Our last reading in 1 Peter: 1 Peter 5:8-14
v8: Sober: This is a word of clarity. When we are following the things of this world then, spiritually, we will not see things clearly. It is only the Word of G-d that gives us clarity (an ability to see things clearly in our minds) and enables us to be vigilant or “watch” what G-d is up to.
- Be vigilant or Watch: This word is often translated “Take heed” – it is a word of warning, and is often used in a last days context.G-d is warning us to watch. As we are approaching the last days we need to be watching so that we can have discernment as to what we should be expecting. Israel and the disciples were not watching for the prophetic signs, that they should have been watching for, in regard to Messiahs first coming. Because they would not watch (eg in the garden of Gethsemane) they could not pray. Prayer is a source of revelation. Prayer involves speaking and then listening to G-d. When we present our petitions, requests etc to G-d, say Amen and walk away without allowing G-d to respond back to us we are not praying Biblically. The disciples did not have an expectation of the timing and the work of Messiah (His suffering). Because of this, they were unprepared, and they scattered. What about when Yeshua returns for the second time? Are today’s body of believers watching? Do we know what we are looking for?
- Adversary/Opponent: The one who is against righteousness. Righteousness manifests the glory of G-d. satan hates the glory of G-d, because to him it is all about him and not about G-d – he is proud.
- Devil: Comes from a word that we could also translate as ‘diabolical” – someone who cheats with intelligence. Left to ourselves we will always be victimised by the devil. Our intelligence is pale in comparison to his. The only way we can have victory over him is by watching so that we are not taken by surprise, and by being girded with the full armour of G-d and His Holy Spirit (Eph 6:10-18)
- Like a roaring lion: He is a counterfeit. He wants to be thought of as the Lion of Judah, but he is not.
- Devour: Literally the word means to “drink down”. He wants to take us down. He wants to consume us. He wants to use us for his objectives, his plans, his purposes. It is only through our covenantal relationship with G-d, with His provision and His anointing, that we can stand against this enemy.
v9: Faith: This is a word that is tied to truth. If we are going to be firm in the faith then we need to be committed to the truth of G-d.
- The same sufferings: Over and over Peter tells us that there is a battle, and we are going to suffer. With spiritual warfare no one comes out of it perfectly intact. When Yeshua did battle He was crucified. When we do spiritual battle we are going to suffer (there will be pain and discomfort). If we are not willing to suffer for our faith, then we do not have a Biblical faith. Suffering is limited. We have to endure a certain amount of it and then G-d says: “Enough”. Is our theology big enough to handle the fact that G-d allows suffering and that He allows us to suffer?
v10: All grace: G-d has all the grace necessary for His children when they are suffering. As we suffer, G-d ministers His grace into our lives. Through that grace we will stand firm and, therefore, have a testimony that is pleasing to G-d.
- Called us into His eternal glory: It has already been decided that if we have accepted G-d’s invitation, we are going to experience His eternal glory. What is glory? – being in the Presence of G-d. When people are not interested in the Kingdom of G-d, they are not interested in being with G-d.
- By/through Messiah Yeshua: There is a condition. There is no other way or means to get there. Yeshua is the ONLY way through which we can get to the Father and to His eternal glory.
- Perfect (made complete): It is through suffering that G-d brings us to the full measure of what He wants us to be. It is necessary to suffer. We must not run from it or reject it.
- Established/Planted: Rooted or established in the right location (i.e. in the Kingdom of G-d)
v11: This is a Kingdom expression. When we speak and see in full measure, the glory and the power of G-d, that is a Kingdom event.
v12: Silvanus: Peter briefly wraps up this first epistle by telling us who he sent this letter with. Silvanus (also translated Silas) is listed as one of the co-authors of 1 and 2 Thessalonians.
- Exhorting (encouraging) and testifying: This was Peters purpose in writing this letter.
In this epistle, Peter has revealed to us the grace that we need (not the saving grace which we have already received) that enables us to stand faithfully. This is a grace that helps us to live out Biblical truth. This is the grace that helps us to complete the calling of G-d on our lives. When difficult things happen, this is the grace that we have access to.
v13: Babylon: This is not a good place. We need to realise that G-d has His people all over the place. Even in Babylon there is a remnant that G-d is going to bring out. In 1 Peter 1:1 Peter wrote that he was writing to those who were in exile. When the Jewish people think of exile they think of Egypt, but when they think of end time things they think of Babylon. Babylon is more prevalent in end time thinking. Whenever exile is mentioned in the Bible it has a purpose – not to focus on the exile but rather to focus on the redemption that is coming. By including Babylon here Peter is raising the eyes of the people to look toward a redemption that is sure to follow.
v14: Peace: It is only when are fulfilling the will of G-d (the call of G-d) that we are going to experience peace.
- IN Messiah Yeshua: This speaks about a covenantal relationship with G-d. Whenever someone enters into a covenant, they receive a calling. (example Abraham). Abraham never had a call on his life until he entered into a covenantal relationship with G-d.
- Amen: This is a word that relates to truth. What Peter has said in this epistle is true.