God’s word to us is clear: he expects us to try to live at peace with one another. Finishing his second letter to the Corinthian church, Paul says, “Finally brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.” (2 Cor 13:11)
To the Roman Christians, Paul says, “Live in harmony with one another” (Rom 12:16) and “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone” (Rom 12:18).
Living at peace with everyone is proving difficult for the writer of Psalm 120. It seems that everyone around him hates peace, tells lies and is constantly warring. What can he do? He calls out to the Lord. He hands it over to God.
Left to our own devices, we could never live at peace with everyone. A basic knowledge of human history shows us that. Jeremiah laments that “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” but God replies, “I, the Lord, search the heart and test the mind”. (Jer 17:9-10).
Similarly, the Romans are reminded “Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord”. (Rom 12:19-20)
Crying out to God, and handing things over to him is not our last resort; it is our first, best hope.
Meditation verse: I call on the Lord in my distress and he answers me.