Todays readings.. Judges 16, Isaiah 39, 2 Peter 3
“BE DILIGENT TO BE FOUND BY HIM … AT PEACE”
We finishing reading Peter’s epistles today. Once again parts of his message are a challenge to understand – but that is a common feature in the way God has designed his word – it challenges us to engage our hearts and minds for our lifetime. It is a wonderful spiritual jigsaw! The more we read and meditate upon it the more the picture becomes clear.
It was revealed to Peter “that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, ‘Where is the promise of his coming?’ ” [3 v.3,4] This is now happening – indeed it has been increasingly so throughout my lifetime. Here and there one would encounter scoffers who would ask questions like, “‘Where is the promise of his coming?'” Peter says that such people, “… deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God,” [v.5]
God’s word in Genesis begins by telling us how God spoke (gave commands) and creation began. Verse 8 fascinates us! Peter tells us, “do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” So from God’s perspective of time we are near to completing 2 days since his Son was crucified! So we specially note Peter’s next point! ” The Lord is not slow to fulfil his promise as some count slowness …”
Then Peter warns about what we may see as ‘the third day.’! He tells us that “the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.” This is surely symbolic language – but what does it signify? A few days ago we read in Isaiah 34 ” For my sword has drunk its fill in the heavens ….” [v.5] It seems clear the “heavens” are the rulers, the governing bodies – what perplexities will overwhelm them as Jesus is returning! All the evil they have allowed “will be exposed.”
Then Peter poses one of the most powerful questions in all of Scripture! “Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening (by prayer) the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved … ”
Well, what sort of people are we? Are we truly “beloved” by Jesus and his Father? May we, as Peter says, “since (we) are waiting … be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace.” [v.14] May we embrace in our hearts what we are about to read in John’s first epistle, “Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.” [3 v.2]