2 Peter 2:9 — Then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment,
My father was a good dad to me. He provided for me, took me to games and movies, and threw a baseball out in the yard with me. I cannot make many complaints about his faithfulness as a dad. He also punished me when needed. His wrath was always tempered, but it was real. My dad has zero traces of anger in his personality. He is a very even-tempered individual by nature. But if I disobeyed, ignored him, or demonstrated an attitude with him, the punishment could be swift and severe.
I remember one time as a kid coloring in the bed with a flashlight under the covers. This was not allowed. It was bedtime and the lights were off. That meant no more toys or playing. When he came into the room and turned the lights on, I collapsed into the sheets and went frozen. When he said my name, I came up from the covers, looking as if he had woken me, and gently nudged the crayons into the sides of the mattress. He asked what I was doing. I lied. When he pulled the covers back and discovered my activity, I got a spanking. I’ve never forgotten that event.
Our passage today reminds us of the wrath of God, and how His love for people does not eliminate His righteous wrath for sin. He is a God who Peter says, “knows how to rescue the godly.” God has done this for each of us in countless ways. But Peter reminds us that God also keeps “the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment.” This means that God does not wink at sin. We know a judgment is coming for all who rebel and scorn God. But we are told that He is not looking away in the meantime. The ungodly remain under His punishment, and sometimes that means He does not restrain their sin and rebellion. The wrath of God sometimes plays out in God’s willingness to let us do what we please rather than restraining it. He is wise and just, always acting in accordance with His holy character.
Reflection & Journal:
- Why is the wrath of God an unpopular and misunderstood subject?
- How can God’s wrath be displayed in the world today?
- How can individuals escape the wrath of God? What is our hope for avoiding the wrath of God?
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