“And it came to pass, when Joram saw Jehu, that he said, Is it peace, Jehu? And he answered, What peace…” (2 Kings 9:22)
The sovereignty of God is apparent in all His dealings with the children of men. He putteth down one and setteth up another. He killeth and maketh alive. He doeth what He pleases in the armies of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth. He giveth no account of any of His ways, nor may any one inquire, What doest thou? Still, “justice and judgment are the habitation of His throne,” and we are sure that in all His dispensations, however mysterious to us, “the Judge of all the earth will do right.” It is “by Him kings reign and princes decree justice.” All this is evidenced in the case of Jehu, whose exaltation to the throne of Israel is described in the former part of this interesting chapter (vers. 1-10).
I. THAT THERE IS NO PEACE TO BE FOUND IN THE WAYS OF SIN. In prosecution of the inquiry in our text, ask —
1. The open sinner. Sinner, hast thou peace? Ask Adam and Eve, when they had eaten of the forbidden fruit. Look at Achan who saw among the spoils of the enemy a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, and coveted them, and took them, and hid them in the earth in the midst of his tent and the silver under it. “Is it peace, Achan?” When Zimri slew Elah the son of Baasha, King of Israel, and usurped his throne, had Zimri “peace” who slew this master? (1 Kings 15:10). Look at Belshazzar at his impious feast (Daniel 5:9); here was the very height of human enjoyment; but a guilty conscience spoiled all. Look at aul, King of Israel; hear his bitter cry, “I am sore distresed; for the Philistines make war against me, and God is departed from me, and answereth me no more” (1 Samuel 28:15). Had he peace? Peace had fled from him.
2. Ask the formalist — resting in a round of duties, having the form of godliness, but destitute of its power. There may be a pharisaical spirit — a self-satisfaction “God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men” (Luke 18:11), but “is it peace?”
3. Ask the unconverted, under his most favourable circumstances; and though we do not deny that there may be a momentary gratification, — what are termed by the apostle, The pleasures of sin for a season, Is there peace? Some, indeed, have a false peace, are “at ease in their sins” — but this is carelessness and indifference rather than “peace.”
4. But this question may be asked of many, who have even sought peace for their souls, but sought it in the wrong way, by unhallowed means. Many are the ingenious devices of Satan, for blinding the minds of his captives, and keeping his goods “in peace.” Hence his ministers are said to “daub with untempered mortar,” and to “cry, Peace, peace; when there is no peace” (Jeremiah 6:14, Ezekiel 13:10). Is peace then banished from the earth? far from it; the Holy Scriptures make known unto us “the way of peace,” which unconverted men have never known (Romans 8:17). “Christ is our peace” (Micah 5:5, Ephesians 2:1, Isaiah 9:6). And though peace is only to be found in Him, here is solid, abiding, soul-satisfying peace.
II. SHOW THAT TRUE, PERMANENT PEACE is to be obtained only through an experimental knowledge of God in Christ Jesus, through the Spirit, “Preaching peace by Jesus Christ, who is described in the Word of inspiration as the Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). And here we may remark, that the believer has —
1. Peace with God.
2. Peace of Conscience – this is peace of mind, rest for his soul.
3. Peace with Others – for when a man’s ways please the Lord, He maketh even His enemies to be at peace with Him. And what are the properties of this peace? Let the Scriptures declare (Romans 14:17-18): “A peace of God, which passeth all understanding,” which “the world can neither give, nor take away'” which is perfectly independent of all the vicissitudes of this changing world. And this peace is enjoyed through faith in the Redeemer. It is peace and joy “in believing.” Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee, because he trusteth in Thee (Isaiah 26:13). Peace under all circumstances; — “Say ye to the righteous it shall be well with him” (Isaiah 3:16), in sickness and health; in prosperity and adversity; in poverty and riches; in life, in death, and through all eternity.