Today we finish off chapter 4: 1 Peter 4:12-19
v12: Fiery trial: In the life of a believer, fiery trials are not the exception, they are the norm and should be expected. All the prophets were hated and persecuted as people did not like G-d’s revelation. If we are moved by G-d’s revelation, if it is the objective of our lives, we are going to be persecuted.
v13: Rejoice: It is a wonderful privilege to suffer for Yeshua. This is a commandment. We have been commanded to rejoice when we are suffering persecution.
- Exceeding joy: When Yeshua is revealed (at the time of the rapture, also known as the blessed hope – this is a different event to His second coming) weare going to have an even greater joy – joy in its full measure.
v14: Reproached/Insulted: This is a word that means to “show teeth”. The image here is this: when you approach a dog and it wants nothing to do with you it will growl and show its teeth. Those teeth are a warning to you. This is how those of the world behave at the name of Messiah. They will hate us and want to attack us because of His name.
- Blessed: We are doing things right if the above is the reaction we are getting from the world. We do not need to seek out that reaction, it will come to us if we are faithfully doing what G-d has called us to do. From His perspective if we are experiencing this then we are blessed.
- The Spirit of glory and of G-d rests upon you: Peter is speaking of an anointing. When we are serving G-d and we encounter spiritual attack that’s when the anointing falls most heavily upon us. When we are serving G-d, His Spirit and His glory is going to rest upon us.
- He is blasphemed: They want to blaspheme anything that is related to G-d.
v15: Busybody: Meddler. This is not (necessarily) in an annoying or meddling way from their perspective, but from G-d’s perspective. There are people that want to get involved in our lives but not because of the things of G-d. They have their own plan for our lives. As children of G-d this is not what we are about, or what we ought to do, in the lives of others.
v17: Judgment to begin at the house of G-d: G-d is going to judge His people first. This judgement is for the purpose of refining and sifting them in order to bring about a glorious change in their lives. Although it can be painful, it has the right outcome.
- Do not obey: G-d judges all people, but the purpose for those who are disobedient is a very different judgement to those who obey Him (those who are in His house).
v18: Possibly quoting from Prov 11:31
What is going to bring about a change in this sinner? Suffering. Suffering is going to give him a different perspective. When we suffer for righteousness, we’re blessed. When we suffer because of our disobedience it’s a call to repentance, it’s a call to change.
v19: Commit their souls…(to) doing good (works): It is only when we believe that G-d’s going to establish a Kingdom that we are going to be committed to good works – not works for salvation, but works as the fruit of a changed behaviour, works because G-d’s expectations of us are of utmost importance to us as we want to live lives that are pleasing to Him. When we want to live in a way that is pleasing to G-d we are going to be committed to doing the work of G-d.
- Faithful Creator: We should always pay attention to how G-d speaks of Himself. Why does He make mention of Himself as ‘Creator’ in this verse? Usually when creation is spoken of, we think about the past. As believers we ought not to relegate G-d’s works of creation to a past event. G-d is not done with His glorious work of creation…in fact G-d’s most glorious creation is yet future – the establishment of the Kingdom of G-d, also known as the second creation.