Scripture Reading: 2 Peter 3
Ezra 9:3-6—saw the Jews intermarried with Gentiles
And when I heard this thing, I rent my garment and my mantle, and plucked off the hair of my head and of my beard, and sat down astonied.4 Then were assembled unto me every one that trembled at the words of the God of Israel, because of the transgression of those that had been carried away; and I sat astonied until the evening sacrifice.5 And at the evening sacrifice I arose up from my heaviness; and having rent my garment and my mantle, I fell upon my knees, and spread out my hands unto the Lord my God,6 And said, O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to thee, my God: for our iniquities are increased over our head, and our trespass is grown up unto the heavens.
Trembling—fearful trembling—at scope of sin even after seeing devastation of the judgment of captivity. Our—includes himself in sin of the people even though he didn’t do it.
Thus saith the Lord, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest?2 For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the Lord: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.3 He that killeth an ox is as if he slew a man; he that sacrificeth a lamb, as if he cut off a dog's neck; he that offereth an oblation, as if he offered swine's blood; he that burneth incense, as if he blessed an idol. Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations.4 I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear: but they did evil before mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not.
The inner temple is more vital than the external. Contrite—smitten, maimed, dejected. Not idol worship, but supposed worship of God is viewed as an abomination if your heart isn’t right. God is not impressed by going through motions. God gives them over to what they desire to do.
And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape.38 And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not.39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
40 And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.41 I receive not honor from men.42 But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you.43 I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.44 How can ye believe, which receive honor one of another, and seek not the honor that cometh from God only?
Abide—word was not dwelling in them, there was no internal reality of the word in them. Search—inquire, investigate, they looked at scripture as an external thing to analyze and went through bodily motions. The problem is not that they searched the Scriptures, they point to Christ, but they won’t come to Him. Honor—glory, applause, worship, positive opinion. Listening to people, getting their honor, comparing and being better than people, will keep you from having God’s Word in you. Tremble at God’s word, not people’s.
2 Peter 3:13-18
Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.15 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.17 Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked [lawless], fall from your own stedfastness.18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.
Diligent—make effort, use speed, to exert oneself, study. Unlearned—without normal instruction, ignorant. Unstable—wavering, double-minded, vacillating, unfixed. Wrest—twist, torture, put to the rack. Destruction—they bring about their own self-destruction. Beware—watch, guard. Steadfastness—firm condition, stability, literally opposite of unstable.