I am reading through the Bible with my church this year. I love the discipline of this; however, I have to admit that reading “categorically”, as we are this year, has been a bit of a challenge for me. Each day there are several chapters to read according to the divisions of the Bible – the law, history, prophecy, etc. – but we only read each category once a week. Think of reading one chapter a night in six or seven different novels. Yes, I know the Bible is all one book and all “goes together” but my thinker has a hard time stopping and starting in the middle of great Bible stories…especially the Old Testament ones.
That said, instead of trying to process the entire passage I’m reading each time – often, I ask the Lord to show me something through just one verse….and He always answers (if I’m listening). For instance, not long ago, we were reading Isaiah 29-33. For me, that is five chapters of “heavy” reading. However, this verse is among those chapters.
Isaiah 32:17 “and the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.”
Peace….beautiful. Before our adorable Miss Roo was born, her mommy (our daughter) was a middle-school English teacher. Teasingly, we all used to wonder why anyone would teach middle schoolers?? Goodness, the middle school drama – and there was never a lack of it. Drama, of course, is not limited to middle schoolers….think teenage girls – and, now, there are even tremendous drama queens in elementary school. There is drama in the workplace, the neighborhood, in politics and, well you get the picture. In fact, our society seems to be driven by drama (don’t even get me started on reality tv and feeding off of other’s drama)!
However, this verse in Isaiah tells us righteousness brings peace….quiets the drama and calms the soul. Surely that should be the pursuit of our homes. We may not be able to stop all the drama that surrounds us but our homes can be a sanctuary from all the drama. Leave your drama at the door might well be a motto. Our homes may not always be quiet – in fact, I love the “noise” of family….whether its teenagers laughing with their friends, toddlers and other little ones giggling and running about, or babies “singing for their supper”! (In fact, I miss many of those sounds.) But our homes can still be characterized by peace.
The next verse (18) says, “and my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation…” As we hunger and seek after righteousness in our homes – individually and together as a family – we can create a refuge from the world’s drama….a place of real peace.