Welcome to our second study about finding God’s peace. This week we’ll be exploring how to experience peace in our relationships with people. We’ll begin by looking at Moses and how he dealt with his huge assignment of leading the Israelites to the Promised Land–a 40-day journey that took forty years.
“When a man’s ways please the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him” (Proverbs 16:7 NKJV).
Exodus Chapters 7-11 (click HERE to read)
When God called Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, Moses balked. He claimed that neither the sons of Israel nor Pharaoh would listen to him due to his poor speaking skills. How could he find peace and have success in these new relationships God had thrust upon him?
“So the Lord said to Moses: ‘See, I have made you as God to Pharaoh, and Aaron your brother shall be your prophet. You shall speak all that I command you. And Aaron your brother shall tell Pharaoh to send the children of Israel out of his land. And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and multiply My signs and My wonders in the land of Egypt. But Pharaoh will not heed you, so that I may lay My hand on Egypt and bring My armies and My people, the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt by great judgments. And the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I stretch out My hand on Egypt and bring out the children of Israel from among them’” (Exodus 7:1-5 NKJV).
But God had a plan. He appointed Aaron, Moses’s brother, as his spokesman. He also explained His plan from beginning to end and what Moses could expect from his relationship with Pharaoh.
Each time, Moses approached Pharaoh’s throne to make his request with humility coupled with God’s reassuring strength. God had already told Moses that Pharaoh would refuse to honor his word.
So, the plagues arrived as Pharaoh refused to let God’s people go: water turned to blood, frogs, lice, flies, diseased livestock, boils, hail, locusts, darkness– and finally– the death of every firstborn, which pried open Pharaoh’s chains and freed the Israelites.
Isn’t it interesting that God purposefully hardened Pharaoh’s heart? He tells us why: “‘…so that My wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt’” (Exodus 11:9b NKJV). God always brings glory to His Name.
Therefore, God had a greater purpose in Moses’s relationship with Pharaoh. He also proved that He protects His children even while punishing His enemies. We witness this in two places: when Egypt was covered in darkness and when God smote the firstborn of the Egyptians. (Click HERE to read about the miracle of light and HERE to read about the miracle of Passover.)
God had forewarned Moses of His plan but also promised His peace and protection. “‘But against none of the children of Israel shall a dog move its tongue, against man or beast, that you may know that the Lord does make a difference between the Egyptians and Israel’” (Exodus 11:7 NKJV).
How does this lesson about Moses help us find peace today? We’re all called to be leaders, whether it’s in ministry, our jobs, or our families. No matter our title, we all must relate to someone above us as well as to those equal and below us in rank.
Relating to those superior in rank
Just like Moses approached Pharaoh, we should approach those who rank above us with respect, patience, and humility. But, in spite of our best efforts, what if our superiors treat us badly? Moses must have dreaded the job of going before Pharaoh to continuously ask for freedom, but remembering God’s promises pushed him forward.
We, too, must go forward as God directs us. If it’s God’s will, we must patiently endure harsh treatment, resting in God’s promises and the knowledge that He is in control.
Peter sums it up for us: “Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good” (I Peter 2:13-14 NKJV).
On the other hand, God is everyone’s superior. Moses found out the hard way that the Lord has boundaries we mustn’t cross. After God instructed Moses to speak to the rock so that it would yield water, Moses struck the rock twice instead of obeying the Lord. Therefore, God refused to allow him to set foot in the Promised Land. (You can read about it HERE.)
Relating to those equal in rank
Our relationships with friends and family may be sweet one day and sour the next. These relationships may steal our peace the most. How can we learn to live without struggling against our loved ones?
Moses struggled in his relationship with his siblings, but God defended him. His older brother, Aaron, and his sister, Miriam, spoke against him because of the Ethiopian woman Moses had married. “So they said, ‘Has the Lord indeed spoken only through Moses? Has He not spoken through us also?’ And the Lord heard it” (Numbers 12:2 NKJV). God proceeded to give the two a dressing down for judging their brother, whom God honored as His faithful servant and with whom He spoke face to face. God’s punishment slammed Miriam by making her become leprous. It was after Aaron repented and appealed to his brother that Moses appealed to God for her deliverance. (Click HERE to read the story.)
