In our study of
I Peter last week we started a study of a rather lengthy passage in
Chapter 3, verses 8-22. In this section we are confronted with
suffering’s affect upon a proper behavior and our relationship to
various situations we find in the Christian life.
This week we desire to look
at verses 9-13 of Chapter 3 which says, “Not rendering evil for
evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing
that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. For
he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his
tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: Let him
eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it. For the
eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto
their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do
evil. And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that
which is good?”
It is here that we see a
proper behavior in relationship to two different areas.
We look first at verses
9-11 and a proper behavior ‘In Our Relationship To Service’.
My how suffering can give us a proper perspective in our service.
Peter admonishes us not to ‘render evil for evil’ and ‘railing
for railing’. The word ‘evil’ means worthless or
depraved behavior that has injurious or harmful affects. The word ‘railing’
means to slander or to bring reproach upon another. Let us remember
the little phrase we have heard all our lives. ‘If you can’t say
something nice, don’t say anything at all’ or ‘Do unto others
as you would have them do unto you’.
Peter tells us instead of
these responses let us ‘bless’ instead because it was
blessing we have been called unto. The word ‘blessing’ means
to eulogize or speak well of. We are told in verse 10 that if we
want to live a long life we should control our tongue. The tongue
tells the condition of the inside. The Bible says ‘from the
mouth the heart speaks’. Peter tells us to ‘refrain’ our
tongue. The word ‘refrain’ means to stop, to quit, to
desert, to bring to a consecrated end or to leave off.
Peter tells us in our
service to others to ‘eschew evil’, ‘do good’, and to
‘seek peace’. Job was known for eschewing evil. The word
means to violently avoid. In its place, ‘do good’. This
means beautiful, valuable, and virtuous behavior. We are admonished
to pursue peace, which is oneness with the Lord.
In verses 12-13 we are
confronted with a proper behavior ‘In Our Relationship To The
Sovereign’. Peter reminds us that the ‘eyes of the Lord’
are looking upon all we do. This should bring us peace as well as
fear in all our service. We are told that His ears are ever open to
our prayers. What a consolation of peace in our suffering that will
affect our service. We are told that His face is against the evil,
but for the righteous. Let us be followers of ‘good’. (To
burn with zeal for.) We can rest in the fact that nothing can come
near to harm us beyond the ordaining work of the Sovereign God we
serve. No wonder Job could reach out to serve others when all
around his soul was giving way.