by Darrel Cline (darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)
Chapter # 3 Paragraph # 1 Study # 6 March 21, 2010 Lincolnton, N.C.
4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.
5 For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands:
6 Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.
1901 ASV Translation:
4 but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in the incorruptible apparel of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.
5 For after this manner aforetime the holy women also, who hoped in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection to their own husbands:
6 as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose children ye now are, if ye do well, and are not put in fear by any terror.
I. Peter's Third Step Into the Particulars.
A. The issue: maintaining a legitimate demonstration of the true character of God (2:9, 12).
B. The most fundamental "attitude": submission (2:13, 18; 3:1, 5).
C. The most fundamental "difficulty": fear (3:6, 14).
D. The most fundamental "relationships": believers/God and husbands/wives.
1. The potential.
2. The required "cause-streams".
3. The focus is upon the "wife's" "adorning".
a. The word translated "adorning" is a word that is used in the New Testament 187 times in 152 verses and was translated by the translators of the Authorized Version "world" 186 of those times. This means that the choice to use "adorning" was completely unique. This was even so for Peter. He used the word 8 times in 7 verses in First and Second Peter and used it in ways that allowed the translators to feel comfortable with "world" seven of those times (1 Peter 1:20; 3:3; 5:9; and 2 Peter 1:4; 2:5; 2:20; and 3:6).
b. The focus upon what the translators call "the hidden man".
c. The focus upon God's perspective.
1) At the root of all of "Life" is what God thinks of a matter. When this reality is wedded to the fact that "Life" goes by a second, minute, hour, day, etc. at a time, evaluation gets pretty complex. At any given point in time, attitudes and choices are "on the scene" and evaluating them is often not possible because of the demands upon our consciousness (it often takes a bit of "reflection" to make evaluation possible). Therefore, we are often "caught" after the fact by the awareness that a matter is not considered in a good light by God.
2) It is with this reality in operation that Peter says to the wives that the twin attributes of what the translators call "meekness" and "quietness" are "before God of great price".
3) The "value" of these attributes is established by Peter's use of the word translated "of great price". It is only used in Mark 14:3, 1 Timothy 2:9, and in our current text. In Mark's use there is sufficient context to clearly establish the concept: "of great price" means "worth a lot of money". Paul's use in 1 Timothy is entirely consonant with this definition. However, "worth a lot of money" only has significant meaning to people whose values are established by "money". Because the vast majority of people are of that kind (moneyfixated), Peter is free to apply the terminology to God -- even though He puts no value there.
4) This raises this question: Is there any significant reason that Peter would tell the wives that God would spend a lot of money on obtaining women who possess and display "meek and quiet spirits"? The answer revolves around the fact that "women" are presented in the Scriptures as the equivalent of the "soul" and the fact that God's most fundamental competitor for human loyalty at the "soul" level is "money". This means that the vastmajority of "women" seek security through money and that they can be manipulated relatively easily by financial considerations. What Peter is attempting to do is to persuade those women who are married to put all (not just "some" or even "a majority") of their trust in God and to be totally guided by what He considers "valuable". This appears to be the reason that Peter goes on, in 3:5, to directly characterize "holy women" as those "who trust in God".