Terrain Day 15 Life’s Landscape: Digging Deeper

Digging Deeper Days

Finding the original intent of Scripture and making good application to our everyday lives as we become equipped to correctly handle the Word of Truth!

Today is 2-for-1 Friday!
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The Questions

1) Why is Peter so insistent that we “don’t overlook this one fact”? (verse 8)

2) How does the truth of God being outside of time (verse 8) significantly shape our view of His patience? (verses 9-10)

3) What element does time play in this passage as a whole and what are the actions associated with that timing?

2 Peter 3:8-18

8 Dear friends, don’t overlook this one fact: With the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. 9 The Lord does not delay his promise, as some understand delay, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish but all to come to repentance.

10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief; on that day the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, the elements will burn and be dissolved, and the earth and the works on it will be disclosed. 11 Since all these things are to be dissolved in this way, it is clear what sort of people you should be in holy conduct and godliness 12 as you wait for the day of God and hasten its coming. Because of that day, the heavens will be dissolved with fire and the elements will melt with heat. 13 But based on his promise, we wait for new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.

14 Therefore, dear friends, while you wait for these things, make every effort to be found without spot or blemish in his sight, at peace. 15 Also, regard the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our dear brother Paul has written to you according to the wisdom given to him. 16 He speaks about these things in all his letters. There are some things hard to understand in them. The untaught and unstable will twist them to their own destruction, as they also do with the rest of the Scriptures.

17 Therefore, dear friends, since you know this in advance, be on your guard, so that you are not led away by the error of lawless people and fall from your own stable position. 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity.

Original Intent

1) Why is Peter so insistent that we “don’t overlook this one fact”? (verse 8)
Peter wrote two letters to the believers who had scattered across the ancient world as Nero’s persecution hotly pursued them. (1 Peter 1:1 and 2 Peter 3:1) Backing up in chapter 3, Peter reminds his listeners of his mission statement, “I want to stir up your sincere understanding by way of reminder, so that you recall the words previously spoken by the holy prophets and the command of our Lord and Savior given through your apostles.” (2 Peter 3:1-2) Peter warns the believers of deceiving voices that would rise around them when trouble came, and to defeat their mockery by clinging to the truths they knew from Scripture. These people would be quick to taunt the believers’ faith, Where is His ‘coming’ that He promised?” (verse 4) You can almost hear their sneers and scoffs, can’t you? It’s as if they are saying, “You’re going to die for your faith! Why won’t your “God” rescue you? He must be lying!”. If these believers were able to read Paul’s letter to the Philippians written about 2 years prior, they could have been encouraged when he wrote to “not be frightened in any way by your opponents. This is a sign of destruction for them, but of your salvation—and this is from God.” (Philippians 1:28) In light of intense persecution against body and mind, Peter underscores his point, “With the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day.” (verse 8) The Lord God is outside of time, yet He graciously chooses to work within it for our sake. He cannot be unfaithful. (2 Timothy 2:13) He cannot lie. (Titus 1:2) He will return to rescue His people. (2 Peter 3:5-7) Hold firmly, persecuted Church, the Lord has not forgotten you, His beloved ones.

2) How does the truth of God being outside of time (verse 8) significantly shape our view of His patience? (verses 9-10)
To fully catch the significance Peter intended, it’s important we read the whole chapter and follow the logic Peter carefully laid out. (1) He reminds them that God’s truthful messages and His character have remained unchanging since the beginning of creation and for eternity prior. (verse 2) (2) He wants them to be aware of scoffers, mockers, and those who would attempt to sway believers’ faith by deceiving them into believing God cannot be trusted. (verses 3-4) (3) The truth that God’s purposes have never failed or shifted regardless of circumstances (verses 5-7) coupled with the truth that God exists outside of time confidently assures believers that His timing is absolutely, unequivocally perfect. There is no guessing with God, no random events, no accidental slippage of a few millennia, let alone a few seconds. Because this God is absolutely precise, what looks like “delayed waiting” from our timeline perspective, has no variance of “delay” according to Him. Peter writes clearly, “The Lord does not delay His promise, as some understand delay…” (verse 9) Where we ache, beg, plead, and even scream for full redemption, for His perfect justice to come now, and for relief from the ridicule and taunts, the Lord’s answer, for now, is divine patience. Not because He is a cruel, desiring our torture and prolonged agony, but because He desires “(none) to perish, but all to come to repentance”. (verse 9) He waits, in our timeline, because His ache for more Beloved Ones to know Him as Redeemer and Rescuer is greater than His desire to free us from our temporary suffering. Eternity is in His heart. Only the God who exists outside of time can see a picture big enough to have that kind of radical love for His enemies who actively rebel against Him. (Romans 5:8)

3) What element does time play in this passage as a whole and what are the actions associated with that timing?
Verbiage descriptive of time is heavy throughout chapter 3, which should be a waving flag for us as students of Scripture to slow down and dig into each instance. Repetition of a thought, or even a word, in the Bible is like a bold underline, emphatically designed to grab our attention. For this specific passage, each reference to time is also connected with a specific action, result, or command. We are to take note of this and hold firmly to these truths! The Lord God had very clear truths He wanted Peter to proclaim to the early church. Which ones can you uncover as we look at the text? “Scoffers will come in the last days(verse 3), “By the Word of the Lord the heavens came into being long ago(verse 5), “the present heavens and earth are stored up for fire” (verse 7), With the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day(verse 8), “The Lord does not delay His promise” (verse 9), “The day of the Lord will come like a thief” (verse 10), “on that day the heavens will pass away with a loud noise” (verse 10), “you should be in holy conduct and godliness as you wait for the day of God(verse 11), “Because of that day, the heavens will be dissolved with fire” (verse 12), “based on His promise, we wait for new heavens and a new earth” (verse 13), “while you wait for these things, make every effort to be found without spot or blemish in His sight, at peace” (verse 14), “since you know this in advance, be on your guard, so that you are not led away by error” (verse 17), “To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity(verse 18). What truths did you find?!

