The Lord is patient

“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).  

Today, I will meditate upon our passage from Peter’s point of view, as he endeavoured to encourage his readers to stand firm in their belief and not be swayed by the false teachings so prevalent at that time.

Peter refers to two main groups in this passage: the prophets, the Apostles and the Lord, on one hand, and “the scoffers” on the other hand. These were the two “voices” that the church was hearing: the voice of God’s Word and the voice of the scoffers. The church needed to be made aware of the “false” voice and encouraged to listen to the true voice – God’s “voice”. 

Peter calls on his readers to remember/recall the words spoken in the past – the word of God. 

In order to remember we have to have heard or read God’s Word.

The scoffers’ voice was raising the question, “Where is this coming he promised?…” (v.4). It was a rhetorical question, implying that “the coming” is not going to come. Almost as if saying, “Folks, “the coming” is not going to happen because its timing is long past due. Go on living as you please…nothing is going to happen.”

Because that is how Peter understood it. Let’s look at the way he answered the “problem” created by the scoffers’ teaching.

He pointed out that the world was created by water and through water. Now, you may ask, “What has water to do with “the coming” of the Lord?

The world was created by water and through water. And it was good. 

Yet God’s judgment caused the world to be destroyed by the same element (vv.5-6). God didn’t hesitate to bring judgment upon the good world that He created. Peter is pointing out that the scoffers “forgot” something that God’s judgment is real. Just as the flood was an expression of God’s justice then, so the coming of the Lord will (also) be an expression of God’s justice (long overdue). The obvious question is: “Are you ready for that day?”