Today marks the 81st anniversary of the day that will live in infamy. It is imperative that we as a nation never forget the ultimate sacrifice that 2,403 U.S. service members and civilians made on that fateful day. America and the world would not know “peace” until August 14, 1945, it was announced that Japan had surrendered unconditionally to the Allies, effectively ending World War II.
In contemplating this day a question arose in my mind. Did the world really know peace after VJ day? For some, the fact that the world was not at war was “satisfaction enough “peace” enough, albeit a shallow peace.
On December 25th, 1863 Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote a poem “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” that captures the sentiment of war and peace. A paraphrase of one of the verses is below:
The last phrase of course comes from Luke 2:11-17. Verse 14 to be specific states: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” John Gill’s comments on this verse explain it in detail.
We see that TRUE PEACE comes not externally from the actions of man, as Churchill exclaimed, but from the Blood of the Lamb. The internal indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit once a man is regenerated, saved from damnation by the Grace of God in Christ alone.
Pray for the continuance of our outward peace and tranquility, our liberty and plenty, for the prosperity of our trade, and a blessing upon the fruits of the earth.
Let God himself be a wall of fire all around us and the glory in the midst of us; Zechariah 2:5(ESV) yes, let his gospel be our glory, and upon all that glory let there be a defense; and create upon every dwelling place of Mount Zion and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day and the shining of a flaming fire by night. Isaiah 4:5(ESV)
Peace be within our borders and security within our towers, Psalm 122:7(ESV) the prosperity both of merchandise and husbandry, that Zebulun may rejoice in his going out and Issachar in his tents. Deuteronomy 33:18(ESV)
Set up salvation for us as walls and bulwarks; and, to that end, let the gates be opened, that the righteous nation that keeps faith may enter in. Isaiah 26:1-2(ESV)
Make our overseers peace and our taskmasters righteousness; let violence never be heard in our gates, devastation or destruction in our borders, but let our walls be called Salvation and our gates Praise: Isaiah 60:17-18(ESV) Never let our land be termed Forsaken and Desolate, but let the Lord delight in us, and let our land be married to him. Isaiah 62:4(ESV)
Let our peace be like a river and, to that end, our righteousness like the waves of the sea. Isaiah 48:18(ESV) Let that righteousness abound among us which exalts a nation, and deliver us from sin, which is a reproach to any people. Proverbs 14:34(ESV)
Never make our heavens as bronze and our earth as iron, Deuteronomy 28:23(ESV) nor take back your grain in its time and your wine in its season; Hosea 2:9(ESV) but give us rain moderately, the early and the latter rains in their seasons, Joel 2:23(ESV) and keep for us the weeks appointed for the harvest, Jeremiah 5:24(ESV) giving us fair weather also in its season. Let our land yield its increase and the trees their fruit, that we may eat our bread to the full and dwell in our land securely. Leviticus 26:4-5(ESV)
Abundantly bless our provisions and satisfy our poor with bread, Psalm 132:15(ESV) that those who garner it may eat it and praise the LORD. Isaiah 62:9(ESV) Do not blow it away, for then when we look for much, it will come to little; Haggai 1:9(ESV) but bless our blessings, that all nations may call us blessed and a land of delight. Malachi 3:10-12(ESV)