March 26 - 2 Peter 2:4-9

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

2 Peter 2:4-9 – A History Lesson

For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them in chains of darkness to be held for judgment; if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others; if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the depraved conduct of the lawless  (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)—if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials and to hold the unrighteous for punishment on the day of judgment.

Peter is about to deliver a very clear picture of God's ability to judge between the righteous and the wicked.  If you read Jude 3-8, you will find much of the same language.  The if ... then statements are summed up in 2 Peter 2:9.  The Lord knows how to rescue godly men and He knows to hold the unrighteous for the Day of Judgment, while continuing their punishment.

The angels that sinned.  We read about fallen angels in Job 4:18, Matthew 25:41, Jude 6 and Revelation 12:9.  Jude and Revelation both speak of the archangel Michael, who led the battle against the dragon (Satan) and his angels in Revelation 12:7-8.

God didn't spare the ancient world filled with ungodly people, but he did separate Noah and his family to protect them.

He condemned Sodom and Gomorrah, but rescued Lot, a righteous man.  And don't you love 2 Peter 2:8?  'that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard.'  Some days, after watching the news, I feel like that. Not that I'm proclaiming myself particularly righteous.  But, we live among such filth and we are expected to maintain a sense of godliness through it. God rewards that!

In 2 Peter 2:9, the word 'terein,' which is translated in the NIV as 'holding the unrighteous for the day of judgment,' actually means that God is keeping them under guard.

False teachers and prophets, ungodly men and women, sinful angels and those who deliberately reject God's commands face an eternity of punishment. We can hope for something better and ignore the fact that it is coming, but Peter wants us to understand that God will punish the unjust and the ungodly. He will also rescue the righteous.