1 Peter 3:12
For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayers…
I. THE TWO SORTS OF PERSONS HERE SPOKEN OF.
1. The righteous. They have a true love to all God's commandments, and will not allow themselves in anything which they know to be contrary to the will of God.
2. Those that do evil. Good men sometimes may do evil, through ignorance, or the power of temptation; but this is not the bent of their minds: when sensible of it, they are sorry for it. The persons here spoken of are of a different spirit; they are evil-doers in the strict sense of the word. Iniquity is their practice and delight.
II. HOW THE LORD STANDS AFFECTED BOTH TO THE ONE AND TO THE OTHER.
1. His eyes are over the righteous; which implies —
(1) His knowledge of them, their condition and circumstances (Psalm 139:2, 3).
(2) His affection to them. The eye of human creatures is apt to be very much where the heart is (Psalm 146:8; Psalm 11:7).
(3) His providential care of them. He acts for their benefit — to guide, guard, and deliver.
2. His ears also are open to their prayer. This implies —
(1) That prayer is the common practice of the righteous (Ephesians 6:18).
(2) That this their practice is pleasing to God.
(3) That it is a wise and reasonable practice, as it hitherto has been the practice of all good men.
3. His face is against him that doeth evil. This signifies, in general, that He is displeased with such persons (Psalm 7:11). This implies —
(1) That He observes them and their actions; therefore, His face is against them, because He sees and knows them to be evil-doers.
(2) That their conduct is highly offensive to Him.
(3) That He will certainly treat them as enemies, if they do not repent and reform (Proverbs 28:9).Conclude with some reflections.
1. We may see that happiness is the certain consequence of holiness, and misery as certainly the fruit of sin.
2. We may hence take occasion to reflect on the folly of sin, and the wisdom of being religious.
3. This shows us that good men have a great deal of reason to hope in the most threatening external circumstances; and that bad men have much to fear, even in the most prosperous circumstances.
4. Consider seriously what is said in the words of our text, and let it influence your choice and conduct.
Parallel VersesKJV: For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.