The Lord will bless his people with peace, Psalm 29:11 KJV
It is interesting here that the King James Version, The Amplified Bible and The American Standard Version state this verse in future tense, while the New International Version, The Message and The New Living Translation state it in present tense: The Lord blesses his people with peace (NIV).
The popular translation of this section of Verse 11 is that God is offering us a promise. But we need to investigate further exactly who is meant by “us” and what, exactly, is peace?
“His people” – Who are “His people”? Traditionally, early Israelites were The Chosen people. There are no recorded occurrences of God speaking, either directly or indirectly, to any person, or any group of people, belonging to any other race or nationality. In fact, the Israelites, upon reaching the Promised Land after the Exodus, were sternly commanded by God not to mix with the Canaanites, or any other foreign civilization. God was interested in one particular group, and He clearly was interested in maintaining the unique purity of the group, in its original created form. This fact alone leads to the introduction of an enormous “what if” question – what if God spoke to other races of people, yet it was never recorded? What if His instructions to other nations included the command to never write down the words of God. In fact, when you really think about it, how presumptuous would be the person, or more accurately the male, who believed that he understood God well enough to record His very words, which would then become law for all mankind, forever? How audacious for a man to believe that he could actually quote the Almighty Creator in such exact detail as to proscribe such punishments as severe as executions.
“With peace” – Peace is the great gift that, according to this verse we can expect God to bestow upon all of us. In many versions, as mentioned in the opening paragraph, He has already given it to us. It can even be otherwise interpreted that we are constantly in a receptive state of peace, as if it exists in a continuous flow into and throughout our lives. For many, this is true. But we must further define peace. Thousands of inferences can be deduced from the word “peace”: quietness, stillness, silence, not at war, harmonious, friendly and the like are the first synonyms that come to mind. Given what the gift of peace could mean for us both individually and collectively, wouldn’t we rejoice and give tremendous thanks to God for this most valuable, and unearned, gift? I say unearned because all that is necessary to receive this gift, according to David’s description, is to be a people, either individually or collectively, belonging to God.
The What If
God will (or currently does) bless the people that have attained peace, or are living in a state of peace. The words “with peace” could certainly be construed as meaning “having peace”. Just think of the process of categorizing – “all people with red hair stand to the left”, or “everyone with….” Thus having peace, or being peaceful, could quite possibly be the prerequisite needed to obtain God’s blessing. In that case, we are now facing the enormous quest to define and achieve (or obtain) peace in order to receive God’s blessing. This is an overwhelming task to say the least.
Now things are starting to come together. The world is not blessed because God is waiting. He is patiently and ceaselessly waiting for us to be with peace, so He can fulfill the promise made in the verse. He is waiting for us to attain peace so He can bless us. Now it is up to us, His beloved creation, His people, to complete the work that was demonstrated by Jesus Christ, The Prince of Peace, so we can fully receive the intended manifestation of God’s love for us.
One final assumption that is that the promised blessing is available to individuals that meet the requirements of being His, and being with peace. Nowhere does it say that this is an all or nothing promise, and that all people must be His, and that all people must have peace in order for the promise to be fulfilled. Therefore, if there is one among us, or 1,000 among us, or 1Billion among us who fall into the two qualifying categories, then it is appropriate for those people to fully expect the promised blessing.