"Those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of goodness."
- James 3:18 TLB
There are times when my husband, Joe, is his own worst enemy. The fact that he knows and admits this gives me hope that he will someday become all that God created him to be. Joe is keenly aware that, over the years, he has missed out on numerous opportunities and rewards, simply because he has a tendency to lose his temper and act unwisely. Years ago, when we started having problems with the neighborhood kids, what began as a tense situation escalated into an all-out war that lasted years and resulted in serious damage to our home and propertyóall because my husband acted rashly when the trouble first began. Joe and I have been married for more than 34 years, and I believe that the Lord brought us together so that I could pray for him and encourage him to be calm and think twice before he does or says something that heíll regret later on. When Iím tempted to get weary in my role as a peacemaker, I remind myself of an account in Scripture that never fails to encourage me.
Before David became king, he and his 600 men were in the desert guarding the flock and workforce of a wealthy man named Nabal. As was customary during that time, David sent one of his servants to humbly ask Nabal for any sort of provisions that he would be willing to give David and his men. Nabal, being the fool that he was, answered Davidís plea with contempt, and refused to give him or his men anything. Davidís response to this blatant insult was: ďA lot of good it did to help this fellow. We protected his flocks in the wilderness, and nothing he owned was lost or stolen. But he has repaid me evil for good. May God strike me and kill me if even one man of his household is still alive tomorrow morning!Ē (1 Samuel 25:21-22 NLT) As David arms himself and 400 of his men to take vengeance on Nabal and his household, he is intercepted by Nabalís wife, Abigail, who has been informed of her husbandís rash behavior by one of her servants, and who comes bearing a wealth of provisions for David and his men. Abigail bows before David and pleads with him not to act rashly, so that when he finally takes his place as king of Israel, he will not have on his conscience the burden of needless bloodshed and personal vengeance. (1 Samuel 25:30-31) David recognizes that this woman is sent by God to prevent his wrongdoing, and he relents from annihilating Nabal and his household. When Abigail tells her husband about the provisions she has given David and his men, Nabal has a stroke and dies. David, recognizing Abigail as the wise woman she is, makes her an offer of marriage, and she accepts.
Abigail is one of the most admired people in Scripture, with good reason. She illustrates how Godís people are to assume the role of peacemaker when they are called upon by the Lord to intervene in tense situations. Jesus said: ďBlessed (enjoying enviable happiness, spiritually prosperous--with life-joy and satisfaction in God's favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the makers and maintainers of peace, for they shall be called the sons of God!Ē (Matthew 5:9 AMP) In other words, there are divine rewards and blessings reserved only for those who answer the high call of peacemaker as followers of Christ. Maybe you think that itís beneath you to rescue others from acting rashly in volatile situations when the Lord calls you to. Scripture says otherwise. ďDear brothers, if a Christian is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help him back onto the right path, remembering that next time it might be one of you who is in the wrong. Share each otherís troubles and problems, and so obey our Lordís command. If anyone thinks he is too good to stoop to this, he is fooling himself. He is really a nobody.Ē (Galatians 6:1-3 TLB) Right now, you might be reading this because God has someone in mind that He wants you to assist in this area. Whether itís a spouse, child, parent, coworker, sibling, or friendófollow the Lordís lead and experience for yourself the incredible power of a peacemaker!
Prayer: Lord, teach me how to be a peacemaker for Christ. Give me the divine wisdom, discernment, and courage I need to succeed in this role. Show me how to pray for, encourage, and advise those whom You put in my path. And provide me with a fellow peacemaker when Iím the one who needs rescuing. Thank You for the rich rewards that are awaiting me as I follow and promote Your kind of peace!
- J. M. Farro