29 October 2018

2 Peter 2
Psalm 119:49-72

But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute.

2 Peter 2:1-2

I will hasten and not delay
to obey your commands.
Though the wicked bind me with ropes,
I will not forget your law.

Psalm 119:60-61

It has been said that experts in recognising counterfeit money study real currency so intently that they recognise fake bills or coins upon seeing them. Peter could have said the same thing to the believers he addressed in 2 Peter 2. He warns the church that there will be false teachers among them, even those who ‘exploit’ them with ‘stories they have made up’ (2 Peter 2:3).

He goes on to reassure these saints that God is always in control and will condemn those who follow the ‘corrupt desire of the sinful nature.’ It may seem as if those who lead others astray are getting away with it, but Peter assures them (and us) that they will be paid back with ‘harm for the harm they have done’ (verse 13).

The words of the psalmist offer good counsel to believers to make sure they recognise false teaching when they hear it. The best way to know a false teacher is to know the truth of God’s Word so well that heresy sends up a red flag when heard.  While we cannot know everything in the Bible, we at least need to take the time to test what we hear by comparing it to Scripture. Peter’s audience did not have multiple copies of the Bible in different translations on their bookshelves. Yet those believers, and even those of the psalmist’s time, were commanded to obey God’s laws. How much more should we do the same when we have access to both the Bible and to resources designed to help us understand it.

When the psalmist writes that he will ‘hasten’ to follow God’s law, and even be taken prisoner for it, he communicates a passion for God’s Word that I admire and desire. Am I willing to suffer in order to obey God’s laws, even though false teachers ‘bringing the way of truth into disrepute’ seem to be getting away with spreading lies? Help me, Lord, to never forget Your law!

Dear Lord, help me to be faithful to obey Your Word, and to study it so that I recognise false teaching when I hear it. Please help me to never forget Your law! Amen