What are some common antonyms of peace? War? Turmoil? Anxiety? Conflict? Disagreement? Disunity? These are all good responses. But have we ever considered confusion to be an opposite of peace? One verse in an epistle of Paul suggests this.
Paul pens in 1 Corinthians 14:33, “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace…” One concordance lists several synonyms for the word that is here translated as confusion: disturbance, disorder, instability, commotion, or tumult. (Strong’s Concordance/ godrules.net) Paul states that God does not create these feelings. God is the Author of peace. Actually, peace is one of God’s revealed names as El Shalom and is seen in prophecy as the Prince of Peace. God loves peace. He brings to pass peace, quietness, rest, and tranquility. In context, this church at Corinth utilized an unstable commotion as a worship style that Paul is writing to address. Paul offers that this way of worship does not begin with God since God only authors peace. Tumult and confusion are not God-approved aspects of worship.
I overheard once a missionary discussing some sermons that he had heard at a Bible conference. He said that the first keynote speaker preached a message on a popular text of Scripture. The audience was enthusiastically shouting amen and clapping their hands at his points. The next preacher rose, made exactly the opposite points, and the listeners again shouted amen and clapped. This simple story illustrates Paul’s point. Apparently, many people that day were confused about truth and created a great deal of confused commotion to celebrate it. It seems, in hindsight, that God was not a big part of that experience.
God is organized and orderly. His universe and every aspect of creation reflect this. He authors peace, tranquility, quietness, and rest. If worship doesn’t reflect order, it’s probably not God-centered. This can be corporate, as in worship in a church, or it can be personal, as in the worship that takes place in my own soul. “God is not the author of confusion but of peace.” Is God an obvious Creator of my worship and worship style? Does my life and devotion reflect His peace?