Lawlessness; January 8, 2021


2 Peter 3:13 But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.

Today’s whole passage, from verse 8 through the end of the letter, seems spot-on to me right now in light of what is going on in America at this point. Yesterday Bill Whittle made the point that conservatives can’t understand Leftists because conservatives believe in laws, and Leftists obey laws at their convenience. It’s something the MMPI (Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory) calls scrupulosity, that is, the tendency to do what is right even when no one is watching. It is no accident that the Bible frequently uses the term “lawless” in talking about those who rebel against God. That’s why this verse hits home so strongly right now: I want to live somewhere that is home to righteousness! The thing is, we all have a tendency to rebel, to want to do something the moment it is forbidden, and we get a thrill out of “crossing the line.” That started in Eden, and is certainly evident today. That means we must not despise those who ignore laws, by stealing elections, looting, or any other way, but rather be vigilant against them, even while praying for them. I would not want to have to answer for them before God’s throne, much less be in their shoes! The temptation to “fight fire with fire” is real, but very dangerous. As James said, we’ve got to be submitted to God before we can hope to have any success at resisting the devil. (James 4:7) As has been said in a secular context, “These are the times that try men’s souls.” Peter’s words in this chapter should be a comfort and an encouragement to all who seek to follow God.

As the news came in, from Georgia and Washington D.C., I went into a funk and stopped watching, period. Not knowing how to pray, I prayed in tongues for most of the day, and that’s not a bad thing at all. I mourn for America, but my citizenship is in heaven. (Philippians 3:20) As Peter says here, I have the home of righteousness to look forward to! Meanwhile, I am to be faithful and righteous as I live on this earth, however much or little righteousness I see around me. I am to proclaim the Gospel to all who will receive it, not in a holier-than-thou way but as someone who has received, and is dependent on, grace myself. I am to remember that everything in the physical world is temporary, both objects and systems, and look forward to the perfection that is promised me, just as Peter says.

Father, thank You for this Word, and for its timing. Help me not let events get me down, but rather keep looking to my Lord (Hebrews 12:2) to receive my instructions for each day, each moment, so that Your will may be done in and through me, on Your schedule for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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