First Peter 1:1 “Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,”
1. The Land
2. The Time
1. The Land
Now, who are these strangers that are “scattered throughout” these regions?
These are the Jews that are “scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia.”
RULE: Any time a Jew is not in his homeland, that is, in THE LAND of Israel, he is termed: a stranger.
The Jews, rightly, belong in their homeland! Amen!
Now, we are ready for the next question.
Are you ready? Where is THE LAND [or the Homeland] for the Jews?
The Bible shows us ... clearly where it is. It is the land of Canaan. The land of Canaan was given to Israel as a homeland by the GOD of Israel.
[God called Abram out of Ur of the Chaldeans to into THE LAND that He would show him – in 1922 BC, according to Genesis chapter fifteen, verse seven.]
How do we know this thing to be true?
We can see this thing is true by reading in the book of the Exodus in chapter six, verse four: “And I have also established my covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their pilgrimage, wherein they were strangers.” [Exodus 6:4] The relationship of the Jewish people to “the land of Canaan”
[THE LAND] was “established” by a “covenant”. This covenant was established by GOD. This truth is not just located here in this verse, but it is a truth that is established throughout the whole Bible. To deny this TRUTH, one has to place himself or herself CROSS-WISE with the GOD of the BIBLE. I fear for that person! Amen!
There is something else we need to learn while we are here on this subject [the Jew, and THE LAND]. It is located in the Bible in the book of Acts … in chapter thirteen, verse seventeen: “The God of this people of Israel chose our fathers, and exalted the people when they dwelt as strangers in the land of Egypt, and with an high arm brought he them out of it.” [Acts 13:17]
Do you see something here? The status of the “people of Israel” [prior to their going down into Egypt] was that they were strangers [in Canaan], but after the exodus from Egypt, that status changed. They were no more … STRANGERS!
Why were they no more strangers in Canaan? They were no more strangers in Canaan, for this reason.
It was TIME now, [in God’s timing]. This time, they were at home in THE LAND.
This was a land that flowed “with milk and honey”. This LAND was theirs, now, and encompassed all the land … “From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast.” [Joshua 1:4] This is the LAND for the Jew! Amen!
2. The Time
The TIME [in God’s scheme] had arrived! From this point on, God’s revealed intention was for the Jew’s to be no more THE STRANGERS in anyone else’s land … that is, the land of the NATIONS.
Israel was to have its own land, as the head nation, of all the nations of the Earth, at the exact geographical, political, and religious exact center of the Earth. Israel [by covenant] was destined to be the called-out nation which eventually [in the seventh millennium] will rule all the nations of the Earth. [The number seven signifies completion.]
Look with me in Micah chapter four, in verse two: “And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” [Micah 4:2]
How do we know this to be true? We know it is true because the Bible tells us it is true. Amen!
Read with me in Jeremiah chapter eleven verses five through seven: “That I may perform the oath which I have sworn unto your fathers, to give them a land flowing with milk and honey, as it is this day.
Then answered I, and said, So be it, O Lord.
Then the Lord said unto me, Proclaim all these words in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, saying, Hear ye the words of this covenant, and do them.
For I earnestly protested unto your fathers in the day that I brought them up out of the land of Egypt, even unto this day, rising early and protesting, saying, Obey my voice.” [Jeremiah 11:5-7]
I gave you all this, so that you may understand who the “strangers” are in our text [in the first book of Peter].
Let me give you more.
According to the book of the Acts of the Apostles [in chapter two, verses nine through eleven] we learn that were Jews and Jewish PROSELYTES living throughout the Roman Empire [including “Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia”]. These “strangers” witnessed the beginning of the body of Christ [which is the church].
Notice that they were: “Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians,” [Acts 2:9-11]
Again, these were Jews who were the “strangers” who were living among these nations.
Later, in Acts chapter eight, we learn the persecution “against the church which was at Jerusalem” which arose at the time of Stephen’s martyrdom was instrumental scattering the Jewish believers in Jesus Christ. “And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles.” [Acts 8:1]
These, therefore, are the “strangers” who Peter wrote the First Epistle of Peter.