Peace in the Round
Have you ever been to a theater in the round? In traditional theater, the audience faces the stage. In the round, the audience surrounds the stage. Wherever the actors turn, there’s a viewer. There’s no backstage, no part of the room where the act isn’t visible.
In 1 Kings 5:4, King Solomon talks about living in the round. His father, David, was a warrior. As such, there was always a battle on some front, foreign or domestic. But when Solomon ascends to the throne, there is peace abroad. And after an initial transition period, there is peace on the home front: the city, the palace, his family. He says, “… now the Lord my God has given me peace on every side; I have no enemies, and all is well.”
Can you say it?
Do you have peace on every side?
Are there zero enemies?
Is all well?
It’s a difficult space to achieve, right? Total relational equilibrium.
Solomon didn’t get there on his own.
He didn’t get there through his amazing conflict resolution skills.
And he didn’t just happen upon a set of ideal circumstances.
So how did he get immersed in peace?
Because God gave it to him.
If you’re like me, you’re living in 270-degree peace at any given moment. You may have it at work and home, but maybe not with your extended family. Or you have it in the neighborhood and with your friends, but not at the office. I think we’re so acclimated to the prevalence of conflict, we’re simply resigned to the fact that it’s always go to be lurking somewhere in our lives.
When you read the rest of the story, you see why it’s so important for Solomon to have peace. It’s a prerequisite for him to build the temple, a majestic house of national worship. In this instance, peace precedes the presence of God.
God gives him peace on every side. Not because He wants to spare Solomon headaches, but because He wants to show up in a powerful new way. The conflict was going to be an obstacle, a barrier, a distraction.
Earlier in the story, Solomon asks God for wisdom and that wisdom prompts Solomon to settle any extending scores. 1 Kings 5:12 says, “So the Lord gave wisdom to Solomon, just as he had promised. And Hiram and Solomon made a formal alliance of peace.”
Wisdom leads to alliances.
Alliances lead to peace.
Peace creates a context for God to show up.
When God shows up, all the observing parties are changed in the encounter.
Do you want peace on every side?
Ask God for wisdom.
Reach out to whoever the “Hiram” is in your life.
Settle the score, Bury the hatchet.
Release your grip on resentment. And pursue an official alliance.
You never know what’s on the other side.