December 31, 2016

Hope for Shalom

Psalm 85

Surely his salvation is near those who fear him, that his glory may dwell in our land.

—  Psalm 85:9

Psalm 85 is a beautiful description of shalom, promised by God. Shalom is a Hebrew word that means “peace,” but our word peace is not enough to describe the wonder of shalom. Shalom includes vigorous well-being and abundant flourishing for all of God’s creation in the beauty of God’s presence, in a world that is in complete harmony, the way God intends it to be.

Psalm 85 looks back on times of experiencing God’s goodness. The memory of that time gives God’s people strength, even as they are experiencing a time that does not have shalom.

The psalm ends with hope for future shalom. We can be ­assured that this shalom is certain. Our hope for shalom can guide our life in the present too. Even now we can already experience some part of God’s shalom. “Surely his salvation is near,” says the psalmist.

God’s shalom is so beautiful that the psalmist cannot come up with enough words to describe it. It is characterized by righteousness and peace, but both of those words are not enough to describe the beauty of God. To multiply the description, we read that “righteousness and peace kiss each other.” What an amazing God we serve!

We can have confident hope that God is bringing a kingdom in which righteousness and peace will fill the earth.

Lord, we long for the time when “righteousness and peace kiss each other.” Come quickly, Lord Jesus, in the fullness of your kingdom. All glory and praise be to you. Amen.

About the author — Rebecca Jordan Heys

Rebecca Jordan Heys serves as a pastor at Calvin Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She and her husband, Kyle, are the parents of two children.

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