Sunday, November 4, 2012


For over fifteen hundred years the combination of dove and olive branch have symbolized peace in Christian art, though the one returning to Noah carried simply a plucked leaf:

And the dove came in to him in the evening; and, lo, in her mouth was an olive leaf pluckt off: so Noah knew that the waters were abated from off the earth. (Genesis 8:11 KJV)

By the third century this scene took on a change in paintings, with an olive branch instead of the leaf being shown.

The above graphic shows not only the dove in armor, but there is a sight lined up on what would be the heart. That photo “marks the spot where over 40 people were killed during the first Intafada”. Obviously, there remains no peace for Israel while her neighbors are planning her obliteration. Where do we find peace among men?

Christians have been told to live peaceably:

If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. (Romans 12:18 KJV)

We do run into problems with that '’as much as lieth in you,” don’t we. Inside we harbor so many things that keep us from being at peace with ourselves, much less living peaceably with all men. Face it, we can’t get along with all of our family members – and God wants us to live peaceably with all men?

He knows that there are times peace is not possible. Jesus said:

Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division: (Luke 12:51 KJV)

Beliefs can be very divisive. People become defensive when theirs are denigrated. As Matthew Henry commented:
The one that continues in unbelief will be provoked, and will hate and persecute the one that by his faith and obedience witnesses against, and condemns, his unbelief and disobedience. A spirit of bigotry and persecution will break through the strongest bonds of relation and natural affection
This should not happen among Christians, though. Beyond loving God and our neighbors, Christ gave us a new commandment:

A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. (John 13:34-35 KJV)

While we’re working on the goal of being peaceable with all men, Christians need to love one another to fulfill this new commandment. Sometimes that’s hard, but most of the time it’s very easy to love those who join in worshipping our Lord. Then we all know that:

If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. (John 15:10-12 KJV)

That will give us the peace He promised:

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (John 14:27 KJV)

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