Summary: The theme of these verses is found in 2:17. They were having faith problems, that due to lack of attention, had gotten out of hand. The sad thing is they were unaware of just how bad it was, what they were thinking and doing as a result of their weakene
“THE CRITICAL ELEMENT OF FAITH”
Dr. Dennis Deese - www.dennisdeese.com
The theme of these verses is found in 2:17. They were having faith problems, that due to lack of attention, had gotten out of hand. The sad thing is they were unaware of just how bad it was, what they were thinking and doing as a result of their weakened faith. At first appearance, this passage seems to be about the revelation of Jesus; but the revelation of Jesus is an example of the ultimate answer to their questioning of God’s judgment on the wicked and sin. The people had come to a point where they did not believe God judged sin or sinners - that it made no difference if you served God or not.
Let’s consider three aspects of faith: The:
I. UNIVERSAL STRUGGLE OF FAITH 2:17 “Where is the God of Justice?”
One night a house caught fire and a young boy was forced to flee to the roof. The father stood on the ground below with outstretched arms, calling to his son, “Jump! I’ll catch you.” He knew the boy had to jump to save his life. All the boy could see, however, was flame, smoke, and blackness. As can be imagined, he was afraid to leave the roof. His father kept yelling: “Jump! I will catch you.” But the boy protested, “Daddy, I can’t see you.” The father replied, “But I can see you and that’s all that matters.”
They were suffering from spiritual myopia (short sightedness).
Heb 10:38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if [any man] draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.
This passage (2:17) clearly helps us to understand the urgency of tending our faith. Neglecting our faith can have serious threatening repercussions. They:
A. Doubted God 2:17 “where is the God of justice?”
2Pe 3:1-4 This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in [both] which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour: Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as [they were] from the beginning of the creation.
B. Criticized God 2:17 “Every on who doeth evil is good in the sight of God”
Ps 73:3 For I was envious at the foolish, [when] I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
Ps 73:17 Until I went into the sanctuary of God; [then] understood I their end.
Jer 12:1 Righteous [art] thou, O LORD, when I plead with thee: yet let me talk with thee of [thy] judgments: Wherefore doth the way of the wicked prosper? [wherefore] are all they happy that deal very treacherously?
C. Wearied God 2:17 “Ye have wearied the Lord”
Heb 11:6 But without faith [it is] impossible to please [him]: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and [that] he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
“I am sick and tired of your whining. You have exasperated me with your words. I am exhausted listening to you over and over. Your complaining is bugging the tar out of me.” (David Miller)
Some Scholars would call this an Anthropomorpha (Attribution of human motivation, characteristics, or behavior to God) I would just take it at face value.
II. URGENT STRENGTHENING OF FAITH 3:1 “behold”
It is strengthened by (The first revelation of Jesus and the second revelation of Jesus) being:
Both the Old and New Testaments are filled with promises of the Second Coming of Christ. There are 1,845 references to it in the Old Testament, and a total of seventeen Old Testament books give it prominence.
Of the 260 chapters in the entire New Testament, there are 318 references to the Second Coming, or one out of 30 verses. Twenty-three of the 27 New Testament books refer to this great event.
A. Challenged 3:1 “Behold”
Mr 14:62 And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.
Lu 21:27 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
Ac 1:11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.
1Th 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: