(Today’s post by Tim David)
1 Peter 5
Fishermen aren’t exactly known for being affectionate or patient. If you’ve ever watched the show “Deadliest Catch,” that’s what I think of when I think of career fishermen. What always has stood out to me was the way they talked to each other. There isn’t a word wasted, even the ones that are “bleebed” out. When the captain gives instruction, it’s not usually for his benefit. More times than not, some young guy’s done something stupid that’s going to get him killed. Let’s remember, Peter is a fisherman by trade who was called by Jesus. Here he is, later in life just trying to encourage a group of churches. Another observation from the show is these guys treat each other like they are brothers of an elite fraternity.
Digging into Peter’s last set of instructions for this epistle are notable, because they indicate there is a problem here. The term “elder” usually represents age, but in this passage and another found in Acts, we see the new position in the church that hadn’t existed before. But I think one of the most important aspects from Peter’s instruction to both the elders and “young men” is found in verse 5, “…And all of you, serve each other in humility…” (NLT) I can’t help but chuckle here thinking back to Peter as a disciple, before he was an apostle. This is the same guy who said he wouldn’t deny Christ, only to deny him 3x’s that night. Peter had a pride/self-assurance problem that held him back…but I think his point of change came when he was forgiven by Christ by the seashore when Peter had been out fishing. Now, writing retrospectively, Peter gives us all the secret to the church living in harmony…serve each other in humilty. If we can get that right, then verses 8 and 9 are possible. When the church is operating in harmony with each other, the devil doesn’t have enough power to devour it. Peter points out that even though this group of churches are being persecuted…they weren’t alone. It’s not they had it hard, all Christians had it hard.
Just in case we didn’t get it earlier, Peter writes in verse 12: “My purpose in writing is to encourage you and assure you that what you are experiencing is truly part of God’s grace for you. Stand firm in this grace.” What a thought! These churches could very well have thought that they were doing something wrong and that’s what brought this persecution. Other churches may have even joined in on this thought. God doesn’t keep a cosmic account that determines either our ease or difficulty. Peter is writing as the “Rock” that Christ built his church on…giving instruction and hope!
So my takeaway here is this: No matter what I face, I am not alone – this goes for either mountain top or valley experiences. Am I allowing Satan to let me think I’m all alone out here? Do I really believe that where I’m at is exactly where I’m supposed to be?
May Christ’s love be enough for you!