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Examine Scripture

2 Peter 2:17-19

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A Slave to Our Desires…

Peter continues to talk about the perils of a sinful lifestyle:

“These people are waterless springs and mists driven by a gale; for them the gloom of darkness has been reserved.  For, talking empty bombast, they seduce with licentious desires of the flesh those who have barely escaped from people who live in error. They promise them freedom, though they themselves are slaves of corruption, for a person is a slave of whatever overcomes him.” -2 Peter 2:17-19, NAB

If you read that verse, and some of the words were difficult for you, do not worry; I had the same problem  Here are a few defintions from Dictionary.com:

  • gale – a very strong wind
  • bombast – speech too pompous for an occasion; pretentious words
  • licentious – unrestrained by law or general morality

After reading this verse, it seems like those who translated this version of the Bible were a little bombastic themselves.  Only kidding.  With some of the more difficult words defined, let’s take a better look at what this verse is really saying.  

The verse begins by telling us who “these people” are.  They are “waterless springs and mists driven by a gale.”  In other words, they are useless (what good is a spring without water?) and easily swayed (mists driven by strong winds).  And Peter tells us, they will know nothing but darkness because of this.

Moving on, Peter tells us that they talk with “empty bombast” and seduce with “licentious desires.”  Translated, this means that they use pompous (unnecessarily big) words and are completely unrestrained by morality.  It goes on to say that despite their promises of freedom, they are truly slaves of their own desires.

So, what does all of this mean?  Peter is telling us not to listen to the world.  In the United States, we are taught to follow the “American Dream.”  At one time, the American Dream meant living a free and happy life.  Today, the American Dream has become synonymous with having the most stuff, but stuff will never make us truly happy.  In economic terms, we are often referred to as consumers, but unfortunately, our stuff is often what consumes us.

To escape the darkness, we must become useful once again by our faith-based actions, and we must stand firm despite the heavy winds against us.  We need to adhere to the moral laws given to us by God and the Church and loosen ourselves from the bondage of our desires.  By doing these things, we can step out of the darkness and into the light that God has always intended for us.


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