June 13, 2008

Salvation for Shalom

Micah 4:1-4

Every man will sit under his own vine … and no one will make them afraid …
Micah 4:4


The salvation that God offers us in Jesus involves a lot more than simply the forgiveness of our sins.

Time after time, especially in the Old Testament, God’s redemption project is described as something that would change the entire pattern of how people and nations should relate to each other. As the prophet Micah announces, God’s redemption project is designed to overcome war, homelessness, and fear. It is designed to bring about healing, wholeness, and peace. All this can be described in a single beautiful word: shalom.

Imagine a world in which armies and navies are unnecessary. Imagine a world in which all people will live with integrity and enjoy their own space, without being subject to the whims of abusive landowners or druglords or government overlords. Imagine a world in which people will not instill fear in others. All of this is part of the salvation that God promises.

Every day’s newspaper shows clearly that the world of shalom has not yet arrived. War, homelessness, and fear still dominate headlines.

With Micah, though, we look forward with confident hope because of Jesus to nothing less than a time when all mourning and crying and pain will be no more (see Revelation 21:4).

This is the good news of the Bible. Thanks be to God!

Savior God, the breadth of your salvation is greater than we imagine and sometimes more than we can believe. Even so, we trust that your Word is true. In Jesus, Amen.

About the author — John D. Witvliet

Dr. John D. Witvliet has served as a professor at Calvin College and Calvin Theological Seminary for the past 11 years, as well as serving as Director of the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship. He and his wife, Charlotte, have four children.

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