December 24, 2017 – Peace in Unexpected Places

Speaker: Tracy Gidinski

Study Series: An Advent Prayer Journey

Study #4: Joy in Unexpected Places

Scripture: (all Scripture links go to BibleGateway.com)

audio

Link to Podcast

Four weeks of Advent in Germany

  • Advent calendars, Advent wreaths, Christmas markets, chocolate, baked goods, Glühwein, & lights

Four weeks of Advent vs. four hundred years of silence

  • Persian period (536 – 333 BC)
    • Israel returns from exile in Babylon when Cyrus the Great takes control of Babylon, with Persians ruling over Israel
    • The end of Malachi in the Old Testament occurs during this time (Malachi 4)
  • Greek period (333 – 323 BC)
    • Alexander the Great controls most of the known world, including Israel
  • Egyptian period (323 – 204 BC)
    • Ptolemy takes control of Egypt and Israel
  • Syrian period (204 – 165 BC)
    • Area divided into Judea, Samaria, Galilee, Perea, and Trachonitis
    • Temple at Jerusalem desecrated; “reign of terror”
  • Maccabean period (165 – 63 BC)
    • Jewish revolt → independent Jewish government
  • Roman period (63 BC onward)
    • Pompey takes control (63 BC)
    • Herod appointed king of the Jews (40 BC)
    • Caesar Augustus in power (27 BC – 14 AD)
    • Jesus’ birth (circa 4 – 5 AD) (Luke 2:6-7)

Messages of Peace

  • Many prophets give messages and promises of peace in the last part of the Old Testament:
    • Micah 5:2-5
      • And he will be our peace
    • Isaiah 9:6-7
      • And he will be called … Prince of Peace
      • Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end.
    • Zechariah 9:9-10
      • He will proclaim peace to the nations.
    • Ezekiel 37:24-28
      • I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an everlasting covenant.
    • These promises help Israel keep its faith during the 400 years of silence
  • The angels, in Luke, declare this peace at the end of the 400 years of silence:
    • Luke 2:8-14
      • “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

Unrest in Modern Day Israel and Palestine

  • Bethlehem in Palestine
  • The Temple Mount vs. the Dome of the Rock
  • Crossroads of Christians, Muslims, and Jews in Jerusalem
  • Ephesians 6:12
    • For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

How can we experience peace in a world full of conflict?

  • 4 weeks of advent: hope and faith → joy and peace
  • Finding peace in unexpected places
    • Examples:
      • Israel
      • Germany
    • Jesus as the bringer of peace
      • Colossians 1:15-20
        • For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
      • John 14:27
        • Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
      • Walk by the Spirit
        • Galatians 5:22-23
          • But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

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