Judgement and a full-bodied view of evil

Scripture:  2 Peter 5:3-10

Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.

4For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment; 5if he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; 6if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; 7and if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked 8(for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard); 9then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, 10and especially those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority.  Bold and willful, they do not tremble as they blaspheme the glorious ones…

Observations:

Peter affirms that God is judging those who distort the truth, abuse His name, and  exploit people.

Application:

God is not asleep.  When it seems like wickedness is prevailing Peter reminds these people under pressure that God’s judgment has appeared, and will come again.  This is particularly important because of the hubris that accompanies willful rebellion against God and His Gospel.  A view of God’s judgment also is important for helping us metabolize the lack of mindfulness toward God and the lack of empathy toward people that may characterize people doing evil things.  Jesus said, “Forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.”  But what do we do, when they do know what they are doing?

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, To trust that you will ultimately put all things right means that I believe you are the solution to evil and to the brokenness generated by our independence from you.  To trust that you are putting things right through Jesus Christ means that I abandon revenge and self-righteousness.  To trust that you are putting things right means that I believe we can find some measure of justice in this world for others who suffer from the evil deeds and decisions humans are capable of.  But even then nothing will be so satisfying as knowing you.  AMEN.

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