The Berean Expositor
Volume 51 - Page 98 of 181
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"Likewise you husbands, live considerately with your wives, bestowing honour on the
woman as the weaker sex, since you are joint heirs of the grace of life, in order that your
prayers may not be hindered" (3: 7, R.S.V.).
The A.V. gives "husbands dwell with them according to knowledge" which means in
harmony with the life you experience with your wife, the giving and allowances being
made when necessary as the wife is the one God has put in the man's care. When I asked
my father-in-law if I could marry his daughter, he said with a twinkle, "don't forget to
bear and forbear". We have often laughed about the bears but what good advice it was.
"Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one for another, love as brethren,
be pitiful (tender hearted), be courteous: not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing
(injurious speaking): but contrariwise (rather) blessing (speaking well of); knowing that
ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing" (3: 8, 9).
The calling of Ephesians specifically states that the response in their lives would
redound to the glory of the grace that God had bestowed upon them. In the words "ye
should inherit a blessing" (be well spoken of in resurrection) it would seem that those
who followed this ideal attitude to others, whether friends or enemies, would have their
share in glorifying our wonderful God of grace and love and justifying to others the
patient long suffering and mercy He had extended to Peter's brethren even as He does to
us today. Paul's injunction to the Ephesian in 4: 2 has a similar appeal "Endeavouring
to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace". Harmony and love towards each
other is a training ground for that future unity with God the Father in whose presence all
discord and enmity is banished.
"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 (turn from, refrain from) 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 to their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do
evil" (3: 10-12).
As we have traced our way through this letter of Peter we see him continually pointing
his brethren to the Father, His Son and His Word, feeding the sheep as his Lord asked.
These three verses he has quoted from Psa. 34: 12-16. The Psalmist introduces these
verses by saying:
"Come ye children, hearken unto me, I will teach you the fear of the Lord."
How appropriate for Peter to extract these verses from David's psalm. In Peter's day
as in David's day God had His people continually in view, chastening, succouring and
rewarding. James had much to say as to how the tongue could offend (3: 5). It is
salutary that God thought it wise to repeat these three verses after 1000 years had elapsed
from David's day. We might ask too how appropriate they would be today. As we look
out of our window on the world through our daily newspaper, we read into every headline
the lack of peace and understanding between all sorts and classes of people. Political
views and economic panaceas are mostly not truthfully expressed and are not without
bias. There is often no desire to understand those with whom we disagree.