Morning & Evening Devotional Reading–
March 17– Evening
by C. H. Spurgeon, revised and edited by W. C. Neff
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God.”
This is the seventh of the beatitudes, and we know that seven was the number of perfection among the Hebrews. It may be that the Savior placed the peacemaker as seventh on the list because he most nearly approaches the perfect man in Christ Jesus. The one who desires perfect blessedness, so far as it can be enjoyed on earth, must attain to this seventh benediction and become a peacemaker.
There is a significance also in the positioning of this text. The verse just before it speaks of the blessedness of “the pure in heart, for they will see God.” It is good to understand that we are to be first pure and then peaceable; that is, we are never to keep the peace by making a treaty with sin or by tolerating evil. We must set our faces like flints against everything which is contrary to God and his holiness. Purity in our souls should be a settled matter, and only then can we go on to peacekeeping.
The verse that follows today’s text was also put there on purpose. It reminds us that no matter how peaceable we may be in this world, we will still be misrepresented and misunderstood by others. This shouldn’t surprise us either, for even the Prince of Peace, by his very peacefulness, brought fire upon the earth. He himself, though he fully loved mankind and did no evil, was still “despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.” Therefore, peacemakers are told to expect opposition and persecution even as they proclaim peace. Jesus says, “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
Lord, give us grace to climb to this seventh beatitude! Purify our minds that we may be “first pure, then peaceable.” And then fortify our souls so that our peacekeeping may not lead us into cowardice and despair, when, for your sake, we are persecuted. [M&E]