“And as many as walk according to this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God”
And as many as walk according to this rule,
The word “walk” means to draw up in a line, to proceed in a row as in the march of a soldier, go in order. Militarily the idea is to go in battle order. Secular Greek used the word “rule” for a carpenter’s measuring line. The idea is to direct one’s life, to turn out well by living by fundamental biblical principles.
peace and mercy be upon them,
God’s peace and mercy comes to those who walk according to His principles. Peace here is the peace of God, God’s own peace, the peace that comes from God.
Mercy is the forgiveness of sins (Romans 12:1; Ephesians 2:4; Titus 3:5). Christians also need God’s mercy in the fight against persecuting legalism.
and upon the Israel of God
The “Israel of God” are Jews, not Gentile Christians. The New Testament is not anti-Semitic. All other 64 occurrences of “Israel” refer to Jews. There are true Jewish believers and those who are not in “the Israel of God.” But the Israel of God is physical Jews who became believers in Christ.
“But it is not that the word of God has taken no effect. For they are not all Israel who are of Israel, nor are they all children because they are the seed of Abraham; but, ‘In Isaac your seed shall be called” (Romans 9:6-7)
We do not gain peace and mercy by our own devising but by living according to God’s principles.
Christians receive peace and mercy from God when they follow His principles, not principles of their own devising. The Christian life is a walk, taking one step at a time.
Christians do not walk by their own rules. We follow God’s regulating principles. We cannot establish the principle of salvation, nor can we establish the principle of sanctification. We cannot change the conditions of God’s principles. The believer who conforms to His standards will receive His blessings of peace and mercy.
“If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25).