The Fruit of the Ruach is Peace
DIG: What does peace mean? How does that relate to Messiah Yeshua? What did Isaiah have to say about the peace that passes all understanding? And the Prince of Peace? How does Dani’el give us an example of the peace that passes all understanding? How does Hananiah, Azariah, and Mishael also give us an example of perfect peace?
REFLECT: Do you feel like Dani’el in the lions’ den? Do you feel like Hananiah, Azariah and Mishael in the fiery furnace? What examples does this set for us? What problem are you facing right now that you need the peace that passes all understanding? How can you get it? Is the smell of smoke all over you? Why? Why aren’t you all alone?
When Paul spoke of walking by the Ruach (to see link click Bv – Walk by the Ruach, and Not the Desires of the Flesh), he was not referring to following after mystical visions and revelations. Instead, he provided a list of attributes that describe a Ruach-led person. Thus, the evidence of the fruit of the Ruach is a changed life. Paul now presents the proper path according to which those faithful to God in His Messiah should walk. The fruit stands in contrast to the deeds of the flesh. The Ruach’s fruit simply shows us the qualities which characterize the Kingdom of God. But, in contrast to the deeds of the flesh, the fruit of the Ruach (singular, like a cluster of grapes) is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (5:22a). All of these elements should be a part of your life as you allow the Ruach ha-Kodesh to flow through you.
If joy speaks of the exhilaration of heart that comes from being right with ADONAI, then peace (Greek: eirene, meaning tranquility of mind) refers to peace that comes from the saving relationship with God (Psalm 29:11). Some form of this word is found 429 times in the Scriptures. The verb form of eirene means to bind together. Thus, Messiah Yeshua, through the blood of His cross, binds together that which was separated by human sin, sinners who put their trust in YHVH.143 Let’s look at some passages about peace.
Isaiah says: You will keep the believing remnant in perfect peace, those whose mind is steadfast, because the steadfast person trusts in You (Isaiah 26:3). The phrase perfect peace is just a doubling, shalom, shalom. And because the faithful remnant trusted in the LORD, and the mind of the remnant focused on Him in spite of what was happening around them, they will enter the Millennial Jerusalem (see the commentary on Isaiah Fe – We Have a Strong City; God Makes Salvation It’s Walls). Principles can be taken out of this verse and applied to us today, but the context dictates that Isaiah has the Jewish believing remnant at the end of the Great Tribulation in mind here (see the commentary on Revelation Ev – The Basis for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ).
For to us a child is born, a son will be given to us, and the government will be upon His shoulder. His Name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, My Father of Eternity, Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:5). Yeshua is the Prince of Peace (see the commentary on Isaiah Ck – He Will Be Called the Prince of Peace), both in the sense that He was supremely peaceful Himself, and in the sense that He gives His peace to those who are His.
Shalom I leave you, My shalom I give to you; but not as the world gives! Do not let your heart be troubled or afraid (John 14:27). Even when He confronted the Adversary face-to-face in the wilderness, Messiah had perfect peace, knowing His heavenly Father was continually with Him and would supply His every need (see the commentary on The Life of Messiah Bj – Jesus is Tempted in the Wilderness).
These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have shalom. In the world you will have trouble, but take heart! I have overcome the world (John 16:33)!
If possible, so far as it depends on you, live in shalom with all people (Romans 12:18).
Do not be anxious about anything – but in everything, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the shalom of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Messiah Yeshua (Philippians 4:6-7). What does that really look like? How did this peace that passes all understanding play out in the lives of real people in the Bible?
In the book of Dani’el there was a king named Nebuchadnezzar. He was an evil king and did all kinds of despicable things. He had a ninety-foot statue made of his image, and he declared that no one would bow down to or worship anything other than that ninety-foot idol. But three Hebrews named Hananiah, Azariah and Mishael (most people know them by their Babylonian names of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego), continued to do what they had always done, they prayed to their God. Furious with rage, Nebuchadnezzar ordered Hananiah, Azariah and Mishael to be summoned. When they refused to bow down and worship his idol, he ordered the furnace to be heated seven times hotter than it was normally heated and commanded some of the mighty men in his army to tie them up and to cast them into the furnace of blazing fire. But because the king’s order was so urgent and the furnace so extremely hot, a raging flame killed those men who carried them up to be thrown into the fiery furnace. And the three men fell bound into the blazing fire.
When Nebuchadnezzar viewed his decree being carried out from a distance, he was astonished and leapt to his feet. He asked his ministers, “Didn’t I tell you to cast three men bound into the middle of the fire?” They replied to the king, “Surely, O king.” But then he answered saying, “Look! I see four men walking about unbound and unharmed in the middle of the fire, and the fourth has the appearance like the Son of God!”
