You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you: because he trusts in you.…
Literally, "Peace, peace;" the Hebrew superlative form meaning the "greatest, or perfect peace" - inward peace, outward peace, peace with God, peace of conscience, peace at all times, under all events, God's own peace, the peace which God's own Son knew, and left as his legacy to his disciples. These two last expressions give us two divisions for our subject.
I. GOD GIVES THOSE WHO TRUST HIM HIS OWN PEACE.
1. God's peace is the result of his inward harmony. There are no conflicts within him. And this seems an amazing thing to us, who never do the right save after a fight with the wrong in which we have come off conquerors. As a living Being - a Person - we must think of God as having mind, will, affections, emotions, attributes, and relations to others outside himself. He is One. But in our idea of the unity of God we include the manifold comprehensiveness of God; and we understand that in him is perfect peace, because there is harmony; judgment never conflicts with feeling, will never struggles against desire. Every line tends to the focus of Divine purpose; every power combines to execute the Divine thought. Sometimes our idea of the Divine peace is spoiled by representations that are made of the work of redemption, as if, in connection with it, his justice was in antagonism with his mercy, and his Law made hard terms with his love. Surely that redemption is the work of Divine peace; it is the outgoing of his whole being towards us in the harmony of pitying love.
"Still hushedly, hushedly, snowed down the thought Divine,
And in a voice of most exceeding peace, the Lord said (While against the breast Divine the waters
of life leapt, gleaming, gladdening),
Let the man enter in?"
2. God's peace follows on his aboveness. A word has to be coined to express this thought. We feel that we should be at peace if we could get above. God is above: not in the conflict which we know, but calm in the vision of it all; calm in seeing the end from the beginning; peaceful as the doctor is when, above the patient, he reads the issue of the disease; peaceful as the teacher, who is above the child, and knows perfectly what is causing it so much care and toil. A little picture in the Leeds Exhibition showed us how man may feel God's peace out of his aboveness. An old farm-laborer, dressed in his long patched brown smock and clouted boots, and grasping tremblingly his stick, was looking up at a little opening that appeared in a dull, heavy, leaden sky. A grand old face, seamed and lined with years of poverty, toil, and care, but full of the peace which God alone can give; tears were glistening in the eyes, and standing ready to drop; but smiles were breaking through, as, remembering sorrows in the home and weary burdens on the heart, he sweetly said, "Up beyond is the blue sky." Peace and God, he knew, were up above; over there.
3. God's peace attends on his righteousness and love. Nothing can disturb the peace of him who always doeth right, and is love. Peace and Righteousness go hand-in-band - twin sisters - through all creation. They live and toil and die together. And in the heart and home of God they have dwelt together from everlasting, before the earth and the world were formed. So he is the God of peace.
II. GOD GIVES THOSE WHO TRUST HIM HIS SON'S PEACE. It is one thing to admire the peace of God, but quite another thing to feel that it may become ours, that it can ever be the possession and the power of a man. The contrasts, God, man, strike us as too severe. The step of descent is too vast. We want a Mediator. We ask for some instance in which God's peace can be seen in a man. And that is one of the revelations made in the Lord Jesus Christ. He is prophesied of as the Prince of Peace. He was the Teacher of peace. He is our Peace. He knew the peace passing understanding. Ills peace was the peace of God, for it also came from inward harmony, from aboveness, and from the intertwinings of righteousness and love. But it also was, characteristically, man's peace. It was such a peace of mind and heart as we may know; and from Christ we may learn what its sources are. Man, too, may reach the restfulness of inward harmony. Man, too, may rise above the petty disturbances of life. Man, too, may win the perfect rule of righteousness and love. But it is Christ who teaches us, and shows us how, and gives us strength to wire He reveals the three great sources of peace for man, and they are found to be these - trust, submission, and obedience. Trust that says, "The Lord knoweth the way that I take." Submission that says, "The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away." Obedience that says, "My meat and my drink is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work." These are the sources of peace for man, for they were the sources of peace for man's Head, the "Man Christ Jesus." Nay, but there is an earlier secret, than this. In Christ, for man, is the great peace. Peace with God, before we can have peace in God, and so the peace of God ruling in our hearts. We "have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ;" and his work in us involves such a change in us, such a moral regeneration and renewal, as can only find fitting activity in lives of peacefulness and "sweet reasonableness." Yes, man can have God's peace; for he is a spiritual being, made in the image of God. He feels like God. He thinks like God. He wills like God. He loves like God. And he can be at peace like God. All, indeed, within limitations and in narrow measures; but the passing clouds can find a true mirror in a wayside pool as well as in a mighty mountain-lake. A dewdrop will hold the sunshine in its tiny ball; and the mighty forest oak will go into the limits of the acorn-seed. God can give his own eternal peace to man, his creature. He will give it, he does give it, to all who put their trust in him. - R.T.
Parallel VersesKJV: Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.