The whole point of Jesus’s parable about the sower and the soil was for the farmer to have a harvest. The importance of the seed taking root, growing full heads of grain, and being harvested was the key.
Peter took it in stride that all human beings are enslaved—either to God in Christ, or to Satan and darkness. The apostles taught there was no middle ground. Our question today, however, particularly in the west, and even more particularly in such places as the United States, is, “How much free will do humans actually have?”
This last part of chapter 2 opens up much-discussed topics: human freedom and that grey area between claims of faith and falling away from faith.
It is an exact corollary to what Peter—and Jude—were speaking in such strong terms against. It was the Gnostic cancer, threatening to infect the entire church.
Maybe the catch word for us, as it surely was for Peter’s readers, who knew this story very well, is Have No Fear. Even despite mistakes, wrong choices, sin, and anything else, nothing can derail God’s plans for God’s people.
As surprising as it might be for you and I to hear a donkey speak, Balaam seems to have taken it in his stride, for he answered his donkey, as though this were a perfectly ordinary part of his day. It is actually more astonishing that Balaam should have answered in the way he did!
Jesus said, Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. But Balaam’s pride was in his way, his confidence that he could manipulate Almighty God into cooperating with Balaam’s greed. Balaam could not see God.
These were newish Christians, still in the early stages of having their faith anchored in truth. What a precarious time it was for the first century church.
It complicates things, does it not? When scripture specifically describes Lot and Noah as righteous, then carefully records their drunkenness and sexual deviance.
All of us are shaped by the culture we grow up in, and Lot’s wife and family were no different. Though Lot knew God, it seems he had little influence on his family or the society he kept.