Saturday, 28 September 2019
Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you, 1 Peter 1:10
Peter now refers to what he just said in the previous verse concerning “the salvation of your souls.” He says, “Of this salvation…” The word “of” here carries the sense of “in regards to,” or “concerning.”
From there, he says, “the prophets have inquired and searched carefully.” Both verbs begin with the prefix ek, signifying “out.” And so, the words bear the idea of “the prophets have sought out and searched out carefully.” In this, there is not just a general search made, but a very detailed and concerted effort on their part. They peered into the matter with the most intense scrutiny in order to find out what they were looking for.
Peter says they are those “who prophesied.” A picture is forming. These are prophets who spoke out the word of the Lord. They are not false prophets as can be seen from the previous words “have inquired and searched carefully.”
A false prophet would not search out his own false words. What would be the point? He uttered something out of his own head, and so he is fully aware of what he spoke of. On the contrary, these are true prophets who have spoken the word of the Lord, and now they are actually searching out the message transmitted through them. It shows that the Source of the prophecy was not from themselves, but from God.
The word translated as “searched carefully” is found only here in the New Testament, exeraunaó. It signifies “to search with all diligence.” As HELPS Word Studies says, “Here it focuses on the end-result of the searching, i.e. the fulfillment of salvation (unique glorification) in a believer’s life.”
Understanding this, Peter describes what these prophets prophesied by saying, “of the grace that would come to you.” The prophets came under the dispensation of the law. They spoke the word of the Lord, and what they prophesied was a time when God’s grace would be bestowed apart from the law. That is perfectly evident from the context of Peter’s words. Further, it is apparent that the grace which they spoke of was coming not for themselves, but for others – at a later time. The word “grace” here signifies the Lord’s favor as He freely extends Himself to His people.
Peter will continue with this through verse 12. It is a marvelous set of words which gives us insights into how certain the prophetic word of God is, and how perfectly planned out it was. Before the things came to pass, the Lord revealed them. However, He did it in a way which was veiled to those who passed them on. Though they spoke them out, they did not understand what they had conveyed. Thus, they searched what they had received carefully. It is a rather astonishing thing to ponder.
Life application: We read these marvelous words in the book of Isaiah –
“Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the increase of His government and peace
There will be no end,
Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
To order it and establish it with judgment and justice
From that time forward, even forever.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.” Isaiah 9:6, 7
Imagine Isaiah receiving this prophecy, knowing these were God’s words, and then reading them again and again and again – searching diligently and trying to discover the meaning of the very words that he had just penned. It is almost unimaginable!
A Man would be born and yet He would be called the Mighty God. Men are born, live, and then die. And yet, it says He would be the Everlasting Father. Each word used to describe this coming One shouts out to us of the Incarnate Word of God – yes, we know Him as Jesus. But Isaiah could only look forward and wonder.
Likewise, the suffering servant passage in Isaiah 52:13-53:12 must have been incredible – what could it mean? Each of the prophets must have looked at the words they had composed and wondered, but until such things were revealed in Jesus, they simply couldn’t fathom the grace that would come. However, we can look back and understand and revel in the words that brought them such straining of thought. How blessed we are in this dispensation of God’s grace!
We look on Your word to us in awe, O God! The grace it reveals is far greater than anything a human could imagine. You stepped out of eternity, united with human flesh, and walked among us. In Christ, You suffered on our behalf and now we have the offer of reconciliation and eternal life – all because of what You have done! Glory to You, O God! Amen.