t Jerusalem the historic capital city of Israel? – Yes.

Then why the alarm and discord at such a long approved and anticipated proclamation?

The world has a problem with Biblical truth and the world does not want to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital because that legitimizes everything about Jewish history and Jewish rights and it also legitimizes the Bible itself.

Friends the world is at war with God because it does not want the Peace of God to rule over the hearts of human beings.

Even at the birth of the Prince of Peace a Jewish King a puppet king of Rome named Herod the Great tried to kill God’s messenger of Peace. But peace survived.

The Bible tells us that Jesus will one day be King of Jerusalem and reign over it in peace. Revelation 21:2-4

“2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.

3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.

4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

In today’s scripture passage from Isaiah we hear the cry from the Lord to His people. A promise to comfort them.

“During its long history, Jerusalem has been destroyed at least twice, besieged 23 times, attacked 52 times, and captured and recaptured 44 times.”

Source: Wikipedia

The citizens of Jerusalem clearly have a longing for peace. In fact the Jewish word for Peace – Shalom- comes from the word Jerusalem. It is for that reason that Jews refer to it as the City of Peace”.

Isaiah 40:1-2

“Comfort, comfort my people,

says your God.

2 Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,

and proclaim to her

that her hard service has been completed,

that her sin has been paid for,

that she has received from the LORD’s hand

double for all her sins.”

This message of comfort was sent to the citizens of Jerusalem some 730 years before Christ was born. Those in Jerusalem would have to live without the Peace of God until the Messiah arrived.

Isaiah 40:3-5

A voice of one calling:

“In the wilderness prepare

the way for the LORD;

make straight in the desert

a highway for our God.

4 Every valley shall be raised up,

every mountain and hill made low;

the rough ground shall become level,

the rugged places a plain.

5 And the glory of the LORD will be revealed,

and all people will see it together.

For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”

We see these words echoed in the New Testament by John the Baptist.

John 1:23

23 John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, “I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.”

Our God comes to His people to bring Peace and eternal security but we must make ourselves ready for His arrival in our lives.

As Hebrews 12:1 tells us we must rid ourselves of the sin that does so easily entangle us. We can only do that by confessing our sins to God and asking for His forgiveness.

These are the things we must carry with us to the manger in Bethlehem. These gifts are not gold or frankincense or myrrh. But these gifts are contrition and penance and a brokenness of the heart and spirit that show we welcome the Babe of Peace.

We welcome what the Peace of God can do when it enters into the human heart.

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