“For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved. For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first” (2 Peter 2:19-20, ESV).
Peter speaks here of false teachers who “bring in destructive heresies” (II Peter 2:1) and the people they lead astray with these detrimental teachings. If you succumb to these false teachings or their teacher, then you are a slave to whatever is controlling you.
“How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in harmony! It is like fine oil on the head, running down on the beard, running down Aaron’s beard onto his robes. It is like the dew of Hermon falling on the mountains of Zion. For there the Lord has appointed the blessing—life forevermore” (Psalm 133, HCSB).
While it may be the gathering of God’s people at Jerusalem during one of the annual festivals that inspired the Psalmist to write this brief reflection, he assures us that God’s blessing abounds wherever brotherly love among God’s people abounds.
And what is the blessing that emanates from living in harmony with one another?
“Now if you will obey me and keep my covenant, you will be my own special treasure from among all the peoples on earth; for all the earth belongs to me. And you will be my kingdom of priests, my holy nation.” Two months after the Isrealites left Egypt they arrived at Mt. Sinai. Moses climbed the mountain and received special instructions from the Lord to prepare the people of Israel to make a covenant with God. The covenant at Sinai called Israel to absolute loyalty to Him as their God and to a lifestyle that reflected His nature and His will through obedience to His law. While the Sinai covenant was good, it was incapable of enabling the Israelites to follow its commands. It is not until God graciously bestowed His Spirit that human beings were able to obey God’s commands. By the sacrifice of Christ and the coming of the Holy Spirit, God now makes it possible for us to be empowered by His Spirit to obey and fulfill His covenant plans for us to be His holy nation–like a kingdom where everyone is a priest. When you have His Spirit dwelling in you, then God has made you one of His special treasures and you can have a personal, priestly relationship with Him.
“They shall be like mighty men in battle, trampling the foe in the mud of the streets; they shall fight because the Lord is with them, and they shall put to shame the riders on horses.” Zechariah prophesied about the restoration of God’s chosen people saying that they would be would be transformed from wandering sheep into a majestic warhorse (vs. 3). Zechariah declared that God’s chosen people would be triumphant against all foes not because they are bigger or stronger but because of the Lord’s presence with them. Not only would God’s people be victorious, they would triumph even against the strongest of enemies. As we struggle with the problems of life that confront us, we don’t give up or give in–we fight on because the Lord is with us!