“Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.” (1 Peter 1:1-2 KJV)
What a way for Peter to start the first of his two letters that would later become canonized scripture! Foreknowledge? It is quite possibly the one thing we desire the most even though we probably do not recognize it as such. So many things that we have the opportunity to plan for. So many things that we can modify right now to better meet the anticipated goal, concerning news, or really big challenges. Foreknowledge is an essential ingredient in making that decision into a manageable process. The statistics we gather, the advise we seek, the history and culture we study, and the caution that we proceed with all reflect our quest to obtain information about the possibilities of success or failure. So many decisions both big and infinitely small. Sometimes we even rush forward in the effort to block out foreknowledge in the hopes that what we are currently doing will have little to no consequence. Foreknowledge is unique in that it makes skeptics believe just long enough to determine the probable outcome so they in turn can decide if the information is worth acting on or not.
But wait! That is the context that we know foreknowledge in. That is not how Peter is using it here. This is not Peter’s foreknowledge, but the foreknowledge of God the Father. What good is that to us? We need that knowledge right here and now where it is handy and useful. There is so much wisdom and understanding to be obtained in listening to God. Why does He not just give us the whole picture with all the necessary details up front and let us proceed forward? Why let us risk being blind sided by something we cannot presently see? Trust! Remember this key word as this process has as much to do with our unrelenting trust in Him as it has to do with the task He may be asking us to accomplish. Do you recall Peter’s struggle at the last supper? Reviewing Luke 22:24-38, Peter had an opportunity to understand the attitude he must have, the spiritual temptations that had been requested against him, and the outcome of his current path in flat denial of Jesus. Our reaction to such information may have been to work really hard at doing it better. We might try a dozen different courses of action to avoid such an outcome should we be given such knowledge today. Yet in the end Peter had to learn the value of surrendering to the Lord’s instruction. Peter had to have a change of heart in such a way that he knew that he needed to want to follow the Lord’s direction and not simply try to manage to arrive at the same end place by any other means. Love bears, believes, hopes, and endures all things (see 1 Corinthians 13:7) not because it is full of foreknown discipline, but rather because it is full of trust in the God who makes all things! We want foreknowledge to be able to accomplish things. God may or may not give us foreknowledge, yet He accomplishes so much in and around us when we trust in Him. When Peter begins the first of his two letters, he understands that he must be about the Father’s business of feeding His sheep and somehow the sheep will be feed.
“And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.” (Psalms 9:10 KJV)