Romans 16:20 includes a curious statement regarding God’s activity – “The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.” The words peace and crush don’t seem to belong in the same sentence. How could a peaceful God perpetrate such violence? Part of the problem is that we have a poor understanding of peace. We think of peace as tranquility and the absence of conflict.
But when the Bible speaks of peace, it is describing the presence of everything good and beneficial and wholesome. And sin and Satan are the enemies of peace. They destroy. They steal joy. They cause great pain. So because God loves peace, he is intent on destroying evil. God hates sin. He stands against it. And he is intent on crushing it.
God will one day establish his kingdom. We pray for his will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. And in order for his perfect kingdom to be established, sin needs to be destroyed. God’s peace and his judgment of sin are not at odds. They go hand in hand. They are inseparable. God has come to establish peace. But in order to establish peace, he bears the sword (Matt. 10:34).
We live in a time when many believers have embraced a watered-down view of peace. We have come to think that a peaceful person should look the other way, mind their own business, and remain silent in the face of evil. But God’s pattern would indicate just the opposite. Because we love peace and we long to see people flourish, we must oppose evil. Because we know that sin destroys, we stand against it.
This does not give us an excuse to be insensitive and cruel. But when you become aware that your friend is enmeshed in pornography, you confront them. When your grown child chooses to pursue a sexual relationship with a person of the same gender, you oppose the relationship. When there is corruption in the local government, you expose it. May God give us the courage to be true peace-makers.