The Weakest Link
Holy Spirit, let Your living water flow through me, refreshing all who thirst for righteousness.
Read 2 Peter 2:10b–22
 This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the flesh and despise authority. Bold and arrogant, they are not afraid to heap abuse on celestial beings;  yet even angels, although they are stronger and more powerful, do not heap abuse on such beings when bringing judgment on them from the Lord.  But these people blaspheme in matters they do not understand. They are like unreasoning animals, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like animals they too will perish.  They will be paid back with harm for the harm they have done. Their idea of pleasure is to carouse in broad daylight. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their pleasures while they feast with you.  With eyes full of adultery, they never stop sinning; they seduce the unstable; they are experts in greed-an accursed brood!  They have left the straight way and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam son of Bezer, who loved the wages of wickedness.  But he was rebuked for his wrongdoing by a donkey-an animal without speech-who spoke with a human voice and restrained the prophet’s madness.  These people are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them.  For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of the flesh, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error.  They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity-for “people are slaves to whatever has mastered them.”  If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and are overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning.  It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them.  Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,” and, “A sow that is washed returns to her wallowing in the mud.” Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat attitude does the passage call for?
Once, at a social gathering, a so-called psychic tried to impose his “powers” on us. The Christians among us resisted his attentions, so he directed his efforts into offering a “prediction” to a teenage girl, there with her parents. Deceivers may have surface appeal but it won’t be long before they launch a grab for control of the weakest link (18). Liars win us over with lies that deliver quick-fix gratification (13,19) but can’t sustain us (17). Think about an occasion when you chose compromise over obedience. How does the new nature Jesus gave you make sin seem more horrifying, now that you’re a washed sheep, not a dirty pig (22)?! It’s easy for the immature in Christ to be taken in, for liars masquerade, like Satan, as “angels of light” to deceive (2 Cor. 11:14,15). How then do we respond to evil when we see it? We begin with ourselves in humble confession to God. As Augustine of Hippo advises, “Never fight evil as if it were something that arose totally outside of yourself.” Then, in God’s mercy and God’s strength we should try to save those who have been deceived, “snatching them from the fire” (Jude 1:23).
Is Jesus Master in your life’s daily details, or is something competing with him? Deal with it ruthlessly!
Father, make me alert and sober, standing on behalf of the weak.