Jesus – The Prince of Peace

The Prophet Isaiah, in the divine prophecy revealed by God unto him, lists out the names by which Jesus shall be called, even before Jesus’ birth – the fifth being “The Prince of Peace”, for the Bible records “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)

To be a Prince implies that you are the child of a King. Psalm 47:8 establishes that God reigns over all nations, meaning that he is the King over all nations. God is King and his only begotten Son, Jesus is the Prince. In addition to establishing the sonship of Jesus (as the Son of God), this name also gives insight into the Spirit (character) of Jesus’ reign. Jesus’ reign is one of peace for only through him can one have the peace that passeth all understanding.

Points to ponder:
When you and I let Jesus totally rule our life, then we can be assured of a life of peace (which passeth all understanding), irrespective of the circumstances or situations that surround us. Even in the valley of shadow of death, can one feel perfect safe and at peace, when Jesus shepherds one’s life. Jesus is the Prince of Peace – Are you at peace? Is Jesus your Prince?

Isaiah 9:6 (KJV)
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Philippians 4:7 (KJV)
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Nahum (Overview)

Who was Nahum?
The Biblical book of Nahum was recorded by the prophet Nahum, whom the book refers to as an Elkoshite (1:1).

Where was Nahum from?
No one is certain as to the whereabouts of Elkosh. One theory suggests that this city, where Nahum was from, during the times of Jesus, came to be known as Capernaum, alongside the sea of Galilee for Capernaum means the village of Nahum.

When was the book of Nahum written?
It is a hypothesis that the book of Nahum was written sometime between 663 B.C. and 612 B.C. for Nahum refers to the fall of No Amon (or Thebes) in ancient Egypt (3:8) which happened in 663 B.C. while at the same time predicted the fall of Nineveh (Capital city of Assyria), which happened in 612 B.C., when the Babylonians overthrew Assyria.

Why was the book of Nahum written?
In 722 B.C., the Assyrians had taken the Northern kingdom of Israel captive and were pursuing to take over the land of Judah during the reign of king Hezekiah (701 B.C.). Once when the Assyrians had attempted to take Judah captive, God intervened miraculously and 185 thousand Assyrians in their camp were defeated by the angel of the Lord (Isaiah 37:36) and the evil king of Assyria, Sennacherib, returned to Nineveh. Now Assyria continued to pursue and oppress Judah. Not only did they afflict Judah, the Assyrians afflicted several other nations  and countries, as the book ends with the question as to “over whom has not the wickedness of the Assyrians passed over continually?” (3:19; Isaiah 37:18).

One one hand, while the book of Nahum may seem like it was written as a warning to the evil Assyrian kingdom, this book is more of a message of comfort of the Lord to the people of Judah. Jonah, the prophet had already brought the message of warning to the people of Nineveh, which they heeded and repented, a little over a century before Nahum. But the people of Assyria had returned to their violent, idolatrous, and evil ways and were oppressors of the people of God, when Nahum sees the vision of their utter destruction, a message that would bring comfort and solace to those who were being oppressed (such as Judah).  Nahum means “comfort (of Yahweh)” or “compassion” and the main theme in this book is that God is compassionate (slow to anger – 1:3) who will not afflict his people anymore for their own sins (1:12) by subjecting them longer under the hands of the oppressors (Assyria), but God will be the comfort of his people, as he takes revenge on those who have oppressed them (1:2).

What can we learn from it?
Chapter 1 portrays a JEALOUS God, while
chapter 2 and 3 portrays a JUDGING and JUST God.

There are a few key verses in this book and two of note are “Behold upon the mountains the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace! O Judah, keep thy solemn feasts, perform thy vows: for the wicked shall no more pass through thee; he is utterly cut off.” (Nahum 1:15) and “For now will I break his yoke from off thee, and will burst thy bonds in sunder.” (Nahum 1:13).

The first (Nahum 1:15) is a messianic prophecy that was fulfilled in Jesus, who brought good news to the earth, for the angels sang at his birth, “Peace on earth and goodwill to all men.” (Luke 2:14) and his feet walked the way to calvary’s mountain, who by his death on the Cross published a peace (Luke 1:17) that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7), completely destroying the wicked one (the devil) and utterly cutting him off i.e., destroying the devil and his works (1 John 3;8). Jesus brings freedom to all those who are spiritually in bondage in sin, by breaking the yoke from them and bursting their bonds in sunder. The Holy Spirit of Jesus is the comfort of God who is now sent unto us, when we believe in Jesus (John 14;16).

