Patience is one of the many characteristics of God. If it were not so, then God would have vaporized us long ago. In fact, He probably wouldn’t have created us.
In life, we observe that humanity is saturated with sin. This is true among pagans and those who profess to be Christians. Sin is part of our very nature. Indeed, sin has corrupted every part of our being. That is not to say that we are as bad as we could be, but it does drive home the fact that none of our works are good enough to please God.
That’s all the more reason to delight in God’s patience. Children disobey their parents repeatedly. We have one who has been playing with water in the sink and “washing” his sibling’s toothbrushes daily (with soap) and then washing the mirror with the toothbrushes. He knows what the result is when he is caught–punishment. Nonetheless, he continues to violate the rules day after day. This behavior is very much characteristic of humanity. We continue to fail before our thrice holy God.
In 2 Peter 3, we find God’s patience mentioned. “[God] is patient toward you,” (verse 9). What did Peter intend when he wrote those words? There is significant debate in the evangelical world. Many Sunday dinners have likely been chewed with grimaced faces after having discussed the possible meaning of 2 Peter 3:9. Some would say that this is all the proof one needs that God is really sort of a deistic, stand-offish God that is knocking at the door of every heart and eagerly waiting an answer. After all, He doesn’t want anyone to perish. Others would say that Peter meant to encourage believers with the fact that God won’t bring final judgment until all of His chosen people reach repentance.
In the next post, I will provide a biblical basis for my interpretation of 2 Peter 3:9. Can you guess which camp I set my tent in? Read 2 Peter and tune in next time.