I’ve been frustrated lately with a certain head coach of a certain favorite college football team of mine, who seems to be substantially more positive then he should be. After a recently blowout loss his press conference was almost more glowing and positive then that of the coach who had just mopped the floor with him (can you sense my frustration through your computer?)! While I’m sure that behind the scenes he and his staff are frustrated and truly trying hard to get better, this “the sky is falling” fan would like a little more public urgency!
There is an account in scripture where the sky was most definitely falling, but the people of Israel did everything possible to look the other way. For several generations God’s people had fallen into all sorts of sin, from idol worship, to immorality, and more. This was especially bad among their leaders, but the common people were far from innocent. As the sinfulness of society continued to mount the people refused to acknowledge their faults.
“For from the least to the greatest of them, everyone is greedy for unjust gain; and from prophet to priest, everyone deals falsely. They have healed the wound of my people lightly, saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace. Were they ashamed when they committed abomination? No, they were not at all ashamed; they did not know how to blush. Jeremiah 6:13-15
The phrase that really grabs my attention here is that the people were “saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace.” The Hebrew word translated peace here is shalom, which refers to something much bigger then our word peace. Shalom means that everything is right before God. Obviously, that was VERY far from the case in Israel. Yet, in the face of so much sinfulness, the people were declaring that everything was perfectly fine. I think that today we are facing a similar, yet different, problem. Most of us recognize that there is not shalom in the world. We recognize the sinfulness in our world and in our culture. Yet, I wonder, do we adequately recognize our own sin? We are quick to point out all the problems around us, but then declare “shalom, shalom!” in our own lives. The world may be getting an F, but the fact that we are getting a C- should not be cause to declare “shalom, shalom!” I want to encourage all of us this week to do a comprehensive examination of our own lives. In what ways are we not at peace with God? What things do we need to change in our lives, and what things to we need to repent of? Sometimes we need to stop worrying about the problems of the world so that we can truly examine our own lives. This week, lets clean-up our own house so that we can truly have shalom with God.