The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace(shalom). – Numbers 6:24-26
Being a native Californian the word of choice and still is revolved around the word “dude”. It can be a verb, adjective, noun, question, exclamation, and basically anything you want it to be. Simply by changing how you pronounce it. By simply using the word with a variying style of emphesis I probably could have had a complete conversation with some of my friends.
Each region of the world has their own slang. In Biblical times the word “shalom” was one of those words. It meant hello, goodbye, peace, and a myriad of other functions. There was more to this word than simple greetings but their was a deep feeling, intent, and emotion behind it. There was a sense of complete peace that wrapped up ones harmony, sense of secuity, relationships, health, wealth, sucess, and a complete wholeness behind it.
No matter how hard the Isrealite tried. This complete peace could not be created by them. I am sure that more than one of them tried. Much like you and I have. Probably without much sucess. Sure some of us have had some sucess in the stock market, have a nice family, or live a healthy life but a complete peace is far from our grasp.
The complete peace or shalom that the Israelites write about comes does not magically appear. Rather it comes about as a result of a restored righteousness with God. A restored relationship with the One that actually bring about a wholistic peace. It was this shalom that the Israelities were calling for in Isaiah when they looked ahead to the coming “Prince of Peace” who will restore their relationship with God.
This advent do you have Shalom?