The past few days I have been reading and re-reading this passage. To me it is one of this passages that must be read slowly and digested bit by bit(nom nom). It's a little meat, not milk. Truly, I've been reading the entire book of 2 Peter over and over (does that make it a 're-Peter'??). It is a book of caution. We all need a little (or a lot) of caution from time to time.
The part I want to focus on in this post is what I have typed up (copied and pasted 'cause I am a cheater cheater pumpkin eater). Please note that in this post all of my ADD comments will be held within parenthesis. ;-)
In the above passage, it is said that what Paul wrote can be hard to understand. Now he didn't say it's ALL hard to understand, but he did say SOME of it. I, personally, am willing to admit that some of it is indeed difficult to grasp.(Can I get an Amen?) some of the words Paul wrote, while still meaningful to us, weren't aimed to us and our culture, and therefor, make it difficult to make sense of it. This does not necessarily make what is said, or the message behind it, irrelevant.
The Gospel itself, and it's message, is beautifully simple. It is meant for all people to understand, regardless of how much bible knowledge they have. There are many things that are tricky to understand though and are often referred to as "grey areas".
We don't like not understanding something. We REALLY don't like believing that there are some things beyond our understanding. And we REALLY REALLY don't like to think that something is over our heads. (No, Really.) In our culture knowledge is prized and sought after. People's worth is sadly, often based on how much they 'know'.
What do we do then when we encounter something in the Bible that we do not understand? More often that I'd like to say, I see people contorting the text to fit their believed meaning. It is an easy thing to believe something and then find words to prove it. We can take scripture out of context and make it seem like it's a perfect support for our claims. If we don't know an answer, we come up with one. We speculate and theorize the truth right out of things. If we seek truth, we will find it. However, we must approach the difficult stuff with patience. We may not understand RIGHT NOW, but God will reveal it to us in His time, as we continue to seek.
We are told to "prove (or test) all things..." in 1Thes. 5:21. I urge you all to search the scriptures with an open heart to see what the bible has to say. Don't just believe someone because they "know" more than you. Find things out for yourself.
How can scripture be twisted? If it comes from God, can't we just have our own take on it? Um, no. We cannot impose our meanings onto Gods words. We must be very aware of the fact that Satan knows the scriptures as well (if not better) than we do. What?? Oh, he does. I'd like to call your attention to Mathew 4:1-11. The recording of Christ being tempted in the wilderness. In this passage, Satan himself quotes scripture. How's that for tricky stuff? If you don't already, I encourage you to pray for God to protect you while you read the Word. Pray for understanding, and untangled, untwisted, truth.
Is there anyone else out there that kind of gets a shiver (my grandma used to call a shiver a pea-willy) when you think of Satan knowing and quoting scripture?? (Looks for hands) Good, I'm glad I'm not the only one. Praise be due to our Lord for protecting our hearts from this.
Now, let's look at the last part of the 2 Peter passage. Here it is said that we have a jump start on things. We, armed with knowing things will get twisted, can be on our guard. The best defense is a good offense. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. All the same basic idea. We must be on our guard, and ready to test everything. When we honestly seek the truth, God is faithful to reveal it. As far as some things go though, we need to accept that there are things beyond human understanding. For these we must rely on faith. Never stop seeking truth though.
I encourage you to read 2 Peter for yourself. Pray for God to guard your heart and reveal truth. May we never be comfortable enough to stop growing.