“And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts,knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”
Peter, in his second letter, spends much of his time in rousing his readers to beware of false prophets. In fact, he devotes the second chapter to that very theme. But he sets it up by pointing the faithful to the light, the very Word of God. In the passage above, Peter gives us reasons to highly treasure the Word of truth.
He first mentions that the word is confirmed and that we would “do well to pay attention.” It is, after all, “a lamp shining in a dark place.” We live in a dark place, as he will describe in Chapter two. But we cannot even properly define darkness apart from knowing the truth. He clearly identifies the truth with the very Word of God. So, in this dark world God’s people need to refresh their souls with long drinks from God’s Word. As we read, we need to “pay attention.” God’s Word reveals both light and darkness. The Word of God is 100 percent truth, and so gives light. But it also equips us to spot darkness whenever we see it. Therefore, we need to pay close attention to it, or we risk getting swallowed up by the surrounding darkness.
The prophetic word does not come to us from some writer’s own imagination. So-called sages from every age have claimed divine inspiration for their utterances, but human writings and speeches fall short of the divine standard. True prophecy was not produced by human effort, but by the supernatural operation of the Holy Spirit working with inspired writers of old. The Bible acknowledges the presence of false prophets (2 Peter 2; 1 John 2:18-23; 4:1-6; Jude 3-16, and many other places), and commands us to denounce their teachings (Titus 1:9-16). We cannot possibly perform that task if we do not ourselves know the truth. We, therefore, need to take in the Word of God each day in order to know the truth and to fully obey God. When we become knowledgeable students of God’s Word, we can then shine that light in dark places and do good.
How do we get to know God’s Word? We should always meet with God at a set time and place, and take strategic steps to guard against anything that would take us away from that meeting. We should come prayed up asking God to reveal His truth to us. We should also avail ourselves of God-given teachers gifted by God to instruct us. We should consider buying a good reference Bible, such as the English Standard Version Study Bible, and work our way through Holy Scripture with the study aids provided.
If we think the going will be easy, we set ourselves up for a tumble. We need to allocate quality time because God deserves no less. Those who give scant attention to God’s Word will give scant attention to God. We need to “pay attention,” close attention, and then apply His truth to the situations of life. What a supreme joy to possess the greatest source of light known to mankind: the Word of God. Let’s get busy with our task of knowing it, doing it, teaching it, and loving it. God reserves His choicest blessings for those who take the time to know Him.
Posted on Fri, May 29, 2015
by Sam Petitfils