by D’Angelo Joyce
The Christian is called to suffer (1 Peter 2:21) and we are called to have genuine love toward our brothers so that we may inherit a blessing (1 Peter 3:9). He calls us to love life, to see good days and to have our prayers answered (1 Peter 3:10-12).
What a consolation these admonitions would have been to those who were enduring heated trials (1 Peter 1:7). These blessings do not nullify mistreatment.
Though the chances of harm decrease among a person who lives righteously, righteous living will bring about persecution (1 Peter 3:13; Matthew 5:10-11).
In such instances, when confronted with danger, the man of God faces the temptation to fear as other men outside the provision of Christ.
Peter admonishes the brothers in his day to remember the words of Isaiah the prophet(Isaiah 8:12-13; cf. 1 Peter 3:14-15).
The hearts of the people of Judah in Isaiah’s day “trembled like trees of a forest shaking in a wind” (Isaiah 7:2).
They feared the destruction through war. God would quickly dispose of Rezin and Pekah through the Assyrian army (Isaiah 7:4-9, Isaiah 8:4).
Nested within this judgment were the burning rays of light found in the Messianic hope (Isaiah 7:14-15). Sadly, many disparaging the promises of God feared the hosts, but not the Lord of hosts.
They began consulting spirits, but not the Spirit (Isaiah 8:19). They made alliances with foreign nations to insure their security (Isaiah 8:12). Instead they were admonished to “regard only the Lord of hosts as holy…He will be a sanctuary.”
To those who rebelled–they would stumble, fall, and be broken (Isaiah 8:14-15). Yet when the floods of destruction came the way of Judah, they could cry “Immanuel!”– “God is with us” (Isaiah 8:8-10) Let’s note this rich text’s relevance for today (1 Peter 3:14-15).
While these verses were probably more relevant to Christians in the days of physical persecution, Christians today, have a very real reason to fear and to be troubled. We must resist the temptation to react to destructive political policies out of fear and worry. Peter admonishes us to submit to men in authority even the crooked and despotic (1 Peter 2:12-7, 18).
This ensures that we do not bring reproach upon God because of our zealotry but bring glory to him who deserves all (2:11-12). We have no reason to fear but regard the Lord as holy and as a sanctuary.
Peter, with an inspired stroke of his pen, declares Jesus as the LORD (Yahweh) This is an insurmountable claim of Christ being Yahweh. We serve a Messiah who is God–praise be to his name! May we never fear mankind.
Those who oppose the will of God and do not believe the truth, stumble similarly to the men of Isaiah’s day (Isaiah 8:14-15), at the chief corner stone—the Christ himself (1 Peter 2:7-8).
Where as we, as God’s chosen race, royal priesthood, holy nation, people of his possession, will never be put to shame (1 Peter 2:6). God is our sanctuary (1 Peter 2:4-5; Isaiah 8:13.)
When the floods feel as though they are coming up to our necks and we need deliverance. We must always remember to cry “Immanuel!”—“God is with us,” (Matthew 1:23; Isaiah 7:14, 8:8-10) as we are “casting all our cares upon him,” because he truly does care for us (1
Because of these great blessings that we have through Immanuel we can, “give a reason for the hope that is with in us” (1 Peter 3:15).
Yet, we must be careful, lest we boast to arrogantly and give the enemy occasion for denounce the Christian life (1 Peter 3:17). Christians, we must always give this defense with “gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:16). Amen.
D’Angelo is currently with the Boonville church of Christ. He is married to Terica Joyce and they live in Boonville Mo. He is a graduate of the Memphis School of Preaching and Amridge University.