Reading for Friday, Nov 9: 2 Peter 3
Peter closes his letter with our ultimate motivation toward the faithful life: the coming day of the Lord. Although we should be wary of falsehood, this is not our primary motivation — as if purity of theology somehow “earns” merit for us in the eyes of God.
There is a promise that moves us forward, the promise of SOMEDAY. We live in the present in light of this promise, even though scoffers will always hurl their ridicule at us for our belief (v3-4). But in the midst of time and human history, we are reminded of God’s timelessness. “With the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day,” (v8). I’ve heard this verse used as an explanation of the possibility of the days of creation extending beyond 24 literal hours as a way of reconciling our faith with the scientific evidence of an “old earth”. I think this misses the point. Sure, that’s a discussion worth having, I suppose, but Peter’s point isn’t to attack theistic evolution; it’s to encourage his audience to live faithfully in light of the coming of the Lord. Peter’s more interested in how all this is going to end than how it all began. Followers of Jesus live in light of the ending. This is not to say that the beginning is unimportant; far from it. But Peter wants us to know that our idea of timing and God’s fulfillment of His promises is in need of a revision. We need the lenses of heaven to see what God is doing. And these are the lenses Peter is fitting us with here in this text: “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance,” (v8-9).
Peter asks a great question for us to consider in v11: “Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God…”
Good food for thought, right?