Is it possible that my own folly or confident expressions of silliness or stupidity can rob me of peace? Apparently, yes. The nation of Israel, especially as viewed through the Old Testament book of the Judges, sadly illustrated this truth for us.
In the book of Judges, after the passing of Joshua, Israel would foolishly drift from God and serve the idols of their neighbors. They would then become subservient to nearby nations until they became sick of their own stupid choices. They would cry out to God, and He would send them a deliverer, a judge to free them and give them a fresh start. This cycle was repeated many times until Israel asked for a king under the guidance of their last judge, Samuel.
During those seasons when they had returned to God, Israel had known peace. Psalm 85:8 says, “I will hear what God the LORD will speak: for He will speak peace unto His people and to His saints: but let them not turn again to folly.” Here, the psalmist begs God to speak. When He does, He speaks peace to His people. Peace is defined as completeness, soundness, welfare, rest, safety, tranquility, and quiet. (Strong’s Concordance/godrules.net) The psalmist ends with a final reminder to not turn again to the folly that had robbed that peace in the first place.
This cycle can be seen in my own life and mind. God grants me peace by speaking it quietly to my heart. He speaks…but then in my confident and silliness, I drift toward my default self-love and indulgence. The best way for me to live is to allow the peace that God speaks dominate, control, and influence my life and actions.
Psalm 85:8 breaks this down simply. First, am I willing to listen to God? Second, do I catch His words of peace as written in Scripture? Third, do I faithfully practice His peace? Finally, do I use His peace and its benefits as a strategy to not return to folly?