If you visit a zoo, you might get the idea that lions are merely oversized kitties whose favorite activity is napping in the warm sun. The strong fence separating us hardly seems necessary. But in their natural habitats, lions are fearsome carnivores capable of hunting and killing almost any other land animal...and us as well!
No wonder Peter warned his readers: “Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (v. 8). After addressing elders (see yesterday’s study), he went on in today’s reading to exhort the church as a whole. Our responsibility is to submit to our leaders (v. 5). “All of you,” Peter also admonished, “clothe yourselves with humility toward one another.” To clothe ourselves is a biblical metaphor for “putting on” Christlikeness (see Rom. 13:14). These days we dress “business casual” for work or shorts and a t-shirt to a ballgame. What do we “put on” as we follow Christ?
We should humble ourselves before God (v. 6), trusting Him to help and encourage us at just the right time. That’s also why we cast our anxieties on Him (v. 7; see Ps. 55:22). Faith is the cure for worry! Faith is how we stand firm and resist the devil (vv. 8–9). We should be vigilant and watchful, because he’s always looking for ways to attack and injure us. He hates to see us grow and follow in the footsteps of Christ.
As he closes this first letter, Peter offers a word of benediction and blessing (vv. 10–11). Our present suffering is only for “a little while,” but our final restoration or finished redemption will be eternal. Our present and future are full of God’s grace, power, and glory!
>> As you get dressed tomorrow (or even today if you’re reading early), consider what else you are “putting on.” How can you “put on” humility? How will beginning with humility in mind change your day?
Humility is one of the hardest virtues. Yet what is humility if not acknowledgment of truth? To be humble means knowing Your holiness and power, while understanding our weakness and dependence on You. Teach us humility, Father.