Peace: How Gained, How Broken
Psalm 85:8
I will hear what God the LORD will speak: for he will speak peace to his people, and to his saints…


1. He speaks peace to a certain company — "to His people and to His saints." Let us, then, ask ourselves, Has the Lord ever spoken peace to us, or will He do so? If God is everything to you, you are among His people, and He will speak peace unto you. That peace is, however, always connected with holiness, for it is added, "and to His saints." His people and His saints are the same persons. Those who have a God know Him to be a holy God, and therefore they strive to be holy themselves.

2. But now, notice here that the peace which is to be desired is peace which God speaks, and all other peace is evil. The question is sometimes put — "We see bad men enjoy peace, and we see good men who have but little peace." That is one of the mysteries of life; but it is not a very difficult one as to its first part. Sometimes their peace arises from sheer carelessness, sometimes from worldliness, and sometimes from despair. God alone can speak true peace to the soul. The blood of Jesus speaks "the peace of God, which passeth all understanding." We read that on the storm-tossed lake "there was a great calm." How great is the quiet of a soul which has seen and felt the power of the atoning sacrifice!

3. I have told you that only God can speak this peace; let me remind you that He can give you that peace by speaking it. One word from the Lord is the quietus of all trouble. No deed is needed, only a word. Peace has not now to be made: the making of peace was finished more than eighteen hundred years ago on yonder cross.

4. Sooner or later the Lord will speak peace to His own. How blessed are the shalls and wills of the Lord God! "He will speak peace unto His people." Doubt it not. There may be a time of battling and of struggling, the noise of war may disturb the camp for months; but in the end "He will speak peace unto His people."

II. WHAT WE FEAR MAY MAR THIS BLESSING OF PEACE. Peace may be broken with the Christian, through great trouble, if his faith is not very strong. It need not be so; for some of those who have had the greatest fight of affliction have had the sweetest peace in Christ Jesus. Peace may be broken through some forms of disease, which prey upon the mind as well as the body; and when the mind grows weak and depressed from what are rather physical causes than spiritual ones, the infirmity of the flesh is apt to crush spiritual peace. When the Lord hides His face, as He may do as the result of grave offence that we have given Him, ah! then we cannot have peace. But, after all, the chief reason why a Christian loses his peace is because he "turns again to folly." What kind of folly?

1. There is the folly of hasty judgment. Have you never judged without knowing and considering all the surroundings of the case? Have you not come to a wrong conclusion, when you have ventured to judge the dealings of God with you? You have said, "This cannot be wise, this cannot be right; at any rate, this cannot be a fruit of love"; but you have found out afterwards that you were quite mistaken, that your severest trial was sent in very faithfulness.

2. Another kind of folly is of like order: it is repining, and quarrelling with the Most High. Some are never pleased with God; how can He be pleased with them? There can be no use in contending with our Maker; for what are we as compared with Him? Let the grass contend with the scythe, or the tow fight with the flame; but let not man contend with God.

3. Another kind of folly to which men often turn is that of doubt and distrust. Be satisfied with God, and you shall be satisfied in God.

4. Some turn to the old folly of looking for life upon legal principles. You remember how Paul seemed astonished at this perversity. "Having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?" When you try to draw your comfort from what you are, and what you do, you are foolish. Self is at best a dry well.

5. Some lost their place by turning again to the folly of intellectual speculation. Stick to the Scriptures.

6. But the worst form of folly is sin. Remember what it cost your Lord to make you free from the consequences of former folly; never return to it. Look a little way before you. Think of the street of gold, the river which never dries, the trees which bear eternal fruit, the harps of ceaseless melody. We cannot turn again to folly! O God, do not permit us to do so!

( C. H. Spurgeon.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: I will hear what God the LORD will speak: for he will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints: but let them not turn again to folly.

WEB: I will hear what God, Yahweh, will speak, for he will speak peace to his people, his saints; but let them not turn again to folly.

Listening for God's Voice
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