Summary: #5 out of 2 Peter. In 2 Peter 2:1-22, Peter describes the false teachers who were leading the believers astray. He uses 4 Old Testament examples to validate New Testament beliefs and behaviors.
WHEN IT’S OKAY BE A DUMB DONKEY!
“But these, like unreasoning animals, born as creatures of instinct to be captured and killed, reviling where they have no knowledge, will in the destruction of those creatures also be destroyed, suffering wrong as the wages of doing wrong. They count it a pleasure to revel in the daytime. They are stains and blemishes, reveling in their deceptions, as they carouse with you, having eyes full of adultery that never cease from sin, enticing unstable souls, having a heart trained in greed, accursed children; forsaking the right way, they have gone astray, having followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; but he received a rebuke for his own transgression, for a mute donkey, speaking with a voice of a man, restrained the madness of the prophet (2 Peter 2:12-16 NASV).
“How many times do the New Testament writers quote the Old Testament?”
According to the Blue Letter Bible website, the answer is 855.
Now, the reason I make a point of this is because Peter, like Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and Paul (just to name a few) used the Old Testament to validate New Testament beliefs and behavior.
Peter uses no less than four Old Testament events in chapter two to confirm the certainty of God’s future judgment against ungodly behavior.
The false teachers were denying that God would bring judgment upon anyone who lived the way they said you could live.
In their contemptuous disregard for human or divine authority, they defiantly asserted that their fleshly desires were a better path to a life of freedom over the prudish restrictions of righteousness (so they said!).
If ever there was a time when this is relevant, it is now. We are living in a society that has largely lost any sense of the diabolical danger of living without restraint.
The very first event Peter references sets the stage by reminding us and them of the angels who transgressed their boundaries by rebelling against God (Jude 6). They introduced the world to the dark arts of fleshly pleasures and unbridled excess, and Peter describes them in verses 13 and 14 as those who have lost all sense of shame: “They count it a pleasure to revel in the daytime…[having] eyes full of adultery they never cease from sin, enticing unstable souls, having a heart trained in greed, accursed children…”
In a world that rejects God, that’s what you end up with.
Just stop and consider what we have witnessed this past week. Lives torn apart by accusations of past behavior; whether true or not, we know that what they’ve described happens on college campuses, in frat houses and along tree-lined neighborhoods; behavior that was and is a part of a culture that uses and abuses people.
The impetus for the “me-too” movement is the objectification of women and men (women of power are not exempt from evil desires). When pleasure becomes the highest order, it results in a “hell” of one’s own making. It shrinks your world until all that is left is the idol of “self.”
Don’t be led astray. What we witnessed was a demonic display of smoke and mirrors; not a political battle of left or right ideologies. We are witnessing the result of Satan’s war against God and His creation.
But hear what Peter’s reminds us of: God has been punishing those fallen angels; they have not escaped His judgment.
But sadly, people aren’t allowing that reality to inform their decisions. The line between truth and error, light and darkness, right and wrong has been blurred by a watered-down, feel-good philosophy that views any attempt at defining those truths as judgmental, old-fashioned and Bible-thumping hype.
But those examples of judgment are there/here to warn and encourage; to instruct us in the consequences of life without God, of how men and women end-up treating each other when life is lived for self. It happened once before and here’s how it looked: “Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Gen. 6:5 NASV).
When people are self-willed, unprincipled, sensual, greedy, and exploitative (2 Peter 2)…and approve of those who practice those things (Rom. 1:32), you end up with a world gone mad! Even a dumb donkey can see where that leads. But I get ahead of myself!
By the way, I’m using “dumb” in its Biblical sense of mute, unable to speak; not stupid. He was a "dumb" donkey because he couldn't speak - until God enabled him.
So, what happened to that world in Genesis 6 (the second example)? “…He did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people…” (2 Pet. 2:5 NIV).