Points to ponder:
Do you have peace, that only Jesus can bring? Are you in comfort i.e., do you have the Comforter in you? Trust in the Lord and believe in Jesus Christ so that you may be comforted by his Holy Spirit and have the peace that passeth all understanding.

Nahum 1:13, 15 (KJV)
13 For now will I break his yoke from off thee, and will burst thy bonds in sunder.

15 Behold upon the mountains the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace! O Judah, keep thy solemn feasts, perform thy vows: for the wicked shall no more pass through thee; he is utterly cut off.

Jesus in the NT :: Ephesians

The book of Ephesians gives us a glimpse of who Jesus is in the  New Testament (N.T).

The book of Ephesians is well known for its reference to the Armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18), but close introspection of this text in connection with other verses in the Bible, reveals that it is not just a spiritual armor that one must wholly put on, but a hidden treasure that Jesus Christ himself, is THE ARMOR OF GOD. Let us dive deep.

Ephesians 6:10-18 enlists the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shoes fitted with readiness for that which comes from the gospel of peace, shield of faith, the helmet of salvation and the sword of the spirit, as the whole armor of God.

Belt of Truth:
Jesus said, I am the Way, the TRUTH and the Life in John 14:6. Jesus is the Truth that we must gird ourselves with.

Breastplate of Righteousness:
Jeremiah 23:5-6 refers to Jesus as a righteous Branch, a king who shall reign and prosper and execute judgment and justice in the earth. He will be called, The LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS. Jesus is the righteousness of God that we must clothe ourselves with.

Shoes of the gospel of Peace:
Matthew 21:9 records that when Jesus rode into Jerusalem (meaning the abode/dwelling of Peace), the people sang, “Hosanna, Hosanna, Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord”; in other words, Jesus came with the message of the gospel of peace and when he came to the place of peace, the people sang joyously blessing God. Jesus himself said, I have come to give you peace; peace, not as the world giveth, but a peace that passeth all understanding John14:27; Philippians 4:7). Jesus is peace.

Shield of Faith:
Jesus said, with faith you can do the impossible (Matthew 21:21; Mark 9:23). He also said that without Him, you can do nothing (John 15:5). Jesus is the Shield of Faith, by which we can protect ourselves against the fiery darts of the evil one.

Helmet of Salvation:
Jesus is the head of the Church (Ephesians 1:22) to be worn in and over (all) our mind. He is the one with a Name that is above all names, the Only name by which man can be Saved (Acts 4:12). Jesus is the Helmet of Salvation to be worn by us.

Sword of the Spirit (which is the Word of God):
John 1:1 speaking about Jesus, highlights, that in the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God. Jesus is the word of God, the Sword of the Spirit.

In Ephesians, Jesus is the the armor of God that we ought to put on wholly.

Ephesians 6:10-18 (KJV)
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

Lesser known characters :: Ehud

When Israel’s first Judge, Othniel, the son of Kenaz died, the Israelites reverted to their evil ways and so God strengthened Eglon, the king of Moab to smite Israel and rule over Israel for eighteen years. When the Israelites repented, God raised up a deliverer. This deliverer was Ehud, the son of Gera, who was left-handed. Ehud made a two edged dagger and strapped it to his right thigh, under his garment. He went to meet with Eglon and when he was found alone with Eglon, Ehud reached out with his left hand and took the dagger from his right thigh and thrust it into Eglon’s belly. Eglon was a fat man; He was so fat that even the handle of the dagger sank into Eglon’s belly and the fat closed in over the dagger. Eglon is killed with his bowels falling out. Ehud escapes and goes to the children of Israel. He mobilizes Israel to fight against the Moabites and ten thousand, lusty Moabite men of valor are killed and Israel sees peace for a period of eighty years.

What can we learn from Ehud?
We are in the business of delivering people from being subjects in the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of God’s son Jesus Christ. God made Ehud left-handed which meant that he had to hide the two edged dagger on his right side, which is not the usual side, where a sword is sheathed, and this could have been advantageous for Ehud to take his dagger into the presence of king Eglon. God has made each one of us different and can use each of us just as we are. We must hide the word of God (a two edged sword; Hebrews 4:12) and unleash it in full against the evil one (Ephesians 6:17) to restore the peace that transcends all understanding (Philippians 4:7) in the hearts of men.

Judges 3:11-30 (KJV)
And the land had rest forty years. And Othniel the son of Kenaz died.
12 And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the LORD: and the LORD strengthened Eglon the king of Moab against Israel, because they had done evil in the sight of the LORD.
13 And he gathered unto him the children of Ammon and Amalek, and went and smote Israel, and possessed the city of palm trees.
14 So the children of Israel served Eglon the king of Moab eighteen years.
15 But when the children of Israel cried unto the LORD, the LORD raised them up a deliverer, Ehud the son of Gera, a Benjamite, a man lefthanded: and by him the children of Israel sent a present unto Eglon the king of Moab.
16 But Ehud made him a dagger which had two edges, of a cubit length; and he did gird it under his raiment upon his right thigh.
17 And he brought the present unto Eglon king of Moab: and Eglon was a very fat man.
18 And when he had made an end to offer the present, he sent away the people that bare the present.
19 But he himself turned again from the quarries that were by Gilgal, and said, I have a secret errand unto thee, O king: who said, Keep silence. And all that stood by him went out from him.
20 And Ehud came unto him; and he was sitting in a summer parlour, which he had for himself alone. And Ehud said, I have a message from God unto thee. And he arose out of his seat.
21 And Ehud put forth his left hand, and took the dagger from his right thigh, and thrust it into his belly:
22 And the haft also went in after the blade; and the fat closed upon the blade, so that he could not draw the dagger out of his belly; and the dirt came out.
23 Then Ehud went forth through the porch, and shut the doors of the parlour upon him, and locked them.
24 When he was gone out, his servants came; and when they saw that, behold, the doors of the parlour were locked, they said, Surely he covereth his feet in his summer chamber.
25 And they tarried till they were ashamed: and, behold, he opened not the doors of the parlour; therefore they took a key, and opened them: and, behold, their lord was fallen down dead on the earth.
26 And Ehud escaped while they tarried, and passed beyond the quarries, and escaped unto Seirath.
27 And it came to pass, when he was come, that he blew a trumpet in the mountain of Ephraim, and the children of Israel went down with him from the mount, and he before them.
28 And he said unto them, Follow after me: for the LORD hath delivered your enemies the Moabites into your hand. And they went down after him, and took the fords of Jordan toward Moab, and suffered not a man to pass over.
29 And they slew of Moab at that time about ten thousand men, all lusty, and all men of valour; and there escaped not a man.
30 So Moab was subdued that day under the hand of Israel. And the land had rest fourscore years.

The other side of Grace …

When apostle Paul addresses the church at Colosse, he starts by calling them saints (Holy) and faithful, and blesses them by asking for Grace and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ (Colossians 1:2). Grace and peace go hand in hand. In fact without Grace one cannot have true peace. In other words, without coming under the saving Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, by simply believing in Him, as God’s acceptable sacrifice for mankind, one cannot have the peace of God that passeth all understanding. Grace and peace are like two sides of a coin. The other side of Grace is peace!

Point(s) to ponder:
1. Have you come under the saving Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ?
2. Without Christ, one cannot expect to have peace; any peace! Ask Jesus to be your God today, Believe in Him, Confess your sins and experience and enjoy the God of peace who gives eternal peace; a peace that passeth all understanding.

Colossians 1:2 (KJV)
2 To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Blessed “Be” attitudes :: Be a Peacemaker

Matthew 5:3-12 lists eight Beatitudes that were spoken of by Jesus. Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.” (Matthew 5:9)

To be blessed, one must have the attitude of being a peacemaker.

