In the Midst of Evil

Text: I Peter 1:3-9


I.         Abraham was told that his descendants would be strangers and slaves in a land before being brought back out 400 years later - Genesis 15:13

            A.        That nation, Egypt, was one of the more wicked places on earth, totally given over to idolatry

                        1.         It became one of God’s metaphors for sin - Jeremiah 44:7-8

                                    a.         Delivered from bondage - Micah 6:4

                                    b.         Christ rescues us from sin - Romans 6:12-18

                        2.         Have you ever wondered why God sent Israel there?

II.        Israel in Egypt

            A.        Egypt was a furnace in which to forge the nation of Israel - Deuteronomy 4:20

                        1.         The hardship and suffering produced a better people

                        2.         It was a place of hard bondage - Deuteronomy 26:6

            B.        Egyptians didn’t accept foreigners - Genesis 43:32

                        1.         They thought shepherds to be the lowest of all - Genesis 46:34

                        2.         Add to that Israel was nothing more than slaves to Egypt

                        3.         So while in Egypt, mingling between Egyptians and Israelites was limited

                        4.         Cross contamination of culture was limited

            C.        Yet Egypt at this time was the most powerful nation on earth

                        1.         It didn’t even have walled cities because no one would dare attack them

                        2.         God nurtured Israel by encircling them with their enemies - Deuteronomy 32:9-12

                        3.         The enemies of God’s people became the buffer that protected God’s people!

III.       Christians in the World

            A.        That hardship Israel faced in Egypt was a shadow of what happened to the church - Zechariah 13:7-9

            B.        We are kept by God’s power - I Peter 1:3-5

                        1.         Having our faith tried - I Peter 1:6-7

                        2.         To result in salvation - I Peter 1:9

            C.        The world doesn’t accept us - I Peter 4:1-5

                        1.         We have been chosen out of the world - John 15:19

            D.        We live in the midst of our enemies - Phil 2:14-16

                        1.         Our Lord rules in the midst of enemies - Psalms 110:2

                        2.         His church, his kingdom, dwells as strangers - I Peter 2:11-12

IV.      Noah saved by destruction - I Peter 3:18-20

            A.        Peter gives an odd twist. Noah was saved through water. But the water is what destroyed the world. We would typically say that Noah as saved from the waters.

            B.        God has used flood waters as a metaphor for trials and hardships - Psalms 124:2-5

            C.        When Israel wanted “excitement,” it got it - Isaiah 43:1-7

                        1.         Notice that God used sinful nations to take the brunt of the destruction

                        2.         Israel was scattered in Assyria so that it could be preserved - Jeremiah 24:5-10

                                    a.         Those taken captive thought they had it worse, but they were the ones protected by being in the midst of their enemies.

                                    b.         The flood waters destroyed but the same flood saved.

            D.        It is almost hard to grasp. What caused God’s people trouble is also what God used to protect His people.

                        1.         The flood destroyed the wicked

                        2.         But at the same time, it isolated and carried Noah and his family away from a world totally given over to sin.

V.        Christians protected by the World

            A.        Protected in a flood because the flood also held off the enemies - Psalms 32:6-11

            B.        In the book of Revelation we learn that Satan tried to use the Roman empire to destroy the fledgling church

                        1.         Satan first attempts were blocked.

                        2.         So he unleashed a flood of trouble - Revelation 12:9-17

                        3.         The woman – God’s people – was protected by being sent into the wilderness – a moral wilderness that was the empire

                        4.         Satan’s attack didn’t work because it was too broad, it struck his own followers who absorbed it, leaving God’s people scattered within it basically safe from harm.

                        5.         It is also described in Revelation 9:1-6

                                    a.         Notice that the ones who were harmed were not God’s people (Revelation 9:4)

                                    b.         Satan attacked, but his own suffered

            C.        God pulls His people from the flood - Psalms 18:1-19

                        1.         Pulled from calamity, from enemies too strong

                        2.         And David ruled among the Gentiles, in the midst of his enemies - Psalms 18:46-50

                        3.         God did it because David followed God - Psalms 18:20-24

                        4.         Are you a spiritual descendent of David?

                                    a.         Are you keeping God’s laws in the midst of a lawless land?

                                    b.         Put your trust in God that no matter the flood brought against us, God protects His people and will bring them through - Romans 8:31-39

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