BOOK BY BOOK BIBLE STUDY
BIBLE STUDY LESSON
For the week beginning Sunday December 30, 2012
LIVING UNDER STRESS IN THE WORLD
(Obeying GOD is the solution to coping with stress)
1 Peter 2:18-25
In 1 Peter 2:18, the Greek word the apostle uses that is translated “slave” in some bible versions, is an incorrect or inaccurate translation. Here, the word used, “oiketes” (oy-ket-ace) means “a domestic servant”, not a slave, or someone who does not receive credit or wages for their labor. Here peter is saying, that, and let me put it in twenty-first century terms, an employee, or worker, must obey and respect the authority of his employer.
In fact, the word "slave" or "slaves" is translated from the original language only twice in all of scripture, once in the O. T. (Jeremiah 2:14) and once in the N. T. (Revelation 18:13). In all other occurrences the word "servant" is translated from the original Greek and Hebrew text, and not, the word slave.
The definition of the word "slave" is "one who is bound in servitude to another without payment for services". The word "servant", is defined as, "one who is employed to perform services, or one who is working off a debt one owes to another”. In biblical times, and, in today’s society, it was quite common for a person to trade menial services for money, food, or things. Then, and in today's society, those services that are performed are most often called “a job”.
Whenever we borrow from another person or entity, someone must work to repay that debt. The borrower is always the servant of the lender (Proverbs 22:7). When we get ourselves into debt, due to need, greed, or envy of what others have, stress can mount up as we become servants to our lenders, in addition, to being servants on our jobs. With maybe the exception of a house to live in (generally because, on average, houses are much too expensive to pay cash for, for the average person), we should not borrow money for any reason, and if we can pay cash for the house, we should.
GOD’s desire has always been that, we repent and start to obey HIM, for, obedience to GOD is far better than tithes and offerings, and, sacrifices (Psalm 50:7-14, Psalm 51:16-17, Jeremiah 6:18-20 & 7:21-23). Disobeying GOD and the desire to disobey GOD, always causes stress in the lives of those HE created. Above all else, we must see GOD as the ultimate authority both in Heaven, and, on earth. The very center of GOD’s Word (The Holy Bible) tells us that we must put our trust in GOD, and not in man (Psalm 118:8).
In the spiritual, and, the physical sense, anyone who is not a servant to GOD is a slave, or servant to man, and to the things of this world. In biblical times, and in many instances today, even the children of the borrower can end up working off the debts that their parents incurred. When we are in financial debt, the lender, in effect, owns us, and we become their servant in a very real sense. And when the lender dies, sometimes, we can become a servant to their offspring, by way of their inheritance, which would include that debt that we yet owed their parents.
Since all employers are not necessarily fair, honest, reasonable, and caring towards their employees, jobs can be stressful for anyone, Christian or non-Christian, however, Peter says, “GOD is pleased with us when we patiently endure their unfair treatment, and HE will accredit us for displaying GODly character before the world. And if we hold fast to that which we know to be right by GOD, (not being led outside of the Will of GOD by your employer), GOD will reward you for the hardship brought on because you were obedient to HIM, over your employer. However, GOD will not reward us when we bring hardship upon ourselves for wrongdoing in the workplace, or anywhere else (1 Peter 2:19-20).
JESUS “suffered” and “lived right” at the same time, and we too, can do the same. HE came to be an example for those who choose to follow HIM, and so we are to do likewise, both in suffering, and, in right living. HIS sacrificial death frees us up from some of the stress that it requires to do so. HIS ultimate death on the cross frees us from both, the penalty of sin, and, the power of sin, and so, in CHRIST, we are less stressed, because we are under submission to GOD as HE is, and we automatically refrain from trying to do GOD’s job, by trying to make our own way, which is impossible for man, and only possible with GOD.
We automatically incur less stress when we allow GOD to do HIS job, and we, in turn, do that which we are suppose to do, and that is, of course, obey HIM (Vs. 21-25). We owe a debt to JESUS, and the only way to satisfy that debt is by loving one another, and obeying GOD, and we won’t do that, unless we are sensitive to the HOLY SPIRIT that GOD places within us, when we believe HIM, with our whole heart.
A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander
LARRY D. ALEXANDER- Official