“In their greed they will exploit you with stories they’ve made up” 

That’s a quote from 2 Peter 2:3, but no greedy people in our world, thank goodness, and certainly no one daring to exploit us with lies and made up stories to make money.

If only.

Unfortunately, as in Peter’s day, we have our “experts in greed” too, verse 14, who spin their cunning little webs to exploit our human fears and weaknesses (verse 18) with promises of freedom for us but they cannot free themselves (verse 19).  

That’s because greed is a terrible addiction. Enough is never enough, it must have more. It’s a monster that cannot be reined in. So its helpless offspring cannot stop lying and hiding facts when there’s money to be made.   

But Peter has a couple of words for us that hopefully act like a cooling flannel for our fevered brow, the two words being: Think Justice.   

Fortunately, God is a God of justice and he’s fully aware of what the greedy people who exploit us are up to, so through Peter he tells us that “Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping,” verse 3. And if that condemnation doesn’t happen in their lifetime now it is held in store “for the day of judgment,” verse 9. We can rest assured, then, that “They will be paid back with harm for the harm they have done,” verse 13. Justice will be done.

In the meantime, however, Peter also tells us that “in the last days scoffers will come, mocking the truth and following their own evil desires,” chapter 3:3. They laugh among themselves at how easily they can play us, like making us cut back while they live in luxury, knowing there’s nothing we can do about it. And for what purpose, pray tell? So “they can follow their own evil desires.” Oh yes, God knows exactly what they’re up to.  

But God also judges with mercy, expressed through Jesus on the cross when he cried out, “Forgive them because they have no idea what they’re doing.” He took into account that even these greed-addicted swindlers have been played too, so any punishment God inflicts on them is in mercy too, to wake them up to the grim realization that they too have been puppets in the hands of an even craftier enemy, who played them just as callously as they played us.  

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