The Berean Expositor Volume 52 - Page 161 of 207 Index | Zoom |
"Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation
against them before the Lord. But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and
destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in
their own corruption" (2: 11 and 12).
Peter and some of the other apostles had revelations of the powers and limitations of
the angels which are hidden from us. Of those denounced in verse 12 we cannot
therefore give examples. Certain it is that offences like those of Ananias and Sapphira
(Acts 5:) were swiftly judged and punished. The present age of grace has no counterpart.
"And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot
in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own
deceivings while they feast with you; having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease
from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices;
cursed children" (2: 13 and 14).
2: 15 - 3: 4.
pp. 58 - 60
For some in those days who were in possession of a gift of the Holy Spirit there may
well have been a temptation to hold superiority over others, and this in turn enticed them
to exact pecuniary advantage or sway over the opposite sex. Satan knows how to fit the
temptation to the character of the one deceived. Verse 15 quotes the example of Balaam
(see Numb. 22:) who, says Peter, "loved the wages of unrighteousness". The privilege
of participation in the Lord's plans devolves on us great responsibility, but also severe
judgment for betrayal of trust. In the mercy of God we are at times kept from sin as
Balaam by the voice of his ass. Let us not hesitate to accept the truth of this miracle, for
Peter by inspiration makes use of it as a valid example of God's power and mercy.
"Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of
Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; but was rebuked for
his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man's voice forbad the madness of the prophet"
(2: 15, 16).
Peter now continues to denounce those who preaching to believers with a great show
of spirituality, nevertheless have no virtue in their message and rather are leading their
flock into paths that appeal to the flesh.
"These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the
mist of darkness is reserved for ever. For when they speak great swelling words of
vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that
were clean escaped from them who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they
themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is
he brought in bondage. For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through
the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and
overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning" (2: 17-20).