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February 28 – Sin and shin (2): Shalom!

“Great peace have those who love your law; nothing can make them stumble.” – Psalm 119:165

Scripture reading: Psalm 119:161-168

There isn’t just one well-known word in this stanza (seven). There are two! The other is one of the most famous words of all in Hebrew – a word that has basically become an English word too. This is the word shalom. Peace. At this point in his acrostic song about God’s law, how could the psalmist not come up with this household word?

To love the law of God and to obey His commandments brings great peace in our lives. Understand this is not an outward peace or a prosperity gospel, even though it is true that obedience to God’s law in all of life does lead to much blessing, security and peace amongst family, friends and neighbors. Who doesn’t enjoy being in the presence of a person who is content, peaceful, certain, confident, positive and happy? People who love God and love His law are generally people like that. But no, shalom is most of all an inner peace, an inner confidence and contentment, in all circumstances, including times of stress, suffering, sickness and persecution.

This same peace filled the followers of Jesus Christ who were facing the enemy in the Roman amphitheater about to die by wild animals, or who were being burned at the stake for defending the faith, or who were losing their property because of their faith. Nothing could make them stumble. Nothing could rob them of their peace.

Jesus Christ is our Peace. He, Himself, is the pioneer of peaceful faith and obedience. He willingly subjected Himself to the terror of the cross in order to obey perfectly His heavenly Father.

Suggestions for prayer

Pray that your heavenly Father will give you this peace in your heart. Pray for the true and living faith which means nothing can rob you of that peace.

This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. James Slaa is pastor of the Smithers Canadian Reformed Church in British Columbia, Canada.

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