Scripture Text – 2 Peter 2:1-9
We continue with Peters warning to the church to be alert and vigilant. This is the third and final of the three aspects addressing the subject of false teachers in the church.
The True Believers Delivered
(God) did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly; and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly; and delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds)—then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations . . . – 2 Peter 2:5-9a.
Peter’s purpose was not just to denounce the apostates; he also wanted to encourage the true believers. He once again reached back into the Old Testament and cited two examples of deliverance.
Noah (verse 5). This man of faith experienced a twofold deliverance. First, God delivered him from the blatant wickedness found in the world around him. For 120 years, Noah faithfully proclaimed the Word of God to people who would not believe it. He and his family were surrounded by moral and spiritual darkness, yet they kept their lights shining. God did not protect Noah and his family by isolating them from the world, but by enabling them to remain pure in the midst of corruption. Through Jesus Christ, we too have “escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” – 2 Peter 1:4.
Our Lord petitioned the Heavenly Father, “I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one.” – John 17:15. Imagine Noah and his wife raising a family in a world so wicked that they could have no believing friends! Yet God found believing wives for their three sons, and God guarded this home from the pollutions of the world.
But God also delivered Noah and his family from the judgment of the world. The flood waters that brought condemnation to the world only lifted Noah and his household up above the judgment. They were secure in the ark of safety. In his first epistle, Peter had seen in the ark a type of our salvation in Jesus Christ (1 Peter 3:20–22). The world, as it were, was “buried” in the baptism of the Flood, but Noah was lifted up, a perfect picture and example of resurrection and salvation.
Certainly Peter was assuring his readers that, when the great day of judgment does come, they will be kept safe. Jesus Christ is OUR “ark of safety.” He delivers us from the wrath to come (1 Thessalonians 1:10). God has promised that the earth will never again be judged by water, but there is coming a judgment of fire (2 Peter 3:10-13). But those who have trusted Christ will never face judgment (John 5:24), because He bore their judgment on the cross.
Lot (verses 6-9a). Abraham took his nephew, Lot, with him when he left Ur and went to the land of Canaan, but Lot proved to be more of a problem than a blessing. When Abraham, in a lapse of faith, went down to Egypt, Lot went with him and got a taste of “the world” (Genesis 12:10–13:1). As Lot became richer, he had to separate from Abraham, and this removed him from his uncle’s godly influence. What a privilege Lot had to walk with Abraham who walked with God! And yet, how Lot wasted those blessed privileges.
When Lot had to choose a new area for his home, he measured it by what he had seen in Egypt (Genesis 13:10). Abraham took Lot out of Egypt, but he could not take Egypt out of Lot. Lot “pitched his tent even as far as Sodom.” – Genesis 13:12, and then finally moved into Sodom (Genesis 14:12). God even used a local war to try to get Lot out of Sodom, but he went right back. That is where his heart was and where it stayed until God had to rescue him.
It is difficult for us to understand Lot. Peter made it clear that Lot was righteous and just (“righteous Lot . . . that righteous man”), and yet we wonder what he was doing in such a wicked place as Sodom. If we understand Genesis 19 correctly, Lot had at least four daughters, two of whom had married men of Sodom and two who had remained chaste. All the while that Lot lived in Sodom, his soul was “tortured” and “greatly troubled” by the filthy conduct of the people. Perhaps he thought he could change them. If so, he failed miserably.
To Be Continued