We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.
2 PETER 1:19
“Something completely reliable.” Mark Dever says that the book of 2 Peter is all about certainty.
Certainty is defined as “the firm conviction that something is the case,” it has the “the quality of being reliably true…a fact that is definitely true or an event that is definitely going to take place.”
We humans yearn for certainty, but are constantly frustrated in that pursuit. Daniel Boorstein, the former historian and head of the Library of Congress, wrote a book called THE IMAGE back in 1960. His book explains how in our desire to create certainty, to control everything around us, we have rather achieved fog.
“We have used our wealth, our literacy, our technology, and our progress to create the thicket of unreality which stands between us and the facts of life.
We expect too much of the world. Our expectations are extravagant in the precise dictionary sense of the word — ‘going beyond the limits of reason or moderation.’ They are excessive.
We expect our house not only to shelter us, to keep us warm in winter and cool in summer, but to relax us, to dignify us, to encompass us with soft music and interesting hobbies, to be a playground, a theater, and a bar.
We expect our two-week vacation to be romantic, exotic, cheap, and effortless. We expect a faraway atmosphere if we go to a nearby place; and we expect everything to be relaxing, sanitary, and Americanized if we go to a faraway place.
We expect new heroes every season, a literary masterpiece every month, a dramatic spectacular every week, a rare sensation every night… We expect anything and everything. We expect the contradictory and the impossible. We expect compact cars which are spacious; luxurious cars which are economical.
We expect to be rich and charitable, powerful and merciful, active and reflective, kind and competitive. We expect to be inspired by mediocre appeals for ‘excellence,’ to be made literate by illiterate appeals for literacy.
We expect to eat and stay thin, to be constantly on the move and ever more neighborly, to go to a ‘church of our choice’ and yet feel its guiding power over us, to revere God and to be God. Never have people been more the masters of their environment. Yet never has a people felt more deceived and disappointed.”
The great London preacher C. H. Spurgeon preached a sermon at a time when that city was experiencing intense and prolonged fog.
“Faith believes what her God has told her; but by reason of the putrid air in which we live, how little do we understand of what we believe! When those around us boastingly cry, “We see,” how easy it is to detect their blindness. Those who claim to know all things,—who are incapable of further enlightenment,—whose creed is made of cast iron and can never be altered,—these are the most blind of us all, or else they dwell amidst the thickest and densest mists.
Surely, we are in a fog—the best of us feel the dread shadow of the fall hovering over us. O Sun of Righteousness shine forth! Remove our darkness; in thy light let us see light; then will our glad voices ring indeed, when we shall see thee as thou art, and shall be like thee! We would not give up what little we do see of our Beloved for all the world, for though it be but a glimpse, it is, nevertheless, a vision so blessed that it enables us to wait patiently until we shall see “the king in his beauty, and the land that is very far off.”’
God’s word has (is) the antidote to this dis-ease, this fog we are surrounded with. And so this fall, 2 Peter will serve to remind us of the certainties we have in Christ, and the hope we have that is unshakable, because the Kingdom we are part of is unshakable.
This Sunday Erik Thoennes will be introducing Peter’s second letter to us, followed by a memorized recitation of the book by Timothy Pinkham. Be praying that we will listen to the words as a “prophetic message that is completely reliable.” And may the truth of God’s word enlighten the dark places of our hearts and minds, so that the day dawns and the morning star rises in our hearts.