Thursday, July 3, 2008

Thick or Thin II: Considerations On the Meaning of Peace

Another passage to consider in the theme of peace is Isaiah 53.5 which reads, “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.”

In the context of my previous posting on thick or thin peace, how should this be read? Should we consider this an absence of discord and strife or suggestive of peace construed as salvation?

Likewise, if we consider Numbers 6.22-27, the Aaronic blessing, “22 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 23 Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, Thus you shall bless the Israelites: You shall say to them, 24 The Lord bless you and keep you; 25 the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; 26 the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace. 27 So they shall put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.”

Here we see that peace is a gift from God. Notice also the directional language as well. If we put this within the covenantal agreement between God and the Israelites it seems that this would linger in the thicker readings of peace as salvation, but likely also include a resultant peace as well.

What are the effects upon our doctrine and practice if we define these through the thin definitions rather than the thickness of salvation? Do our patriotic tendencies color our interpretations of this peace? If so, who becomes our savior if peace is defined thinly? The state? I think I just threw up a little.