April 19, 2008

War Gives Way to Peace

Isaiah 9:4-7

To us a child is born, to us a son is given …
Isaiah 9:6


Have you heard the story of Gideon and the “day of Midian’s defeat”? God used his servant Gideon to defeat thousands of Midianites at the hands of a few hundred Israelites. Gideon’s men didn’t even have to fight! The Lord confused and terrified the enemies. They collapsed on their own and fled. (See Judges 7.)

Isaiah reminds us of that remarkable episode to show us that God’s kingdom is different from all human kingdoms. The kingdom of Immanuel does not need our weapons to expand into the world. Immanuel does not rely on military tactics to expand his reign. In fact, writes Isaiah, “Every warrior’s boot used in battle and every garment rolled in blood will be destined for burning, will be fuel for the fire.” Why? Because of this king’s mode of operation. Immanuel conquers by giving himself. Yet in his self-giving he remains “Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

All who are children of God grow to understand this mysterious dynamic of Christ’s kingdom. They know that the kingdom grows through sacrificial service modeled after Jesus himself. The power of unconditional love can defeat the worst of evils.

Today, can you identify one concrete way in which you have given of yourself? If so, you can look expectantly for your service to be blessed by Immanuel.

Father, how wonderful it is to know that we too belong to Jesus’ kingdom of peace. May I give of myself to help bring peace to the people around me today. In Jesus, Amen.

About the author — Victor Atallah

Rev. Victor Atallah is the broadcast team leader for The Back to God Hour Arabic ministry and the general director of Middle East Reformed Fellowship. These meditations are based on texts of Arabic broadcasts aired a few years ago and an Arabic commentary on the book of Isaiah prepared for publication. Rev. Atallah and his wife, Lisa, live in Larnaca, Cyprus, where The Back to God Hour Arabic ministry is based. The ministry reaches Arabic-speaking people throughout the Middle East and North Africa, introducing them to Jesus Christ, Savior of the nations.

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