Isaiah 48:18 O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea:
There are few sights and sounds like that of a majestically flowing river. For this reason, the Lord promised His people that they would have “been as a river” through simple obedience. This analogy using the river not only speaks of quality but also of quantity. Israel’s obedience would bring a peace similar to the calming effect of a flowing river. This peace would also be quantitatively associated to the vast amounts of water which flow down a river. The Lord reaffirmed this truth when He said of Jerusalem, “Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river” (Isaiah 66:12). This peace too was dependent upon the obedience of the people of God. Unfortunately, for most people, life is more like the raging waves of the sea rather than the pristine flowing waters of a river. God in His grace desires to reward the obedient with peace like a river, but disobedience has its own set of unmanageable outcomes.
· (For children): Put some water in a bowl. Blow hard on it as though you were making waves. When we disobey God, our insides feel troubled like the raging waves of the sea. However, when we obey God, our insides feel calm and peaceful like the still water in the bowl when you quit blowing upon it.
· (For everyone): Have you ever sat down beside a gently flowing river? Did the sound of the water give you a sense of calmness? Do you enjoy that same calmness in your daily walk with the Lord?
· Would you describe your level of peace as a raging sea or a calm river? Do you feel as though your life seems more like the crashing waves rather than the peacefulness of gently running water? If you lack the peace promised of God, what do you think you can do about it?
· Ask the Lord to grant you peace like a river.
· Ask God to show you that peace is dependent upon obedience.
Song: It Is Well With My Soul