What does it mean to be a peacemaker and why shall the peacemakers be called the children of God? Before Jesus’ birth, the prophecy by Isaiah entitled Jesus to be The Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). At His birth, the heavenly angelic choir sang, ‘peace’ on earth (Luke 2:14). It is possible to have peace on earth, because The Prince of Peace came to earth, to do the will of God the Father, which was to reconcile mankind back to God by redeeming mankind from death and sin. He accomplished this on the Cross, from where he affirmed that God’s work of redeeming mankind to and for Himself was finished. In other words, Jesus’ mission was a mission of restoring peace; a peace that passeth all understanding (Philippians 4:7) and all who put their trust in Jesus with their minds fixed on Him will be kept in perfect peace (Isaiah 26:3). Those who have believed in Jesus are covenanted to have a life of peace (Malachi 2:5) as God’s royal priests (1 Peter 2:9). God commands that the life of a priest must be one of peace and uprightness, turning many from sins (iniquities) with the message of God’s Love (Malachi 2:6-7); a love so great that He gave us His only begotten Son, to pay the wages of our sins (which is death), by His very own life (John 3:16). The God given responsibility of a priest is to be a messenger of the Lord (Malachi 2:7); a messenger with the message of peace. In other words, to be a priest is to be a peacemaker, turning many from sin and reconciling mankind to God for we have been given the ministry of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:18). And all who are peacemakers, are in essence, emulating the very mission of Jesus Christ, just as a child imitates the character of a parent and in this sense are rightfully called the children of God. God is a God of peace who works to make all perfect (blameless without sin) through the covenant of the blood of His dear Son, Jesus Christ (Hebrew 13:20-21), and all who are peacemakers imitate God the Father and are thereby blessed as His children.

Matthew 5:9 (KJV)
9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

2 Corinthians 5:16-21 (KJV)
16 Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.
17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.
21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

God the Giver

A well known verse that is often quoted amongst Christians to encourage those who are in need is “My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory”, but often this is quoted incompletely, because what follows is “by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). It is Christ Jesus that fulfills all our need.  Through the knowledge of Jesus Christ, we are given Peace (1 Peter 1:2), Power that is divine (1 Peter 1:3), Provisions of all things that pertain to life (1 Peter 1:3), Promises that are precious (1 Peter 1:4) and Prudence (1 Peter 1:5).

We are given Peace that passeth all understanding when we believe in Jesus Christ (Philippians 4:7).
We are given Power to live a free and victorious Christian life. But often our humanness takes priority and we falter, but praise be to God that even if we sin, we have a High Priest who is our advocate (1 John 2:1) who represents us.
We are given Provisions that pertain to all things in life, meaning we are given everything and yet we find ourselves struggling hard to provide and feed our own hedonistic appetites, not trusting Him at His word.
We are given Promises that are precious but we try to hurry up God’s time table by not waiting for His Promises to be fulfilled (as did Abram) which often leads to conflicts.
We are given Prudence (diligence) to accept Jesus for His Peace, believe in Him for His Power, trust Him for His Provisions and wait on Him for His Promises.

God the giver, has given us Peace, Power, Provisions, Promises and Prudence so that we may be partakers of His divine nature.

Point(s) to Ponder:

  1. Do you have the Peace that passeth all understanding?
  2. Do you feel like you have God’s Power?
  3. Do you trust God for His Provisions?
  4. Do you trust God and His Promises?

Let us all be Prudent to trust Him and take Him at His word.

2 Peter 1:3-5a (KJV)
2 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,
According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
And beside this, giving all diligence [prudence],

Philippians 4:19 (KJV)
19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

The trinity of blessing

Numbers 6:24-26 is commonly referred to as the trifold blessings that Aaron, the Priest was asked to convey to God’s people. It reads “The LORD bless thee, and keep thee: The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.”

The LORD bless thee and keep thee talks about MERCY, for the LORD thy God [is] a merciful God; he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them (Deuteronomy 4:31). In other words, He will keep thee as He has promised because He is merciful and does not give us what we deserve.
The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee talks about His GRACE. For the righteous LORD loveth righteousness; his countenance (face) doth behold the upright (those made blameless) (Psalm 11:7).
The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace talk about His PEACE, the Peace that passeth all understanding and which keeps our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7).

Closer introspection of this trifold blessing reveal that the three elements of blessings that is Mercy, Grace and Peace are ALL fulfilled by Jesus Christ. The LORD is MERCIFUL to them that confess and because of His Mercy, they are blessed and kept by Him. They are not blown away like chaff and nothing can snatch them from His sovereign and secure hands. The LORD is GRACIOUS and gives Eternal life to all who believe in Jesus. To behold the Holy face of the Lord when we are sinful is sure death for His Holiness is consuming, but those who believe in Jesus are imputed righteousness and made upright (blameless). And the blameless God does turn His face to and beholds and grants them that which they don’t deserve, in other words Grace. The LORD is PEACE to them that believe in Him, which is the result of Grace and Mercy at work and He keeps us in perfect Peace, when we trust Him and fix our minds on Him (Isaiah 26:3).

The trinity of blessings – Mercy, Grace and Peace are made possible by Jesus Christ, the God of Mercy, Grace and Peace.