Righteousness and peace kiss each other
November 28, 2020
Over the years I’ve noticed many ways in which Islam, which began to be formulated six centuries after Jesus’ death and resurrection, copies aspects of biblical Judaism and Christianity with distortions that reveals they are counterfeits. A Muslim friend once told me he views Islam as Christianity “Plus”. The problem with his idea is that the counterfeits are so much less!
One of those counterfeits is the relationship between righteousness and peace. In Islam, the faithful strive to be right with God by submitting to Allah’s laws as revealed and practiced by Muhammad (sharia). Peace is said to result from everyone submitting to sharia. A jurisdiction where everyone submits to sharia is called the Dar al-Islam, meaning House of Submission (sometimes misleadingly translated as House of Peace).
Long before Islam redefined peace, angels announced the birth of a Savior saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom His favor rests” (Lk 2:11, 14). And whom does He favor? Those who choose relationship with Him through Jesus’ blood, which “purifies us from all sin” (I Jn 1).
The Bible reveals a strong relationship between peace and righteousness. Here are three “witnesses” in the Hebrew Scriptures (see also Isa 9:7, 48:18, 60:17c):
- “Let me hear what God the Lord will speak, for He will speak peace to His people, to His saints; but let them not turn back to folly…righteousness and peace kiss each other…righteousness will go before Him and make His footsteps a way” (Ps 85:8, 10b, 13).
- “And the effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever” (Isa 32:17).
- “In His days may the righteous flourish, and peace abound, till the moon be no more!” (Ps 72:7).
Notably, Abraham was blessed by Melchizedek (means King of righteousness) who was the King of Salem (means king of peace) (Ge 14:18-20). The author of Hebrews compares Melchizedek with the Son of God (7:1-3)! Here are three more “witnesses” in the Greek Scriptures:
- “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Ro 14:17).
- “[Discipline] produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it” (Heb 12:11).
- “Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness” (Ja 3:18).
These verses can help us understand and pray about the roots of many current problems in our society. Islam is only one of the realms that will never achieve true peace because it denies Jesus’ position (Php 2:6-11) and role (2 Co 5:21) in reconciling us to God.
In this advent season as many are locked down,
- lock into why Jesus came to earth, that “in Him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Co 5:21) (Note: in Him we BECOME the righteousness of God),
- lock out the temptation to take the easy path and neglect the shocking violence of His sacrifice that secured the peace He has always desired for us, and
- lock up in your heart’s understanding that the ONLY way to true peace is through the Savior’s blood.
Pray for Muslims to…
- be delivered from the deception that following Muhammad’s example will suffice to make them right with God and bring them peace,
- be directed to the cross to understand what God did so they might BECOME His righteousness, and
- reject Islam’s counterfeit peace and embrace the Prince of Peace.
Rejoice that Jesus completed His mission on earth. He trained disciples. He was crucified unto death, buried, resurrected and ascended to Heaven, where He reigns! And He is coming soon as our eternal King!