The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly - The preservation and deliverance of Lot gave the apostle occasion to remark, that God knew as well to save as to destroy; and that his goodness led him as forcibly to save righteous Lot, as his justice did to destroy the rebellious in the instances already adduced. And the design of the apostle in producing these examples is to show to the people to whom he was writing that, although God would destroy those false teachers, yet he would powerfully save his faithful servants from their contagion and from their destruction. We should carefully observe,
3. That he will be delivered out of it.
The Lord knoweth - That is, the cases referred to show that God is able to deliver his people when tempted, and understands the best way in which it should be done. He sees a way to do it when we cannot, though it is often a way which we should not have thought of. He can send an angel to take his tempted people by the hand; he can interpose and destroy the power of the tempter; he can raise up earthly friends; he can deliver his people completely and forever from temptation, by their removal to heaven.
And to reserve the unjust - As he does the rebel angels, 2 Peter 2:4. The case of the angels shows that God can keep wicked men, as if under bonds, reserved for their final trial at his bar. Though they seem to go at large, yet they are under his control, and are kept by him with reference to their ultimate arraignment.
The disciples marveled at Christ's words when He said, “Lazarus is dead. And I am glad ... that I was not there.” Did the Saviour by His own choice avoid the home of His suffering friends? Apparently Mary and Martha and the dying Lazarus were left alone. But they were not alone. Christ beheld the whole scene, and after the death of Lazarus the bereaved sisters were upheld by His grace. Jesus witnessed the sorrow of their rent hearts, as their brother wrestled with his strong foe, death. He felt every pang of anguish, as He said to His disciples, “Lazarus is dead.” But Christ had not only the loved ones at Bethany to think of; He had the training of His disciples to consider. They were to be His representatives to the world, that the Father's blessing might embrace all. For their sake He permitted Lazarus to die. Had He restored him from illness to health, the miracle that is the most positive evidence of His divine character, would not have been performed. DA 528.1
Had Christ been in the sickroom, Lazarus would not have died; for Satan would have had no power over him. Death could not have aimed his dart at Lazarus in the presence of the Life-giver. Therefore Christ remained away. He suffered the enemy to exercise his power, that He might drive him back, a conquered foe. He permitted Lazarus to pass under the dominion of death; and the suffering sisters saw their brother laid in the grave. Christ knew that as they looked on the dead face of their brother their faith in their Redeemer would be severely tried. But He knew that because of the struggle through which they were now passing their faith would shine forth with far greater power. He suffered every pang of sorrow that they endured. He loved them no less because He tarried; but He knew that for them, for Lazarus, for Himself, and for His disciples, a victory was to be gained. DA 528.2
“For your sakes,” “to the intent ye may believe.” To all who are reaching out to feel the guiding hand of God, the moment of greatest discouragement is the time when divine help is nearest. They will look back with thankfulness upon the darkest part of their way. “The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly,” 2 Peter 2:9. From every temptation and every trial He will bring them forth with firmer faith and a richer experience. DA 528.3Read in context »
If there are those who think that they are making large sacrifices for the work, let them consider the sacrifice that Christ made in their behalf. The human race was under sentence of death, but the Son of God clothed His divinity with humanity, and came to this world to live and die in our behalf. He came to stand against the host of fallen angels. We must have a Defender, and when our Defender came, He was clothed with humanity; for He must be subject to all the temptations wherewith man is beset, that He might understand how to deliver the godly out of temptation. He took His stand at the head of the fallen race, that men and women might be enabled to stand on vantage ground. LHU 38.2Read in context »
The Lord is soon to come. In fire and flood and earthquake, He is warning the inhabitants of this earth of His soon approach. O that the people might know the time of their visitation! We have no time to lose. We must make more determined efforts to lead the people of the world to see that the day of judgment is near at hand. Carefully prepared literature on the significance of the scenes we are now witnessing is to be circulated everywhere. Our understanding is to be quickened by the Holy Spirit. O if our people would feel as they should the responsibility resting upon them to give the last message of mercy to the world, what a wonderful work would be done! A thousand times more work for God might be accomplished if all His children would fully consecrate themselves to Him, using their talents aright.—The Review and Herald, May 24, 1906. PM 313.1Read in context »