Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule—to the Israel of God.
Growing up in the 60’s, there was lots and lots of talk about peace. Peace from the war in Vietnam. Peace with the Russians. Peace with the environment. Peace with all people around the world. It was a rallying cry.
Everything had a peace sign on it. Books. Clothing. Cars. I put a peace sticker on my car. I carefully stuck it on my driver side rear view mirror because it perfectly it’s size and shape.
It didn’t matter that I couldn’t use the mirror anymore to see oncoming trucks, cars, or motorcycles. Displaying my support for peace for all the world to see was more important
If you ask people to define peace, you’ll get lots and lots of different definitions. Most of them have to do with eliminating war and conflict. Or being able to “chill,” getting away from the conflicts and pressures of today.
But God doesn’t look at peace as just something to be talked about. He doesn’t have a theoretical view of peace that’s out there somewhere. God looks at and wants a peace that’s less about something out there and has everything to do with what’s inside.
Think about it, God made everything peaceful. There was complete unity within all the different parts of creation. The world and everything in it; including plants and animals, were woven together so that there was unity and harmony.
There was complete peace between God, Adam and Eve. They met and spent time together in the garden. Between Adam and Eve there was also peace. There was nothing to hide. Everything was more than just good, it was very good.
So, when was peace first broken? It all started when Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ate fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The immediate result is that they lost peace. Peace with God. Peace with themselves. Peace with each other. Why else would they hide?
Yes, that’s when peace left.
Left between us and our loving heavenly Father.
Left between us and ourselves.
Left between us and others.
Left between us and creation.
Peace is where God puts our broken relationship with him back together through the one-time sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. He paid the debt we couldn’t pay. We are restored to him, by him.
And if that was all there was, that would be great beyond anything we could imagine. But it’s oh so much better. We not only get his peace, we get his mercy.
Mercy is where God shows tenderness and deals with us and the consequences of our broken lives with kindness. He doesn’t haul off and smack us every time that we turn against him. Hurt him or others.
He’s patient and kind to us. He knows that we’re nothing but dust. And, as you know, dust has no strength to stand up against anything. It gets blown around by the smallest puff of air that comes along.
We don’t like to think about ourselves as dust. But that’s who we are. God made us from the dust of the ground and breathed life into us. Being made from dust isn’t what makes us valuable, but being made alive by the breath of God makes us people of incredible, eternal value.
That’s why our turning away from God is so hurtful and painful to God. He’s our loving creator Father God and we threw it all away for a mouthful of fruit based on the greatest lie in the history of time.
When we rebelled from God, turning away from him, a whole lot more than Elvis left the building. We lost his peace. We lost his mercy. We lost his love. We lost him and everything that goes along with him.
Remember the last time you were deeply hurt and disappointed in someone? How did you respond? What was your first thought? What did you want to say? What did you want to do?
Well, God’s response was so wildly different than yours or mine. He wanted to restore us to himself so much that he was willing to pay the price himself. He restored our peace with him and everyone else. He showed us mercy. And he did all that, and more, in Jesus.
Now, if that isn’t good news, then I don’t know what is.
 Genesis 1:31
 Genesis 3:6
 Genesis 3:7
 Genesis 3:8
 Psalm 103:14
 Genesis 2:6