2 Peter 2:10-11
Greetings, everyone! Blessings to you in Christ, our hope and our peace, and welcome to Wednesday’s edition of EDiBS. It’s good to be with you today for our daily time in God’s Word together, and I’m confident, as I always am, of the Lord’s blessing on our time as we come under the authority of the Scriptures over these next few minutes. Today we’re back in the second chapter of 2 Peter, so let’s pray as we begin.
Father, bless the study of your holy Word today, to the end that we grow in the grace and knowledge of our Savior and in our strength to live as your beloved children. We ask this in Jesus’ name, amen.
As we get started today, we have more before us about false prophets. We’ve talked about their impending judgment, and now we’ll see more about why they will be judged. Our focus: If you play with fire, you’re going to get burned.
2 Peter 2:11-12
11Bold and arrogant, these men are not afraid to slander celestial beings; yet even angels, although they are stronger and more powerful, do not bring slanderous accusations against such beings in the presence of the Lord. 12But these men blaspheme in matters they do not understand. They are like brute beasts, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like beasts they too will perish.
1977. Fifth grade. Teacher: Mr. Chapman. His name all by itself was enough to strike terror into the heart of anyone moving up from the fourth grade. If you got Mr. Chapman as your teacher, you knew it was going to be a strict year. A retired Navy officer, he didn’t put up with nonsense, and he also didn’t put up with disrespect. One thing you learned very quickly was to never, ever, ever, ever talk back to him! In actuality, Mr. Chapman was probably one of the best teachers I ever had, and once you got to know him, to know him was to love him. But pity the fool who was insolent or inappropriate in his presence. With Mr. Chapman, there was no room for folly in the face of truth.
Verse 11: In today’s reading, Peter continues his all-out offensive on false teachers – men who have set themselves up against the truth, men with ulterior motives who have in mind nothing but personal gain, men who have no qualms about destroying others in order to get what they want. In verse 11 we are supplied with yet another character trait of these misrepresenters of God: they are bold and arrogant. Coupled with that arrogance is a misplaced confidence in their ability to engage and cast dispersions on celestial beings in the spiritual realm, which is most likely a reference to demonic spirits. But look at the next verse and see why this is a problem:
Verses 11-12: “Yet even angels, although they are stronger and more powerful, do not bring slanderous accusations against such beings in the presence of the Lord.” Think about it: holy, sinless angels, who always behold the face of God and always execute the will of God, don’t even deign to do what these false teachers so blindly do. When it comes to issues in the heavenly realms, they leave such judgments to Almighty God Himself. A good passage to clarify and expand on this comes from the letter of Jude, our Lord’s half-brother. Jude wrote his letter after Peter’s letter, and in fact borrowed from it. This is what he says as he talks about the same issue with his audience:
Jude 4-10: “For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. 5Though you already know all this, I want to remind you that the Lord delivered his people out of Egypt, but later destroyed those who did not believe. 6And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their own home—these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day. 7In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire. 8In the very same way, these dreamers pollute their own bodies, reject authority and slander celestial beings. 9But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not dare to bring a slanderous accusation against him, but said, "The Lord rebuke you!"
It’s not fear or trembling that causes God’s angels to refrain from speaking to demons; it’s their understanding that rebuke and judgment belong to God alone, and because they are creatures who exercise utmost respect for and perfect obedience to the Creator, they defer to the Lord in these matters. The distinction that Peter and Jude are making between the wisdom of angels and the abject foolishness of these false teachers shows us just how lacking in understanding they really are. Jude goes on to finish in the same manner that Peter finishes things out in verse 12. Let’s hear his words and then refer back to Peter’s comments as a way to close. Jude writes,
“10Yet these men speak abusively against whatever they do not understand; and what things they do understand by instinct, like unreasoning animals—these are the very things that destroy them.”
Peter, likewise, says this: “12But these men blaspheme in matters they do not understand. They are like brute beasts, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like beasts they too will perish.” The meaning of both passages is very plain.
As we wrap things up for the day, as much as we’ve talked about this issue over the past couple of days, we still have one more section of verses to cover regarding these false teachers about whom Peter is speaking; teachers, by the way, who are really just starting to infiltrate the church and wreak havoc as Peter is writing this letter. Interestingly, Peter writes that they are coming and have already started to arrive, to be sure, but Jude, just a little bit later, gives the impression that by the time of his writing they have thoroughly established themselves. With that said, an important and loving reminder to you and me today is that false teachers continue to pop up among God’s people and infiltrate the church in every age, including ours. Don’t be afraid; instead, be knowledgeable about the Word of God. Remember, it points you to Jesus, and it will lead you through this dark age.
Have a great day everyone, and I’ll see you again next time. Blessings to you and yours in Christ, and take care!