Glory to God in the Highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests" (Luke 2:14).
The night seemed normal—nothing out of the ordinary. The shepherds were watching the sheep, just like they always did. But suddenly something abnormal happened—an angel appeared. The shepherds were terrified. After assuring the shepherds they had nothing to fear, the angel announced the coming of the Prince of Peace.
Then God composed and arranged a musical anthem performed by a heavenly choir to emphasize the importance of the angel's message. The Bible uses a military term, host, to describe the angelic choir (Luke 2:13). A heavenly army came to announce peace. What kind of peace?
• The peace of God is the glory of God. These lyrics, put to music by many composers, have often been called "Gloria." Real peace must first acknowledge and praise God, realizing that true peace flows from his goodness and mercy.
• The peace of God is the product of the coming of Immanuel—"God with us" (Matthew 1:23). Peace breaks out when God is with us.
• The peace of God comes because of the presence of God on the earth. Peace is heaven on earth.
• The peace of God is given to those "on whom his favor rests." Peace on earth proceeds from God and becomes a reality for those who are blessed by his favor, and on whom his grace is given.