Even within Jesus’ inner circle, prideful, self-confident Peter had told Jesus he would never deny Him. Yet, three denials later, as he heard that rooster crow, he must have experienced the worst grief and humiliation of his life!
2 Kings 7 & 8
I Would Never ___________!
Three Denials Later
I couldn’t help thinking about today’s passage from proverbs when I read John 18 about Peter’s denial. Prideful, self-confident Peter had told Jesus he would never deny Him (Jn. 13.37).
Jesus had answered him, “Will you lay down your life for My sake? Most assuredly, I say to you, the rooster shall not crow till you have denied Me three times” (Jn. 13.38).
Now here in chapter 18 Jesus has been arrested:
15 And Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple. Now that disciple was known to the high priest, and went with Jesus into the courtyard of the high priest. 16 But Peter stood at the door outside. Then the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to her who kept the door, and brought Peter in. 17 Then the servant girl who kept the door said to Peter, “You are not also one of this Man’s disciples, are you?”
He said, “I am not.”
25 Now Simon Peter stood and warmed himself. Therefore they said to him, “You are not also one of His disciples, are you?”
He denied it and said, “I am not!”
26 One of the servants of the high priest, a relative of him whose ear Peter cut off, said, “Did I not see you in the garden with Him?” 27 Peter then denied again; and immediately a rooster crowed.
Can you imagine, three denials later, when he heard that rooster crow and the words of Jesus came flooding back? The heartbreak Peter must have felt! The shame!
In our pride, we too, often think we could never sin in “such and such” a way, so we let down the guardrails, pridefully thinking we can handle “it.”
So we start having lunch with a co-worker of the opposite sex, because … we’re just friends.
We contact an old flame on FaceBook just out of curiosity.
We go out with an unbeliever. After all, we’re not getting married! It’s just a date!
Or with a single woman who is pregnant or so emotionally involved with an unbeliever that she’s justifying why it’s OK to keep dating him or even marry him.
Or with someone whose spouse committed adultery after reconnecting on social media.
Let’s value our marriages, our testimonies, our relationships with God enough to realize, we’re all capable of being deceived and falling into Satan’s traps. The only way we can avoid them is by following the warnings in Scripture, by having courageous friends who will speak the truth to us, and by setting boundaries and keeping them.
Today’s Other Readings:
God’s Gracious Provision in Tough Economic Times
2 Kings 7 & 8:
God often used famine to bring judgment on rebellious nations, but He always provided for those who kept their eyes on Him.
You remember, in yesterday’s readings, Samaria was suffering from a terrible famine because the Syrians had the city under siege. It was a common method of warfare to cut off all the supplies to a city to starve them out. But now, at God’s instruction, and without a battle, the siege and consequent famine come to an end.
Then Elisha said, “Hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord: ‘Tomorrow about this time a seah of fine flour shall be sold for a shekel, and two seahs of barley for a shekel, at the gate of Samaria.’” (2 Kings 7.1).
God’s deliverance began with four lepers sitting in the gate of the city. As they talk about their situation, they realize if they go back into the city, they will starve to death with everyone else. If they stay where they are, they will starve, too. They think, why not surrender to the Syrian army in the hope they might find mercy. They realized they had nothing to lose, even if the Syrians killed them, they would be no worse off than they already were!
To their surprise, when they entered the camp, no one was there. God had caused them to hear what they believed was a great army and they had fled in terror, leaving behind their supplies and a great deal of wealth.
Then in chapter 8, the writer injects another story about famine and God’s provision. For a number of reasons, many Bible scholars believe this took place earlier chronologically. The famine in both cases came as a result of God’s judgment on idolatry and apostasy, but in both cases, we see God’s, ultimate provision. In chapter 7 the provision came as a result of God’s decree and without any requirement from His people (2 Kings 7.1). He simply extended grace to the whole city.
But in chapter 8, we see a beautiful illustration of God’s provision even in the midst of continued national judgment. He not only warned and provided for this woman, but when it was over, restored everything she had lost (2 Kings 8.1-6).
As believers, we need to keep our eyes on the Lord and trust in His provision, but we also need to heed the warnings that He provides, primarily through His written Word. God’s Word has much to say about wise living and, if heeded, can help us avoid many of the pitfalls that lead to disaster especially in tough economic times.
Deliverer to the Poor & Needy
Verse 12, “For He will deliver the needy when he cries, the poor also, and him who has no helper.”
God has always been the defender of the poor when they turn to Him is faith and humility.
Pride and Its Consequences
Verse 12, “Before destruction the heart of a man is haughty, and before honor is humility.”
16.18 says, “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.”
Another translation of verse 12 says, “Before everything falls apart a man’s heart is haughty …”
Too often, when we are in the most danger of a huge fall, we are the least open to wise counsel?
Let’s pray that God will give us friends who will speak truth to us when we seem blinded to it ourselves.
James 4. 6 says, “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Gain a greater understanding of how pride shows up in your life and learn to move from pride to humility from this powerful little book by Stuart Scott.
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