Steven A. Bush - April 28, 2024

In Pursuit of Shalom

In Pursuit of Shalom

Jeremiah 29:4-7 are the words of God's prophet to the people of Judah, exiled to Babylon: “Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce. Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease. But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare." (ESV) The word, welfare in the text above is better translated, Shalom. Besides describing welfare and peace, Shalom includes wholeness, wellness, security, tranquility, prosperity, harmony, and rest. It's a word chock full of richness and Jesus, the Prince of Shalom, would have us pursue it and exude it in our everyday lives. His sacrifice on the cross, after all, purchased Shalom between us and God (cf Col.1:20). Quoting Psalm 34, Peter exhorts us: "Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech. They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace (Shalom) and pursue it." (1 Peter 3:10-11, NIV) Jesus said on the Sermon on the Mount, "Blessed are the peacemakers (the Shalom-makers) for they shall be called the children of God." Has a nice ring to it--doesn't it?!

Scripture References: Jeremiah 29:4-14, Romans 12:14-18, 1 Peter 3:8-18, John 14:27

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