Everyday Application

1) Why is Peter so insistent that we “don’t overlook this one fact”? (verse 8)
I lovingly refer to Peter’s writings as “in the trenches letters” and have relied on the solid truth God revealed to him during challenging seasons of my own faith journey. The Lord’s faithfulness does not shift like shadows. (James 1:17) He sees our lowest of lows, knows our pain, and will surely redeem. Nothing surrendered to Christ is lost or given in vain. Nothing! (Hebrews 6:9-10) Knowing that what I do truly matters is important to me, and Peter’s words about God and His perspective on timelines encourages my heart. I am not forgotten, and even though I may be mocked or criticized for making decisions that honor my Jesus, I can remain confident that His truthfulness never changes. He has always been exactly who He is now. Though I have faced my own struggles, I’ve never been in danger of losing my life for following Jesus. Imagine being caught in such cross-fire for faith in your city or village! What once felt “normal” and “safe” is now wrought with danger, forcing every aspect of your life to be guarded. Truthfully, some reading these words don’t need to imagine; this is their reality. Sisters, will you pray with me right now, fervently, for our brothers and sisters who are persecuted to the point of losing their lives because they are believing in Jesus? Don’t know where to start in praying for them? Check out this excellent resource by 9Marks and start praying to the God who sees and knows and moves in His perfect timing to rescue His people.

2) How does the truth of God being outside of time (verse 8) significantly shape our view of His patience? (verses 9-10)
It was only a few months ago, I sat on a sunny rock by a lake, furiously penning my frustration at God. My circumstances were pressing on me on all sides, and I felt crushed beneath the weight of injustice. This year of social unrest in the United States has opened many hearts and eyes to the severe injustices constantly occurring within our nation, our cities, our churches, and our neighborhoods between races. My heart aches with the heaviness of prejudice, hatred, and putrid oppression. We cry out with the psalmist, “How long Lord?! Turn and have compassion on Your servants!” (Psalm 90:13) Merely a week ago, a dear sister messaged me pleading for prayers for their village as enemies plotted attacks on those who claimed Christ as Lord. Kidnappings. Rape. Murderous rampages. All for following Jesus. As I write, the Church, members of myself as a fellow Christ-follower, are hiding underground, hushed in silence as their lives are threatened in Afghanistan. Sons and daughters, husbands and wives, grandparents, cousins, neighbors, people, stories, faces. Suffering. And we beg and plead for the Lord to bring relief. Indeed, He does. He has brought relief for me personally. He thwarted the enemy plans and shielded my friend’s village. I am confident we will hear of similar ways the Lord is providing for Afghan believers. But, the final redemption is still to come. It is not yet. It is not now. As our Lord is patient, we will choose to wait with the confident expectation Peter urged his listeners to firmly grasp. His timing is absolutely perfect. Eternal Rescue will come; the wait is worth the struggle. And while we wait, oh please, please, hold out His Hope to the Lost around you! This is the heartbeat of a God who radically loves us!

3) What element does time play in this passage as a whole and what are the actions associated with that timing?
The truths God wanted the believers to hear and receive from Peter’s letters are equally as relevant for us today. Whether our lives are being hunted down by persecutors, or we struggle with talking about Jesus for fear of someone’s mockery, these truths are absolutely necessary for us to take in and cling to. Every believer faces challenges in following Jesus, even if it’s just the daily decision to live for self or surrender to the God whose Spirit lives within us. As we face every opportunity in our everyday lives, we need the undergirding of truths preached in this passage. Be intentional in studying the 13 verses referencing time in 2 Peter 3 and the truths we are to know and actively hold onto in our real lives, beginning right now. As you study the 13 verses above, make a list of truths the Lord wants you to know, then prayerfully think through the challenges you are facing in following Jesus. How does the Lord want to comfort and encourage you to be bold “while we wait for the blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.” (Titus 2:13)

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Digging Deeper is for Everyone!

1) Take this passage (or any other passage).
2) Read it, and the verses around it,
several times
3) Write down your questions
as you think of them.
4) Ask specific culture related questions and be ready to dig around for your answers. Google them, use www.studylight.org, or look them up in a study Bible and read the footnotes (click on the little letters next to a word and it will show you
other related verses!). (www.esvbible.org)
5) Check your applications with other trusted Christians that you are in community with and embrace the fullness of God
in your everyday!

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Why Dig Deeper?

Finding the original meaning is a huge deal when we study Scripture and can make all the difference in our understanding as we apply God’s truths to our everyday lives.

In our modern-day relationships, we want people to understand our original intention as we communicate; how much more so between God and humanity?!

Here’s a little bit more on why we take Digging Deeper so seriously.

Study Tools

We love getting help while we study and www.studylight.org is one of many excellent resources, providing the original Hebrew (Old Testament) or Greek (New Testament) with an English translation.

Want to know more about a specific word in a verse? Click on “Strong’s Interlinear Bible” then click the word you’d like to study. Discover “origin”, “definition” and hear the original pronunciation – That Is Awesome!

Want more background? Click “Study Tools”, then pick a few commentaries to read their scholarly approach, keeping in mind that just because a commentary says it, doesn’t mean it’s true. (just like the internet :-))

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