Later in the book of Dani’el there was another king whose name was Darius. He wasn’t a horrible king and he actually did some things that were good, but the truth is that he really liked Dani’el. His supervisors, however, tried to find ground for a charge against Dani’el regarding the kingdom. They knew Dani’el was a man of prayer, so they went to the king and asked him to issue an edict and enforce a decree that anyone who prays to any god or man for 30 days other than you O king, will be cast into the lion’s den. Thereupon King Darius issued the written decree because of his ego. His supervisors had set a trap for Dani’el for they knew that Dani’el prayed to ADONAI multiple times a day. Eventually, they “caught” Dani’el praying to ADONAI , they had him arrested and brought before Darius. When the king heard this report, he was deeply distressed. But because he had signed a decree which could not be altered, reluctantly, the king gave the order and Dani’el was thrown into the lions’ den. That night the king went to his palace and passed the night fasting – no entertainment was brought before him. He was unable to sleep.
At dawn the king got up and hurried to the lions’ den. As he reached the den, he cried out to Dani’el with a voice of anguish, saying: Dani’el, servant of the living God, was your God, whom you serve continually, able to rescue you from the lions? Dani’el spoke to the king, “May the king live forever! My God sent His angel to shut the lions’ mouths so that they haven’t harmed me, because I was found innocent before Him. Nor have I committed any crime against You, O king.”
As a result, not a hair of their head was singed, nor were their robes scorched, nor was there a smell of fire on them (Dani’el Chapter 6). If you had not had a conversation with them, you wouldn’t have even known that they had gone through the fire. But there are those who go through the fiery furnace and they cannot live without you knowing how hard they’ve had it. How they have been mistreated. How many horrible things have happened to them. They go through life and the smell of smoke is all over them. But, when Hananiah, Azariah and Mishael got out of that furnace the smell of smoke wasn’t even on them.
They weren’t worried about what they had been through, they wanted you to know Who
had brought them through it! They wanted you to know that it was God who rescued them.
Sometimes we face struggles in life, and we are tempted to think that God has forgotten us. We may even believe that He no longer loves us. But the LORD’s love for us is as wide as the open arms of Messiah on the cross. And the tender compassion of ADONAI is more dependable and more lasting than the love of a nursing mother for her child. Be comforted: For the LORD is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations (Psalm 100:5).
God uses a picture to assure Zion that He has not forgotten her, He says: Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of My hands (see the commentary on Isaiah Ip – Zion Not Rejected). This is the opposite of normal practice. Instead of the master’s name being written on the servant’s hands, the servant’s name is written on the Master’s hands. This is a figurative way of expressing that the LORD will never forget Zion. The City is represented as graven on His hands, so that its walls are perpetually in His sight, and thus the people of God, who are figured by the City, are kept in everlasting remembrance. A similar form of speech is frequently used in India to express one’s destiny. It is common to say, in reference to men or things, “They are written on the palms of his hands.” Remembrance of an absent one is expressed by a figure of speech used in this verse: “Ah, my friend, you have long since forgotten Me!” But have I forgotten you? Never! This picture can apply to us today also.
Quite a thought isn’t it? Your name is written on God’s hands. Your name on the LORD’s lips. Maybe you’ve seen your name in some special places. On an award or diploma . . . But to think that your name is on the LORD’s hands and on His lips . . . could it be? Or perhaps you have never seen your name honored. And you can’t remember when you heard it spoken with kindness. If so, it may be more difficult for you to believe that ADONAI even knows your name. But He does. Written on His hand. Your name is whispered by His lips.
When you are thrown into the lions’ den and the fiery furnace of life, you might have caused it, you might not have caused it, it might have been brought about by some circumstance that was beyond your control, but you have found yourself under attack. When your enemies have surrounded you, the shalom of God, which surpasses all understanding can be yours by knowing that you can trust your God. He knows who you are and He knows the struggles of your life. He knows where you’ve been, He knows where you are, He knows where you’re going. He has engraved you on the palms of His hands. When you find yourself in the fiery furnace and in the lions’ den, that is when you can find the peace of God that passes all understanding for you are not alone.
Dear Father, Praise You that we can be at peace when we go thru any trial, for You have promised to always be right there by our side. For God Himself has said: I will never leave you or forsake you, (Hebrews 13:5c). Our hearts, resting in your power and strength, will trust and not fear because with confidence we say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” (Hebrews 13:6). Even when someone spitefully wrongs us, we praise you that you work it for our good, Now we know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28); even as You did for King David who trusted in You even when the king pursued him with his whole army. David’s love for you grew stronger as he went thru trial after trial and again and You were always faithful to him with a rich, strong, deep and loyal chesed love.
Praise You that we can have peace as we think of the qualifications to enter heaven. We know that no amount of good works can be enough to get us into Your holy heaven (Ephesians 2:8-9); for You are totally perfect and can allow no sin in Your holy heaven. You taught Your firstborn son (Exodus 4:22), the Jews, that the only way they could only approach You was by having their sins’ payment of death paid . . . by transferring their guilt to the lamb, slain in their place. He is to lay his hand on the head of the burnt offering, so that it will be accepted for him to make atonement on his behalf (Leviticus 1:4). This transfer of sin to a blood slain scapegoat is the same pattern that You use for all to enter Your presence in Your holy heaven – for Messiah, our Passover lamb has been sacrificed (First Corinthians 5:7c).
We do not take this great gift lightly; but we bow in reverence to You and seek to love You back with all our hearts. In Your holy Son’s name and power of resurrection. Amen