In the movie Suicide Squad 2, there’s a character who goes by the name “Peacemaker” but whose actions were actually antithetical to his name. It soon became clear to all that this name of his was something of a literary device – an irony.
The Bible is chock full of literary devices as well. However, in Matthew 5:9, there’s no hint of irony, and it’s pretty clear what God is saying.
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.(Matthew 5:9, KJV)
The Greek word translated for peacemakers is the compound word eireno-poios. The “poios” part is what makes this word a bit more powerful than the English rendition tends to portray. The peacemaking God had in mind here was not just staying out of trouble; it implied doing all that was necessary to construct, produce or design an environment that would facilitate peace. It implies going the distance to ensure peace reigns.
God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.(Matthew 5:9, NLT)
It’s also instructive that the spiritual nickname for these Peacemakers is “children of God”. In the grand scheme of things, God is the most important peacemaker in that He took active steps (through Jesus) to reconcile man to Himself and ensure peace between man and God.
Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.(Romans 5:1, NLT)
For God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ, and through him God reconciled everything to himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ’s blood on the cross.(Colossians 1:19-20, NLT)
Man’s primary problem is the problem of sin. God did something about it through Jesus Christ and has now handed over the business of reconciliation to as many who come to Him (2 Corinthians 5:17-21). For those who go ahead to engage in this family business, it is them the Bible says will be called Children of God, not just in word but in deeds.
This world with all its troubles does not need more people who claim to be peace-loving but are actually UN-involved in peace. God’s will for all who have come to Him through Jesus is that they live at peace with all men (Hebrews 12:14) and that they spread the message of peace (2 Corinthians 5:17-21).
Truly, there is a time for war and a time for peace. But when the Spirit says it’s a time for peace, don’t be found opting for “violence” instead. That’s not what a child of God would do.