2 Peter 2:17-22
These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.…
I. THEIR UN-PROFITABLENESS. "Wells without water."
1. Pastors are like wells —
(1) For constancy. They keep their residence; men know where to find them.
(2) They are wells of piety; the water of life, the word of salvation is in them.
(3) They are wells of sanctity, and therefore must be clean,
(4) They are wells of knowledge, and of sufficient depth, skilled in the mysteries of salvation.
(5) They are wells of pity, full of compassion, yearning over the danger of men's souls.
(6) They are wells of peace and amity, such as reconcile feuds and appease discords; as the water of a well serves to quench flames.
(7) They are wells of charity, that do not only give good counsel with their lips, but good relief with their hands.
2. False teachers are "wells without water." A blind guide, an ignorant physician, a candlestick without light, a penny without provision, a well without water, is a miserable provision. Suppose we are thirsty and would drink, foul and would wash, hot and would be cooled, our houses are on fire and we would have them quenched; if we come to the well with our buckets and find it empty, we know not whether our grief or indignation be greater.
II. THEIR VARIABLENESS. "Clouds that are carried with a tempest."
1. The fitness of the metaphor (Ezekiel 20:46; Deuteronomy 32:2).
(1) Clouds are made to contain water, and preachers should be filled with wholesome doctrine.
(2) Clouds are drawn up by the sun, and teachers called to that holy profession by the Sun of Righteousness.
(3) Clouds are nearer to heaven than common waters, and ministers are advanced nearer to the secrets of God than other men.
(4) Clouds hang in the air after a strange manner, and preachers live in the world in a wondrous sort; all the winds of the earth and furies of hell band against them, yet still they are supported by their Ordainer.
(5) Clouds are set to distil rain upon the dry places of earth, and preachers to satisfy the thirsty soul.
2. The levity of these hypocrites. "Carried with a tempest." Some are not stable in the truth; but it is not possible for any man to be constant in errors, for the next fancy will take him off from the former. As wanton children are won to be quiet with change of toys, so the devil is fain to please such men with variety of crotchets. He forgets what he hath been, understands not what he is, and knows not what he will be.
III. THEIR UNHAPPINESS.
1. The nature or quality of it — "the mist of darkness." Such a mist shall be on their souls, as comes upon a swooning man, who cannot see though his eyes be open, the organs being (for the time) incapable of illumination.
2. The congruity of it — "reserved." These black clouds did wholly endeavour to superinduce darkness on the Church, therefore the mist of darkness is reserved for them for ever. It is but justice if God be not found of those that were content to lose Him.
3. The perpetuity of it — "for ever."
Parallel VersesKJV: These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.