2 Peter 1:19-21
Greetings, everyone! Grace and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and welcome to Friday’s edition of EDiBS. Another week has quickly come and gone for us, and yet the time we’ve been able to spend together has certainly been a blessing for me, and hopefully the same for you. I pray each day that you find yourself growing, changing, and hungering more for the things of God as we open His Word together each week, and that’s certainly the case right now as we go to the Scriptures one more time before the weekend. Today we’re finishing up our look at 2 Peter 1, so let’s pray as we begin.
Holy Father, dearest loving God, thank you for being with us as we come to your Word today. Open our hearts and minds to the Scriptures so that we can learn more of you and more of your love for the people of the world. Bless us with understanding and faith, in the name of Christ we pray. Amen.
As we get started today, Peter talks about the authority of Scripture and the light that it is to us in this sin-darkened world. Our focus: The inspiration of God’s Word.
2 Peter 1:19-21
19And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. 20Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet's own interpretation. 21For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
If you’re going to drive at night in Webster County, Missouri, you have to be especially careful and watch for lights in the darkness — specifically, lights belonging to the Amish. My dear friends and precious former neighbors don’t use electricity, but for reasons of safety, they do outfit their buggies with either a battery powered flashing yellow light or an oil lamp with a yellow lens. The state mandates that they do this in order to avoid collisions with motorized vehicles, and the rule is that the lights are to be used from dusk to dawn. Paying attention to those lights over the years saved me from many a close call, and the Amish leaders in my community were always quick to say that the use of lights significantly decreased the number of tragic accidents on the road.
Verse 19: Light is important in the darkness. And in today’s reading, Peter speaks to us about the light of God’s Word and the all-important role it plays in guiding us through the darkness of this world. When we were last time, we saw how Peter was defending the truth of the Gospel based not on some cleverly dreamed up story or fable, but on his eyewitness observations of Christ and His ministry – specifically the event of the Transfiguration, where Jesus was revealed in His divine glory to Peter James and John. As fantastic as that might be, however, and as much as the eyewitness account helps Peter verify things for his readers, here in verse 19 he appeals to an even higher authority than personal experience: that of the Scriptures themselves. One thing I want to be very clear in pointing out here is the arrangement of this sentence in the Greek. It’s not that the word of the prophets is made more certain because Peter’s experience bears them out; it’s that, more certain than any personal experience that Peter or anyone else might have at any given time is the fact that the Scriptures are true. That’s why Peter tells us to give our attention to them rather than to his experience. And what kind of attention are we to give to them? As to a light shining in a dark place. God’s Word is what leads us through. God’s Word is what keeps us from stumbling. And God’s word will continue to lead us and continue to keep us from stumbling until darkness is no more – until the Day dawns and the Morning Star rises in our hearts, which is a beautiful reference to our Lord’s second coming.
Verses 20-21: What Peter has done in saying these things is to establish Scripture as the only rule and norm for us as we live our lives. In matters of life and doctrine, God’s Word is it. In the next two verses Peter gives us an additional principle: Scripture, far from coming about by the will or inspiration of man, is divine in its origin – it is inspired by God Himself, or “God-breathed” as Paul says in his second letter to Timothy. Peter explains it to us this way: that holy men of God spoke as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. Peter wants to make sure that his readers set the Word of God apart from any source of teaching that is formulated by men, and as we move on through the letter, we’ll see just why he does that.
As we wrap things up for the day, it’s my prayer that you will hear God speaking to you today through the power of His divine Word, and that you’ll be moved to embrace the light of the Scriptures in a fresh new way and look to them to help you through the darkness. If you’re a regular part of the EDiBS family, chances are you already have a desire to know and interact with your Bible on a deep level. Of course, the beauty of God’s Word is that we can never exhaust its treasures – there will always be more to learn! May our Lord bless you on that journey, and may He draw you ever closer and to an ever greater confidence in Him as you travel along. Thanks for a great week, everyone — have a terrific couple of days, and I’ll see you back here come Monday for another week in God’s Word. Take care!