Let’s heed wise advice from Peter for finding peace: “Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing” (1 Peter 2:8-9 NKJV).
Relating to those below us in rank
Do you gaze at those in charge of you and dream of future leadership? It may look easy on the outside, but the responsibility is heavy. Those who lead others at work and/or children at home must learn excellent coping skills for acquiring peace.
As the Israelites roamed the desert for forty years, Moses had a plethora of duties as he cared for the people–and no peace. He dealt with everything from their daily complaints to leading them in battles against various enemies they encountered on the way to the Promised Land. We can witness, for example, how he suffered over their demands for food (Click HERE) and for water:
“Therefore the people contended with Moses, and said, ‘Give us water, that we may drink.’ So Moses said to them, ‘Why do you contend with me? Why do you tempt the Lord?’ And the people thirsted there for water, and the people complained against Moses, and said, ‘Why is it you have brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?’ So Moses cried out to the Lord, saying, ‘What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone me!”’ (Exodus 17:2-4).
Delegating authority is a good solution to attaining peace. As Moses experienced exhaustion and frustration from dealing with the people, God used Moses’s father-in-law to help find peace through governance. Jethro recognized that Moses couldn’t bear up under such a weight of responsibility and convinced him to get help. Read about Jethro’s advice HERE.
Peter shares the recipe for finding peace in every relationship
“For ‘He who would love life
And see good days,
Let him refrain his tongue from evil,
And his lips from speaking deceit.
Let him turn away from evil and do good;
Let him seek peace and pursue it.
For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
And His ears are open to their prayers’” (1 Peter 3:8-12a NKJV).
Throughout our lifetimes, we’ll experience different relationships with people as varied as the stars. Let’s heed the Apostle Paul’s encouragement when he says, “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men” (Romans 12:18 NKJV).
How do you find God’s peace in your relationships?
Dear Father, we look to You for divine guidance and wisdom as we seek peace in our relationships. With your help, may we love one another and live in peace all our days. In Jesus’s Name, Amen.
8 thoughts on “The Fruit of the Spirit Bible Study Week 19: Peace”
One way I find God’s peace in relationships is to remember we are all human and we all make mistakes. I may be upset with someone and not understand their words or actions. But, I must remember He has a plan for everyone. Praying before speaking definitely helps in relationships. 🙂
That’s great strategy, Mimi. It’s wise to wait and to pray before speaking. I know my great-aunt always said not to judge when you haven’t walked in the other person’s shoes. A great reminder to control the tongue! Blessings, sweet friend. ❤️xoxo
Wonderful post, Karen!
Thanks, Gail. I’m glad you stopped by today. Blessings! ❤️xoxo
It is amazing how the Lord protected his chosen people.
The Lord is certainly watching out and cares deeply for those who truly follow Him.
Thank you, Karen.
How true, Sandra. God will always protect us as we follow Him in obedience. Much love and blessings! ❤️xoxo
Since ministering with Joyce at Heart”wings”, I have been able to relate better to Moses – especially how he felt totally inadequate to lead God’s people. I know that our adequacy only comes from Him, and that He always equips us to obey and do whatever He asks of us. Another verse that has spoken loudly to me is “Because you have not believed Me, to treat Me as holy in the sight of the sons of Israel,” from Numbers 20:12. It is a daily prayer of mine that God will help me to treat Him as Holy, to listen carefully for His voice, and to obey Him completely, and that He will show Himself strong in my weaknesses.
Another verse in this study that has stood out to me is from Romans 12:18 – “If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.” The words “so far as it depends on” me are words to guide us with any relationship or interaction with others. I can be a peacemaker, sharing the same peace that God has given me! I absolutely love Mimi’s response to pray before speaking. Another verse I pray often is Psalm 141:3 – ” Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips.” Oh, may our words bring life and healing to each other!
I love those verses, Becky. I agree that just by closing our mouths, we can escape a barrel of trouble. And I love that in Romans 12:18, God doesn’t place the responsibility of the result on us personally when He says. “As far as it depends on you.” We can’t control other people’s reactions, and we all have free will. We must do the right thing and leave the rest up to God. Yes, May our words bring life and healing! ❤️xoxo