The Story: We recall that these congregations, to whom Peter was writing, were experiencing persecution. Peter connects their trials in that vein with the “temptations” of having to deal with false teachers (the Greek word for “trials” and “temptations” is the same word). Each is equally hurtful, and each must be prepared for if we are to stand firm in the Lord. God can help us in dealing with false prophets as surely as He can keep us through the trials of persecution.
In either situation, we must look to Him in faith, hoping for His help and deliverance, and trusting in Him to bring His judgment against all who transgress, even as He rescues those who continue to look to Him in faith. The “especially” of v. 10a reconnects the passage with false teachers, who seek sensuality and practice greed, and who “despise authority” – here, the authority of God’s Word and the sound teaching passed on by the Church in every age.
The Structure: We are reminded of the God Who is Immanuel – “with us” in every trial and difficulty to rescue and keep us by His grace. If we did not have this comfort we could not persevere in this age of restoration, for the trials are many and difficult, and we are but frail flesh. Looking to God daily for reviving and renewing grace must be the constant practice of every true believer. God knows what He’s doing in allowing us to undergo trials (cf. 1 Pet. 1.7), and we must learn to rest in His sovereign goodness, power, and grace.
How would you counsel a new believer to practice the sovereign presence of God in the midst of trials and difficulties?
Each week’s studies in our Scriptorium column are available in a free PDF form, suitable for personal or group use. For this week’s study, “Truth and Consequences: 2 Peter 2.1-11,” simply click here.
T. M. Moore
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.