I have been to Romania several times. The first Romanian word I learned was Pace (poch-ay) which means peace. But, it is a sacred word used only as a Christian greeting.
Even today in Israel the Jews use the word Shalom as a greeting meaning peace. But peace is an over simplified definition.
It is derived from the root word Shalam which means wholeness, complete, to make good or restore, have friendship, keep safe and make secure.
The first letter, Shin, means consume. God’s completeness in us needs to consume us.
The second letter, Lamed, is the tallest letter as well as the center letter of the Hebrew alphabet. It represents the King of kings, but also means control as in a shepherd’s staff. In the ancient writings the Lamed was a hooked staff that a shepherd would carry. God’s peace seems to evade us when things are out of control. But when we rest in His peace the out of control is in His control. This comes through the King of kings, our Great Shepherd.
The third letter in Shalom is the Vav. This letter represent the nail or hook that holds everything together. In one blog I show how it represents Jesus. It can also represent “and,” holding two thoughts together. God’s peace holds it all together through Jesus Christ.
The final letter is the Mem which is water. Some have said that it is the wellspring of the Torah. True Shalom could not come from the Law until Jesus became the fulfillment of that law.
The first time it is used in scripture is following God’s description to Abraham of the future of his children in Egypt. Then He assures him, Now as for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried at a good old age Genesis 15:15.
Abraham is promised to live long and die in completeness.
This was the theme of Jesus intimate prayer in John 17. This prayer followed His last meal with the disciples and was one of the last things He did before heading off to the garden to pray in preparation of His betrayal.
It was here that Jesus prayed for oneness between His followers, Himself and the Father.
What was the very first thing Jesus said to His disciples following His resurrection as He walked through the locked doors in John’s gospel? “Peace be unto you.”
In an out-of-control word I say to you . . .