So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. (1Pe 2:1)
Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. (1Pe 2:11)
Be subject for the Lord's sake to every human institution. (1Pe 2:13a)
Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the emperor. (1Pe 2:17b)
I want to conclude my study on the warnings of Cain, Balaam and Korah by looking at this one chapter in 1st Peter.
I mentioned right at the start how my own preference is for example rather than warning (though we ignore the warnings at our peril). And I believe that the Scriptures have the same bias. I love the fact that before we ever get exposed to the danger of the poison of these three men, we have already been given the antidote!
Warnings are good for us, because they alert us quickly when the road we are going down is not good. They help us to turn around quick and get back on the right path. But there is a better way... and that is to never stray from the path in the first place.
That is why examples are better than warnings. They teach us to stay on the path, and not stray. If we learn what keeps us on the path that is pleasing to God we will not need to bring the correction that the warnings give us.
As dangerous as the errors of Cain, Balaam and Korah are, and though they have claimed many a man of God over the Centuries (the strategies of the enemy seldom change!) this one chapter in Peter, and verse 17 in particular gives us all we need to steer clear.
Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour authority.
If we cultivate a love for our brothers we block off the entrance to the way of Cain.
If we cultivate a fear of God, we see through the deception of Balaam's error.
And if we cultivate an attitude that honours all authority, both within the church and without, we separate ourselves from Korah's rebellion.