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September 6, 2009

As I studied for this Sunday, I was wrapped up in 1 Peter 1.22-2.3. I found some things I probably hadn’t noticed before, namely how important Peter viewed the responsibility of the believer to love his brothers and sisters in Christ.

But, as I worked through Peter’s quote of Isaiah 40, I was strongly encouraged.

Since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; for “All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever.”

–  1 Peter 1.23-25

You have to ask yourself the contextual question here. Obviously, Peter is talking about the source of their new birth. But remember who he is talking to, a group of believers who are being taken to task around every corner, a group of Christ-followers who are being tormented by their society, a group of disciples who are being persecuted by most everyone in their culture.

Put yourself in their position. Begin questioning a lot of what is happening around you. Look longingly towards Heaven, not challenging God, but with the heartfelt emotion of confusion, and, dare I say it, disappointment. It would seem that God was wrong, that He fell asleep, that we were in much trouble.

But then Peter quotes Isaiah, and brings us back to where we need to be, a place where we remember the difference between our surrounding circumstances and people, who on their best day are simply flowers beginning to wilt, and God and His Word, which are never failing, never faltering, never ending. The reminder comes full circle when we grasp onto the mighty Truth that this represents in their/our current circumstances; the reminder that our God and His purposes will never be trumped. That no matter what our circumstances appear to be, He can be/is to be trusted, just like Habakkuk said.

Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. GOD, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places.

– Habakkuk 3.17-19

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