Unlocking the Gate to the Path of Peace
By Lori Wagner
If you are looking for more peace in your life, in your home, in your heart, there is one sure-fire way to get it. God has given us the key that unlocks the gate to the path of peace. The KJV puts it this way: “Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them” (Psalm 119:165). Other versions read:
- “Great peace have they who love Your law; nothing shall offend them or make them stumble” (AMP).
- “You give peace of mind to all who love your Law. Nothing can make them fall” (CEV).
- “Abundant peace have those loving Thy law, And they have no stumbling-block” (YLT).
There’s so much to learn from this verse. In it God reveals a life-changing principle:
Gaining and maintaining peace are directly related to loving God’s law.
In this passage, according to Gesenius's Lexicon, the word translated love means to desire, to breathe after, to delight and to be inclined to. It implies longing — something that comes from deep within and persistently craves more.
When I first became a follower of Jesus, I devoured the Word, took discipleship classes and went out for coffee with folks just to talk about the Lord and the amazing things I was learning about Him. Over time I attained a certain level of scriptural knowledge, but I think somewhere along the way I came to a place where I subconsciously thought, “Well, I have enough now. I know the basics, and that’ll do. I’m in church at least three times a week. Surely that’s enough to keep me going and growing.” But, oh, the treasures still waiting to be mined in the depths of the Word and in His presence.
As we pass through the seasons and events of our lives, we often experience an ebb and flow in our hunger for the Word. For me, for right now, and perhaps for you, too, it feels like it is time for the tide to turn, rise and fill the beach once again. Something keeps pressing into my spirit, and I can’t shake this thought:
If I’m lacking in peace, perhaps the root of the problem is a lack of love for His Word.
Of course, understanding the Word is critical, but more than simply gaining knowledge, Psalm 119:165 talks about loving the law in its entirety. The word law in this passage not only includes Mosaic law and prophetic teaching, but also custom and manner. In our New Testament relationships with God, we are not required to keep Old Testament rites or ceremonial laws, but we are mandated by Jesus Christ to keep the moral law — and then some.
When Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount, He upped the constraints of the moral law. He said we should no longer live eye for an eye, but we should instead turn the other cheek. He taught that if we are compelled to walk one mile, we should offer to walk two. There is an above-and-beyond principle at work, and the cool thing is God applies this principle in His dealings with you and me. He gives us above and beyond anything we could ever offer Him.
To have peace in our lives, we must love, long for, and incline ourselves to instruction and to the customs and manner of living outlined in the Word. It begins with one of Jesus' primary teachings: all those “be” attitudes that follow after the heart and principles of godly living. When we live in agreement with His words, we will reap two outstanding benefits.
First, we will have no means or occasion of stumbling. According to Strong’s Concordance that is what “nothing shall offend thee” means. When we love the law, we will lack the methods, resources, time, or opportunity to stumble. We won’t slip, hesitate, or blunder as we walk through the days of our lives, and we will face no stumbling blocks, hurdles, or barriers.
That inspires me to investigate further. It seems God must have one of His awesome spiritual principles buried in this passage, and the more I dig into it, the more excited I get. Let’s look at the second benefit.
According to Strong’s, the Hebrew word translated peace also means completeness, soundness, and welfare. A further breakdown of the word includes things like safety, health, prosperity, quiet, tranquility, contentment, friendship, peace of human relationships, and peace with God in covenant relationship. OK. I’m signing up right now. I want all that . . . like yesterday.
But wait! There’s more!
We don’t just get all that excellent, wonderful stuff — it all comes SUPER-SIZED — in great measure!
According to Gesenius’s Lexicon the root word for great means one continuous thing. A continuous outpouring of all that good stuff sounds mighty fine to me, yes, indeed. Strong’s expounds further saying great also means abundant, stronger, and enough. Wow. Think about that.
My peace — my great peace — is in abundant supply! It is not just strong, it is stronger — stronger than the influence of things that might take that peace from me, and greater in strength than the things I wrestle in my flesh, mind, and spirit.
The peace God gives me is enough. Enough for what? Enough for anything and everything that comes my way. There is simply an abundance of God’s great peace available for those who love His law.
It is possible to obey without loving, but that is not the way of peace. We will live in peace when we love, when we breathe after, when we desire, delight, and incline to God’s ways over our ways. We have access to the path of peace when we understand this key concept:
Peace is God’s rich reward for those who hunger after His Word.
I pray God’s peace be with you, my friend, or as my teenager used to say, “Peace out!”
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