Reckoning and Rescue

Sometimes we may feel like justice doesn’t get carried out. I can think of many criminal court cases in my lifetime where defendants that had copious amounts of evidence tying them to a crime were set free by a not-guilty verdict. I certainly don’t know if someone is guilty or innocent in those cases – but I know my gut feeling of frustration when I don’t think justice is served.

We seem to be wired to want things to be just – for wrongs to be righted or at very least paid for.

Peter taps into that part of human nature in the section that we’re reading this Sunday – 2 Peter 2:4-11.

This is a pretty difficult passage to teach from. It’s not my favorite subject, and the construction of it is a little unwieldy. Peter uses three examples of divine judgement to reinforce the fact that false, abusive church leaders will one day face a reckoning for how they are treating God’s people. How do you think these three examples help to drive that idea home?

What reason would Peter have for reminding people that God is the one who dispenses justice? Does that idea provide any sort of encouragement to you in a present context?

“the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials…” – From the examples of Noah and Lot, what does Peter seem to be saying about the way God rescues us? My natural inclination is to try and fix things – life, people, circumstances – so that I can remain where I am (especially if I’m comfortable). My attempts at self-rescue haven’t ever yet succeeded in accomplishing what I intend. God’s means of rescue are different – and usually require that we move on from where we are.

How difficult or easy is it for you to trust in God’s rescue plan instead of your own? What have your experiences been with that so far?

If nothing else, it should prove to be a challenging section. See you on Sunday!

4 comments

  1. Genesis 6 and the book of Jude along with these verses stand with the climax of 1st Peter chp 3- 18 through 20. At this proclamation 2/3 of the angles cheered like the crowd at Wrigley field and the other thrid, well like Michael the ark angle said lets not presume to pronounce a blasphemous judgement; but let the Lord rebuke them. This is as literal as the evening and the morning were the first day. I thinkenth we makeenth his word more difficult than it is.

  2. I imagine we are reminded that God is the one who dispenses the judgement so we don’t try to take those things into our own hands…since of course we have it all together and could see fit how He should do things!! (yea right) Anyway, my own attempts of self rescue and others rescue have also failed miserably so far. Thankfully, that has helped to make me less likely to go it alone…We need Him and He reminds us by allowing those failures. His rescues are absolutely un-thinkable…a huge ark for one and a warning to leave town before everyone was literally fried are epic rescue’s even Hollywood couldn’t come up with. He is faithful to provide a way of escape when we wait on Him. These stories build our faith in our Grand Rescuer (not sure if that’s a word) and encourage us not to loose hope in our need! Praise be to Him!!!

  3. I think Peter puts these examples of O.T. justice to remind us that God has always been just so we can trust that He will be just in our own lives. He takes sin and unrighteousness seriously especially when it negatively affects those who love and follow Him.

    God is gracious and merciful, no doubt, but I think we can forget how he has demonstrated his wrath and judgement on sin. These passages are a reminder for those of us who have come since Christ’s ultimate act of grace and mercy on the cross that God’s plan is still to wipe out all things that are not in harmony with his ultimately good nature.

    I think Riley spoke a few years ago about God’s vengeance and how we innately desire to see that carried out. At first I thought that it would be better to long for mercy rather than vengeance. But lets face it, we all love watching movies where good triumphs over evil, whether it be Lord of the Rings or something as silly as Office Space where some guys stick it to their terrible boss. It is natural to long to see the good guys win and I think that is a reflection of God’s character in us. It is written on our hearts to long for justice to be served. Our responsibility is not to suppress our desire to see justice administered, but instead to leave the responsibility of carrying out that justice to the only One with perfect judgement.

    On a fairly regular basis I see people who are in positions of power taking advantage of people for their own gain all the while making them think they are helping them. I feel a little bit like Lot’s “tormented soul”, powerless to make a difference. I am constantly conjuring up plans to intervene but nothing seems to work. I don’t imagine I could ever change this particular situation. I am sure the early Christians that Peter was writing to felt much the same way about the glaring injustices of their time especially those that came in the form of persecutions directly against them. They must have wondered “If God is just, why does he allow these things to happen to us?” This reminds me of what Paul says in Romans 12 “Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath: for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. We must rest in knowing that God will put an end to all injustice. What a relief.

  4. When I see an injustice done to someone or suffer one myself, now I pause to pray for all. I pray that God’s love is reflected is projected in my response and for the person who inflicts the injustice I also pray that they may know the transgression is wrong. This has been a milestone in my maturity. I believe I finally learned the point of dying to myself and picking my cross up daily to honor my father. When we reflect Gods love by being obedient in His word and not our wants I am dying to myself and reflecting the grace I was given. Grace and love are often only understood by those receiving it and giving it. (…prior to learning about God’s grace and love my motto was hell hath no evil like a woman scorned..) ~Kristina

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