Today’s Reading: 1 Peter 2:11-3:7
The word “submit” is the key to this section. This word is very closely related to the word “humility.” To submit requires humility. Yet, most people, regardless of age, find it hard to submit to others.
Who do unsubmissive people despise the most? Government officials, employers, teachers, police officers. What is the one thing that all of these people have in common? They all have a position of authority. These people are often not liked because people naturally don’t want to submit to their authority.
How does this fit into our everyday life, well Peter teaches that an employee should submit to his employer (2:18-20).
Peter is talking to household servants who received wages for what they did in the household. It would be easy for them to submit to masters who were gentle and kind, but Peter encouraged loyalty and persistence even in the face of unjust treatment.
The closest equivalent today is the employer/employee relationship. Some people have good bosses and some have bad bosses. Yet, the majority of workers do not particularly like their bosses. Why? Because the boss tells you what to do, and we don’t like to be told what to do. We want to do our own thing.
Today we have more rights than the servants whom Peter was addressing. Often a servant was beaten by his master. Many times they were beaten wrongfully. What does Peter say about this? Is a servant to be excused from submitting if this happens? No, he is to submit regardless of how he is treated. Peter writes that it is “thankworthy” when a servant endures wrongful suffering. That word “thankworthy” means “pleasing to God.”
We ought to be the model worker, setting an example. Sinclair Ferguson said that “Twentieth-century man needs to be reminded at times that work is not the result of the Fall. Man was made to work, because the God who made him was a “working God.” Man was made to be creative, with his mind and his hands. Work is part of the dignity of his existence.”
Martin Luther: – The idea that the service to God should have only to do with a church altar, singing, reading, sacrifice, and the like is without doubt but the worst trick of the devil. How could the devil have led us more effectively astray than by the narrow conception that service to God takes place only in church and by works done therein… The whole world could abound with services to the Lord…not only in churches but also in the home, kitchen, workshop, field.