Making Peace

Genesis 26:26-31 NIV

Meanwhile, Abimelech had come to him from Gerar, with Ahuzzath his personal adviser and Phicol the commander of his forces. Isaac asked them, "Why have you come to me, since you were hostile to me and sent me away?"

They answered, "We saw clearly that the LORD was with you; so we said, 'There ought to be a sworn agreement between us'-between us and you. Let us make a treaty with you that you will do us no harm, just as we did not molest you but always treated you well and sent you away in peace. And now you are blessed by the LORD."

Isaac then made a feast for them, and they ate and drank. Early the next orning the men swore an oath to each other. Then Isaac sent them on their way, and they left him in peace.

The Philistines had been a royal pain in the neck to Isaac for a long time, forcing him to pack up and move three times.

Think about it in these terms. You know what a job it is to move from one house or apartment to another. Now magnify that by thousands of people, and think about what a job it was for Isaac to move his people to another part of the country.... three times! He couldn't call a moving company with a fleet of 18-wheelers and have them do all the work. He couldn't call ahead to the real estate company and have lodging arranged when he got there. He could not have the utilities turned on ahead of time. He had to organize all those thousands of people, pack up their belongings and their tents, and head out for parts unknown. And when they arrived, they had to dig new wells. With little, crude shovels. No power equipment, remember?

So when the Philistines finally approached him with an offer of peace, his natural reaction should have been to tell them, "Okay, fine. Now just leave me alone." But what did Isaac do? He threw a feast, welcoming these people who had given him such a hard time to his table, feeding them and embracing them as his friends and allies.

All of us have enemies. All of us know someone who has, in some way, made our lives miserable. What happens if one of your enemies approaches you with an offer of peace? Your natural reaction will most likely be to say, "Okay, fine. Now just leave me alone." But think about this. What if that person has approached you because he sees something in you that he can't understand... your peace in the midst of the storm he has created. your obvious difference from others around you. Perhaps your continual Christ-like attitude - a welcoming hug, an attitude of rejoicing at the end of conflict, your desire to accept him as a new friend rather than a long-standing enemy - is just what he needs to move him toward accepting Jesus' free gift of salvation. Or if he's a Christian who has wandered outside of God's will, your example is what's needed to get him back on track.

The next time an enemy approaches you with an offer of peace, do more than just accept it and go on your way. Welcome him with open arms. After all, that's what Jesus did for you.

Used with Permission