The Lord Establishes Our Peace
Lord, you establish peace for us; all that we have accomplished you have done for us.
– Isaiah 26:12
As we saw yesterday, as believers, we are called to be promoters of peace. In all that we do, through our character, integrity, words, and actions, we are to be people of truth. When we fulfill this calling, peace naturally follows. Yet, in this verse from Isaiah 26, we see that it is not our own efforts or work, but God who establishes peace for us. Our God is the one who steps into our lives and calms the turmoil taking place in hearts and relationships.
The second half of this verse continues to confirm the implication from the first half. “All that we have accomplished you have done for us.” This seems very confusing upon its reading. How can what we have accomplished have been done for us? That would be like each of us having completed a day at work, and yet, somebody else having done it for us. We see here a glimpse into the sovereignty of God at work in our lives. He is working to bring about peace. This peace may be in smaller ways, in relationships between coworkers, family members, or friends. This peace also may be brought about in larger ways, through the peace that is Christ Jesus dwelling within us.
Regardless, this is a difficult truth to completely grasp. This verse does not deny that we are the ones accomplishing the work, and yet, it also does not deny that God has done all of that for us. This verse carries with it a similar tone to Proverbs 16:9, which says, “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.”
In all of this, despite the perceived confusion, we are called to rejoice in the mystery of God. The word “mystery” is seen many times throughout Scripture, in reference to Christ, the will of God, and the works of God. In these instances, the word “mystery” is not meant to imply some mystical, magical unknown entity. Instead, it is something we can fully know and affirm, and yet, we may not be able to grasp the inner workings of that mystery, for God is far beyond our ability to reason and understand.
So as we see here the mystery of God in His sovereignty and our works/accomplishments, instead of sitting in confusion, let us rejoice and respond in worship at the beauty of this mystery. God has given us power to accomplish all that He sets before us, and at the same time, God is a God who is so loving, caring, and desiring of us, that He will bring about His will in His time for our good and for our peace.