Great Peace

Great peace have they which love thy law; and nothing shall offend them. Psalm 119: 165 (NIV)

I grew up in a time of Peace, not war. I emigrated to my adopted country, and have lived all this life, in war-free Peace.

In the early days of my renewed Christian life, I came across the verse above. Especially the words “Great Peace” and “nothing shall offend them” repeatedly rang in my ears. I so wanted those promises in my new life, even though I had not known war or anything war-like in my previous secular life.

I did love God’s Word, but I was still often offended; never by the Word of God itself, but in relating with people. Back then, my love for God’s Word was a beginning love, a very young love.

As a young girl, I had daily read the Bible, and in these later years as a renewed Christian. But, I had merely just started, to commence, to begin to learn, and love what I learned of God and His Word. I certainly didn’t love then as I love now.

Nevertheless, I so much wanted this “Great peace.” I longed not to become offended as well as not to cause offence to others. I learned how to do Bible word studies, so I would at least understand what the verses that gripped my attention were really saying.

There’s no hidden meaning behind the word Great: large, huge, grand, immense, gigantic, massive, tremendous, enormous, gargantuan, boundless, etcetera.

And there’s nothing to misinterpret about the word Peace: harmony, accord, friendship, concord, friendliness, armistice, truce, amiable, goodwill, tranquillity, serenity, placidity, relaxation, contentment, agreeable, conciliatory, and dovish. Lovely word, don’t you think?

The word Nothing means just that—nothing, absolute zero, naught, none, nil, zip, zilch.

To Offend is to: Insult, affront, annoy, slight, spite, disgust, mortify, vex, ruffle, displease, or cause to stumble.

Many years later, can I say today, I never notice an offence committed in word or deed by people? No, I can’t. I would have to be deaf, and totally, unaware of people’s conduct and attitudes. And anyway, the verse doesn’t promise we won’t notice offenses. It promises, “Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.”

I do notice offenses, but these days, at this stage of my life I don’t become personally offended. I’ve learned much more of God and His Word and much change is wrought in me.

Through our covenant love relationship with God and commitment to reading His Word, we are dynamically changing all the time. We learn who we are in God, what our place and role is in His Kingdom, so that we are rarely offended personally. May we have peace constantly? Yes, we may. “Great Peace?” Oh, yes—with exceedingly great joy and gratitude.

Prayer: Thank You, Lord that You are ever true to Your Word and Your promises therein. In Your Good and Perfect time, You fulfil Your Word and Your Will in us, as we desire it and become surrendered and willing. Thank You in Jesus Precious Name. Amen and Amen.

Rosemary Renninson
Westbury, Victoria, Australia

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