Instead of bronze I will bring you gold,
and silver in place of iron.
Instead of wood I will bring you bronze,
and iron in place of stones.
I will make peace your governor
and well-being your ruler.
The Israelites knew what it was like to have unjust rulers. Not only had they experienced the oppression of foreign tyrants, but even their own kings had used their authority to take advantage of the people for selfish gain. No doubt the children of Israel ached for rulers who would guide the nation into prosperity for all.
Thus the prophecy of Isaiah came as water to parched souls. In time, the Lord would make peace their governor and well-being their ruler. Peace (shalom in Hebrew) means more than the absence of conflict. It offers a picture of life as it was meant to be: abundant, productive, restful. Well-being (tzedaqa in Hebrew, often translated as “righteousness”) has to do with all relationships being in sync, just as God intended them to be.
In this season of Advent, we join the Jewish people in their longing for the fullness of peace and righteousness. We are preparing to celebrate the coming of the “Prince of Peace,” who will govern his kingdom “with justice and righteousness” (Isa 9:6-7). Jesus has come—and will come again—to fulfill the vision of Isaiah 60. Peace will be our governor and well-being our ruler. Thanks be to God!
QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER:
What would your life be like if peace were your governor and well-being your ruler?
How would you act differently in your workplace if this were the case? In your family? In your community?
Gracious God, what a marvelous vision of the world made right! Even today we long for a world in which peace is our governor and well-being our ruler. May this day come!
In the meanwhile, we thank you, God, that Christ has come to fulfill this vision. Though his work isn’t finished, he has begun to rule with peace and righteousness. May we live under this gracious sovereignty, bringing your peace and well-being to our world. Our colleagues need this. Our customers need it. Our students need it. And so do our families, our community, and our world.
O Lord, may your kingdom come in all of its fullness. In the meanwhile, may we live each day under your reign of peace and well-being. Amen.