“…seek peace, and pursue it.” – Ps. 34:14b KJV
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The scripture today is an extract from the second part of verse 14 of Psalm 34. It is an attempt by the psalmist to educate readers especially Christians on how to achieve basic comfort in life. He proferred the solution in today’s scripture among others to anyone who is desirous of a long, joyful and prosperous life style. Seeking and pursuing peace is an important act that must be carried out by anyone who desired such life. Several people, Christians alike today find achieving this targets for life very difficult and the Solution of the psalmist could be seen as one of those nuggets hidden in the scriptures and available only to those who can dig deep.
The psalmist believes that peace in and around an individual will be an important factor to guarantee an meaningful life as described above. His response however reveals two basic things about peace. Firstly, the use of the word “seek” in relation to peace indicates that there must be a deliberate act of searching to find peace, as it is not available on the cheap. Whoever is searching for something must have a strategy or plan drawn up for locating what is being searched for, and must have a strong desire to find it. For the search to be successful, the plan must be a product of proper thinking in order to achieve the purpose for which it is drawn as the success of the search is very much dependent on it. There must also be the discipline to adhere to such plans and the wisdom to tweak with it when it becomes necessary. The Psalmist reveals that a level of wisdom and intelligence is required for someone to find peace as only the wise can draw up such a successful plan. It can therefore be concluded that peace may not be found in the environment of the unwise nay foolish.
Secondly, the Psalmist says that after finding peace, there is the need to pursue it. By this, it implies that peace is always on the move and does not seem to have a permanent location, so there is always the need to keep pace with peace and keep it in focus. The presence of peace cannot be taken for granted as it has the potential to disappear with a minute loss of focus on it. One who has achieved peace in some ways must keep all the factors in place to ensure that it does not relocate.
As simple as the psalmist may have described peace, it gives a vivid explanation as to why several individuals, groups or organisations lack peace. The tendency is for people to desire peace but not realise that having peace goes beyond desire. There must be a conscious effort put in place by the individual or group that desire Peace. Peace cannot be achieved through words only as all that words will do is to help convey the plan put in place to achieve peace to all parties. Peace cannot be achieved by prayers only as all prayer will do is to grant spiritual ability to those who desire it. The major requirements for peace is for wisdom to be applied in drawing up a plan, all concerned parties properly grilled and made to understand the details of the plan, and the commitment of all parties to ensure the success of the plan. All the above equally apply to an individual desirous of peace. When some semblance of peace is achieved, then there should be the second phase of the plan which is to ensure that peace is constantly monitored (pursued). This also requires a very high level of vigilance from the individual or with regards to an organisation, all the parties concerned. With parameters set in place to monitor the peace, negative trends are quickly noticed and steps are immediately taken to avoid the breakdown of peace.
Peace cannot be decreed or merely desired, it has to be sought honestly and when achieved, it must be monitored constantly to ensure it is retained. All parties must take a decision to keep, live and be willing to offer the sacrifice that peace requires. That is the only condition that may keep peace in the lives of people. We pray God grants us all the wisdom to plan for peace and retain it when we find it in Jesus name. Amen.