Bold and wilful, they do not tremble as they blaspheme the glorious ones, 11 whereas angels, though greater in might and power, do not pronounce a blasphemous judgement against them before the Lord. 12 But these, like irrational animals, creatures of instinct, born to be caught and destroyed, blaspheming about matters of which they are ignorant, will also be destroyed in their destruction, 13 suffering wrong as the wage for their wrongdoing. They count it pleasure to revel in the daytime. They are blots and blemishes, revelling in their deceptions,[e] while they feast with you. 14 They have eyes full of adultery, insatiable for sin. They entice unsteady souls. They have hearts trained in greed. Accursed children! 15 Forsaking the right way, they have gone astray. They have followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved gain from wrongdoing, 16 but was rebuked for his own transgression; a speechless donkey spoke with human voice and restrained the prophet’s madness.
There are those who would curse demons and lord it over them without reliance on God. I have witnessed people talk casually to devils, casting them aside. However, verse ten above condemns those who would take lightly their interaction with demonic forces. The glorious ones are not angels but demons. Those who blaspheme them attempt to pronounce judgment on them and speak ill of them in the place of God. I have seen this in some charismatic circles as some people speak to Satan or demons as though they were errant children, not with any thought of humility in the created order.
Such people in the church, will also claim wealth and possessions as blessings and will gorge themselves at dinner. They are sensate. God created us with senses and those senses can legitimately enjoy the pleasures that God has placed in the world. However, God did not create us for pleasure as an end in itself. Pleasure is an experience that is had whilst pursuing the highest call possible. The highest call is intimate relationship with and obedience to God. Many in Christendom see God as a means to an end rather than the end itself. They will have a rude awakening when their lack of humility is exposed. As far as they have taught others to live a life of hedonism, they will reap judgment.
Hedonism is one of the prevailing worldviews today. It is encouraged by mothers who sigh that they just want their children to be happy. To be ‘happy’ does not mean to be ‘good’. To be good can only come from an outside source, that of God himself. those who seek their own happiness and find pleasure in a spouse, a career, or possessions have lost their way. Unfortunately, this kind of pursuit of happiness leads to an insatiable lust. Consumerism consumes the consumer. We devour ourselves with a drive to satiate our senses. For the consumer, each experience needs to be better than the last and so their eyes are always wandering: Another spouse seems more caring or sexually attractive; another cupcake seems more delicious; another job promises more money; another house facilitates bigger parties. The pleasure actually dwindles to nothing as we have it all, but we miss the simple life of the pursuit of God. We were designed for a quest which changes our own longings and is only satisfied with a fresh experience of God.
Jesus, you are enough. I have heard so much about all that I ‘need’ from advertisers. I am grateful for the family, the possessions, and the life that I have. However, you are my life and I want to follow you.
- About whom is Peter talking in these verses?
- To whom does he compare them?
- Why is Peter justified in speaking so negatively about these people?
- Who teaches hedonism today?
- How has hedonism affected you and the church?