1 Peter 3:7-12
1 Pet 3:7 (KJB)
Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.
Likewise - In the same manner
Dwell - Live with
Knowledge - The word here is a from ďgnosisĒ but means a mental understanding
Weaker - Weak like without strength or power
Vessel - An implement of any kind or utensil
Now Peter turns to the husband because husbands also have a responsibility in marriage. In the same manner that the wife is faithfully subject to the husband, the husband is to faithfully dwell with their wives. Husbands are to dwell with their wives in the understanding that the wife is considered the weaker vessel in the marriage. This does not mean the wife is inferior but she is to be treated with a lot more understanding. Peter assures equality in Christian marriage by stating that both husband and wife are heirs together in salvation and eternal life to come. The husband is to give greater understanding to the wife so his prayers will not be hindered. In other words, if he treats his wife badly then God will not hear his prayers. Wives are not for husbands to abuse but to love. Christ does not abuse His bride and neither should earthly husbands.
1 Pet 3:8 (KJB)
Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:
Of one mind - United or harmonious
Compassion - Sympathizing or affected by like feelings
Pitiful - Tenderhearted or merciful
Courteous - Friendly or kindly-disposed
Peter gives his final encouragement on this matter but he may be speaking generally to his entire readership and not just the married couples. He is stating that all the Christians need to be of one mind which is being in harmony in the kingdom of God. This is very hard to accomplish since there are so many doctrines and so many self-appointed teachers out there vying for the attention of the believers. This is why the Bible is telling the believers to have compassion on each other as you may not know where a believer is spiritually in their walk. They may be mature or they may be new. This is why we are to be merciful and friendly to all Christians. However, there are times when a rebuke is necessary but that must never be done in a hateful or uncompassionate manner.
1 Pet 3:9 (KJB)
Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.
Rendering - Recompense, pay back, or return
Evil - Bad or wickedness
Railing - Insults or abusive speech
Here the Bible teaches us that if someone does wrong to us we are never to return evil for evil. We are not even to return an insult when we are insulted but we are to bless them. Whoever insults us must know that we are different and when we do not exchange insults, they will take notice that there is a change in our lives. By the way, one of the best ways to disarm a verbal abuser is not to answer them and they will eventually give up but if a person sees their insults bother you, they will continue to do it. We must be wiser than them in all ways. When we handle these types of situations according to the Scriptures we will inherit a blessing which is told to us in verse 10.
1 Pet 3:10 (KJB)
For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile:
(Psa 34:12-16 KJV) What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good? {13} Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile. {14} Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it. {15} The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry. {16} The face of the LORD is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.
The blessing that we will inherit is to love life and we will see good days. The good days here are referring to the days which are eternal, in other words, the good days will come in the new heaven and new earth. However, there are some days on this earth, when we walk with the Lord, which may be deemed good such as when one brings one to the Lord for salvation. Once we get into the habit of not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, we will experience a satisfying life. It will also be a peaceful life if we are not always on guard and ready to attack anyone who throws an insult our way. If our tongue speaks no evil and our lips do not practice deceit (guile) then we will live a good Christian life because the tongue is the hardest to control and if we do that, then we should have good control over any desires to return evil for evil. The next time someone throws an insult at you, smile at them and walk away. It can open a door to witness to them when they come to you and wonder why you did not retaliate plus you never know who else is watching you to see if your Christianity is real.
1 Pet 3:11 (KJB)
Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it.
Eschew - Turn away from or turn aside
Good - Upright, kind, wholesome, or useful
Seek - Look for or desire
Ensue - Pursue
Four simple things which the Christian can do to live a good Christian life. First, we are to avoid or turn away form all types of evil and this also includes the appearance of evil. Secondly, as we turn from evil we do good and that good consists of doing things beneficial in the kingdom of God. That could be any phase of Christian work. There is an exchange principle at work in the Christianís life. If we do evil, then we are exchanging that time from good and vice versa. It is time we will never get back and can lead to a long destructive string of events. This is why we are to avoid all aspects of evil because it deceives us, getting us to think that we can control it.
Thirdly, we are to seek peace with other people. So many people in this world have a contentious spirit and countless times have led to their physical death. If we avoid situations like this, our lives can be peaceful on this earth and will save us much heartache and physical sickness. Fourthly, whenever there is a peaceful path, we are to pursue it and never intentionally force any type of conflict. In fact, the Bible counsels us that it is better that we take a loss rather than engage in battle. (1 Cor 6:7 KJV) Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded? It is better for a Christian to take the loss and keep their testimony.
1 Pet 3:12 (KJB)
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.
(Psa 34:15-16 KJV) The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry. {16} The face of the LORD is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth. Psalm 34 must have been a favorite of Peter since he quotes it twice in this chapter. This verse teaches us that the Lord is continually watching out for His children and simultaneously His face is against those who do evil. The evil people may win some battles in this world but they will not win the ultimate battle of Armageddon which is judgment day. The Lord also teaches us here that not only is His eyes continually watching over His redeemed but His ears are open to their prayers. This means that when a Christian suffers wrong and takes it to the Lord, He weighs the situation and then determines what action must be done. Maybe the Christian may lose something and this might be a testing program for the Christian. The Lord may choose to intervene and teach the unbeliever a lesson and maybe that might be the Lordís way of calling that person to salvation. Many scenarios exist and that is why we are told that the Lordís ears are open to our prayers. As Christians it behooves us to pray and not to retaliate when attacked.
This is an aside and not part of the commentary but speaking of Psalm 34, God used verse 6 to bring to salvation David Berkowitz who was once the Son of Sam but is now the Son of Hope. (Psa 34:6 KJV) This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. David told this to us personally when he said how he became saved in Attica Prison. He looked at verse 6 and knew the Lord was speaking directly to him and his eyes were opened and the Lord saved him. So a lesson here is never be afraid to use any part of the Bible in evangelism. The portion does not have to be official evangelistic verses.