God is Willing and Able

There is a lot to learn from reading the Bible but a few predominant themes run through the whole book. One lesson we learn that is reinforced many times is that God knows what he’s doing. 

…the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment… 2 Peter 2:9

I hate to pull out a verse that represents only part of a sentence. Verse 9 is part of a long proof statement that I would like to break down in this post. Click here to read the entire paragraph, 2 Peter 2:4-11. Peter uses examples of God’s judgement and also points out righteous individuals who were spared from those judgements. In Genesis 6 God saw the state of affairs in the world and decided to blot out humanity from the face of the earth. But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord (Genesis 6:8). God brought judgement upon the whole earth but Peter reminds us that Noah was one of eight people who were spared. Likewise when fire rained down from heaven on Sodom and Gomorrah, Lot and his family were first taken to safety.

The entire chapter of 2 Peter 2 is about encountering false teachers. Peter is telling his audience not to worry about them; they are among you and will continue to be in the future but their fate is already sealed. Jesus shared a parable about a farmer sowing his crop (in Matthew 13). His servants sowed good seed but his enemy came behind them and sowed weeds. The master told them not try pulling the weeds but wait and let everything grow up together. At harvest time they would gather the wheat into the barn but budle the weeds to be burned. That’s one analogy Jesus used to describe what this life is life. On the day of judgement wheat will separated from weeds just like separating sheep from goats. To some he will say “Depart from me you worker of iniquity, I never you.” And to others “Well done my good and faithful servant.” 2 Timothy 2:19 tells us that God’s firm foundation bears this seal: God knows those who are his. 

Jesus used many parables to describe what the Kingdom of God is like. If you remember high school English class, a simile says one thing is like another while a metaphor says that one thing is another. The Kingdom is like discovering the pearl of great price, or finding treasure in a field, or finding one lost coin. Jesus did not say he was like our great shepherd. Jesus says that he is our great shepherd. He knows which sheep are his and his sheep know the sound of his voice. God knows those that are his. We may not always be able to tell the difference, but God knows. His arm is not shortened that he cannot save (Isaiah 59:1). Don’t worry about the weeds. False teachers are like wolves in sheep’s clothing but their fate is sealed. Keep the faith, share the gospel, love your neighbor. God knows how to save the just and punish and the unjust, and he is willing and able to do so.

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