For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil. ~1 Peter 3:12
Being a teacher is a demanding occupation. He must be commanding, creative, and coaxing in trying to gain and keep the attention of the students. I’m certain every teacher knows that as the day wears on, he will find himself being extra diligent in trying to get the students' attention. As God’s children, we want to know that we have God’s attention on us, especially during times of great need. The believers Peter wrote his letter to were going through extreme stress and suffering. Peter exhorted them on how to know they have God’s attention on their lives.
We see the promotion.
Peter is promoting righteous, or holy, living. We are "a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people." Righteous living is living a life of obedience to God’s Word and commandments. It is walking in the light as He is in the light. It is living a separated life. We are to "abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul." The believers were feeling the pressure to compromise and live in the flesh. Righteous living is conscientious of our testimony among the unbelievers: the government, our employers, our neighbors, and our unsaved family members.
We see the practices.
“For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous....” God is keeping watch over how we live our life. In vv. 8-11, Peter describes righteous living. We must refrain our tongue from evil and speak no guile. We must avoid evil, do good, and seek for peace in our relationships. We must be devoid of carrying grudges, being envious of others, being overcome with bitterness, and having a critical spirit. We should be moved with fervent charity among ourselves and use our spiritual gifts to build up one another. Righteous living means we should live for the glory of God.
We see the prayers.
“His ears are open unto their prayers.” God has conditions in which He answers our prayers. "And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight" (1 John 3:22). Obedience and living a life pleasing to God are absolute conditions for answered prayer. Peter said in 1 Peter 1:17 that we must pass the time of our sojourning here in fear. God is very attentive to the prayers of obedient children. I think of the prayers of Samuel and Daniel. They could move the hand of God against circumstances, nature, and adversity. They prayed in faith. They prayed with a conscience that was clean before God. Neither one of these men were inhibited in their praying. God is attentive to praying that is backed up by a sincere and righteous life.
We see the prevention.
“But the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.” The psalmist said, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.” Our prayers are an abomination to the Lord if we are disobedient and far from Him. The statement by Peter tells us that God turns His face away from evildoers. What a powerful way of saying God is displeased and heartbroken over our sin. His face being against evil is telling us that God must judge unrepentant sin in our life. We don’t want to lose favor with God. Peter’s exhortation is preventive counsel for us to walk in fellowship with God and keep our lives cleansed from sin. Getting God’s attention requires us to making living for Him the priority of daily living. We have His eyes, ears, and face towards us when we are followers of that which is good.
Have a sanctified God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: 1 Corinthians 9-11