“Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” – 2 Peter 1:2-4
The promises of God are not only great but precious, the Apostle declares. Gifts may be regarded as precious for various reasons, some of which might be:- The giver: Many of us treasure some small, probably not very valuable things, that is, not valuable in the eyes of others, but because they came to us from a parent, a loved one,
a Christian friend, they are priceless to us. Our great and precious promises are the gift of God, our loving Father, who so loved us each one that He gave His beloved and only-begotten Son for our salvation.
The price: There is a wonderful story out of the life of David recorded in 2 Samuel 23:15-17, which reads: “And David longed, and said, Oh that one would give me drink of the water of the well of Bethlehem, which is by the gate! And the three mighty men brake through the host of the Philistines, and drew water out of the well of Bethlehem, that was by the gate, and took it, and brought it to David: nevertheless he would not drink thereof, but poured it out
unto the Lord. And he said, Be it far from me, O Lord, that I should do this: is not this the blood of men that went in jeopardy of their lives? Therefore he would not drink it.”
The gift David received on that occasion was merely a portion of water, but was purchased at so great a price – the hazarding of three lives – that he could do nothing other than pour it out in offering to God, so precious was it in David’s sight. Peter tells us in 1 Peter 1:18-19: “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, ….but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without spot or blemish.” Like David, how can we do other than offer such dearly bought gifts back to Him in grateful service and obedience?
The value: It is sometimes said that ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’ and so in the case of a gift its value may depend on the appreciation or otherwise of the recipient. We read in Hebrews 11:26 that Moses chose ‘rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season, esteeming the reproach of the Anointed greater riches than the treasures in Egypt, for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward.” This surely is also the viewpoint of the faithful followers of Jesus today: Of all such, it can be truly said “unto you therefore which believe, he (Jesus) is precious” (1 Peter 2:7).
The certainty: Even the best-sounding promises are of no value unless there is absolute confidence in the sincerity and ability to perform of the giver. So as well as greatness and preciousness, the promises need to be certain of fulfillment, and here the Word of God thoroughly assures us: “Let us hold fast the profession of our faith for He is faithful who promised.” (Heb 10:23) “For all the promises of God in him (Jesus) are yea and in him amen, to the glory of God by
us” (2 Cor.1:20) The nature of God himself, with whom is no variableness neither shadow of turning, and the finished work of Christ are the Christian’s ironclad guarantee of the fulfillment of
all the divine promises. Each one of God’s dear children has
furthermore been sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, the
earnest or pledge of the rich inheritance which God has
The scope: In earlier times ‘promise boxes’ were fairly common among Christian people and these held perhaps 200 or so little scrolls with a Scripture promise which could be selected for daily reading and encouragement. The Word of God itself is the great storehouse of all His promises and these relate not only to the eternal life and joy and peace and glory which are laid up for all who are faithful unto death, but also the assurance of our Savior’s constant presence and of His grace and strength in every time of need and of His peace within our hearts.
The prospect: 1 John 3:2 reads – “Beloved, now are we the sons of God and it doth not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when He shall appear we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.” What a prospect! Can we really comprehend it, to see Him as He is? And also in Rev.3:21: “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I overcame and am set down with
my Father in His throne.” What a privilege, what a prize, what a Saviour!
Further, we have present promises in Matt.28:20: “Lo I am with you always, even unto the end of the age”, in Hebrews 13:5: “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee” and in 2 Cor.12:9: “My grace is sufficient for thee.”
The purpose: Turning again to the Apostle’s words in 2 Peter 1:3 and 4, we see that all of God’s provisions including the gift of exceeding great and precious promises are all designed to guide Christians in the paths of new life and righteousness in Christ, to foster development of character and Christian graces so that ultimately they can be made partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
The full realization of this share in the divine nature awaits the completion of the earthly course, but even now we can rejoice in what God has already revealed to us and in us of His love and mercy and goodness through His dear Son, our Savior.
Our loving Heavenly Father is the great author of all the exceeding great and precious promises of His Word. In response let us continue in our personal resolve to –
· Daily take more and more to our hearts and savor the full riches of God’s grace toward us
· Daily lay hold on all His precious promises, not only of future glory but of present help and strength along the narrow way.
“Faithful is He who calleth you, who also will do it.” 1 Thess 5:24 (Amen)