Pictorial Language Series
The first part of Isaiah 48:18 reads: “If only you would pay attention to my commandments! Then your peace would become just like a river”
Admittedly, I have no clue how Isaiah's contemporaries would have viewed the above scripture -- specifically how peace is like a river. But it seemed to be a quaint mental challenge to come up with ways a river might illustrate peaceful living.
Abundance: In my mind, a river is bigger than a babbling brook, wider and longer than a stream. There is no shortage of water. Likewise, our peace is abundant.
Unstoppable Strength: The waters usually have strength in their currents. I've known of rivers having such a strong undertow, that people have been swept away, never to be seen again. Although peace may be considered by some as diminutive, weak, when we meet people who are truly strong of heart and determination, there is nothing that can wreck their peace. Their peace comes not as a reaction to external stimuli (gifts, wealth, pleasure, etc.) but from a strong character that flows throughout their whole being.
Length: Rivers can take hours, even days to follow. When it makes a relatively straight line, a person could look in either direction and not see the beginning nor end of it. The peace that Jehovah gives will likewise be unending.
Nourishing: A river will nourish the land in near proximity of its banks. At one point, Jehovah told Abraham that “by means of your offspring all nations of the earth will obtain a blessing for themselves because you have listened to my voice.” Much later, Christianity was opened to “people of the nations” so that there was neither Greek nor Jew, thus fulfilling the prophecy. Today, the Good News that we preach is refreshing like a cold drink on a scorching day. As “the land” of people we preach to begin to soak up the life-giving waters of truth, they go from a parched, arid ground to a lush botanical garden of spirituality.