Rab Shalom

“How’s your heart?” It’s a question my girls regularly ask me, and each other, these days. “I can see how you’re doing life on the outside,” they’re saying, “but what’s the state of affairs on the inside?”

Truth be told, who hasn’t known what it is to go through the motions to get through the day while being a mess deep down inside? I’m guessing we’ve all been there at one time or another. So, if being real is important to us, then it’s probably a fair question to ask, or be asked, from time to time: “How’s your heart?”

This morning, the psalmist’s response grabbed me.

Great peace have those who love Your law; nothing can make them stumble.

(Psalm 119:165 ESV)

Great peace. How’s that for an answer?

Rab shalom in the Hebrew.

Much tranquility. Exceeding completeness. Abounding soundness. Abundant contentment.  Great peace.  Rab shalom.

Who wouldn’t want to buy what rab shalom is selling? Who wouldn’t want to respond to, “How’s your heart?” with a truthful, “Rab shalom!”

And the secret sauce for great peace is a love for the word of God. A desire to hear His voice and know His ways. An appetite for “pure spiritual milk” because we have “tasted that the Lord is good” (1Pet. 2:2-3). A longing to walk according to His laws and statutes because we have known something of the reality of His love and grace.

Not that this rab shalom dwells with those who perfectly keeps His law, for who is up to such a task? But that, at the end of the day, there is abundant contentment for those who bring themselves in line with His word’s great revelation.

Those who strive to walk in obedience, because they believe that, through the blood of Christ, they have been gifted with a great reconciliation. Those who make every effort to square their hearts with God’s precepts and commands because they have known the fruit of God’s redemption, the righteousness of Christ credited to their account. Those who, in a sense, live beyond themselves in their pursuit of holiness because they have been made holy, given all they need to participate in the divine nature (2Pet. 1:4). Those who keep on keepin’ on now, even in trial and failure, because of the comfort of the Spirit given them as a deposit guaranteeing an eternal inheritance to come.

Abounding soundness because of an unshakeable foundation. Much tranquility as they are tethered to an unfailing anchor. Exceeding completeness because of His ever accessible voice. Great peace have those who love His law.

Great peace, not because of the absence of obstacles, but because of the presence of God. Great peace, even in great trouble, because a great God has made Himself known through His living word. An abiding confidence, that though we will continue to encounter troubles and run into obstacles, that ultimately we will not stumble–we will not fall–because He is faithful.

Rab shalom. Great peace.  Though the word of our great God.

Revealing anew His great grace.  All that He might be given afresh great glory.

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