Being sober isn’t only the opposite of being drunk; it is used in a few other ways (from Wiktionary), such as: moderate; realistic; serious; not playful; not passionate; cool; self-controlled. A couple of examples: “No sober man would put himself into danger for the applause of escaping without breaking his neck.” Or: Which is the finest and soberest state possible.
While the King James Version uses “sober” in 1 Peter 5:8, the Holman Christian Standard Bible uses “serious.”
Be serious! Be alert! Your adversary the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour. 1 Peter 5:8 HCSB
Paul expresses the need for this sober, seriously watchful attitude because we are not meant for wrath. (1 Thes 5:9). My wife has been watching a documentary on Bronisław Huberman, a Jewish Polish violinist who “founded the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (then known as the Palestine Philharmonic) and thus providing refuge from the Third Reich for nearly 1,000 European Jews.” (Wikipedia)
In the early 1930s, Jewish Germans were already being ostracized from German communities. Musicians were fired from their jobs in German orchestras. While there was a Jewish-only orchestra formed that accommodated some musicians, it did not last long. Mr. Huberman was able to gain support to build the Philharmonic, and filled its seats with Jews from not only Germany, but from Poland and other Eastern European countries. Some Jews did not want to leave Germany, however, even when the opportunity was provided. One of the chief factors was the attitude that “this is all going to blow over.” So many of the Jews could not accept leaving all they’d worked to build, believing if they simply played along, accepted some sacrifice, it would be alright. Once the musicians finally made it to Israel, then called Palistine, they found it quite different than they’d been accustom. One woman left the Philharmonic, returning to German. Another musician asked to be allowed to return to German to finish his PhD. The PhD. candidate stayed too long, and could not get out of German, as the border were closed. Both the musicians were sent to camps, and are presumed to have been murdered. All the musicians that accepted positions with Jewish-only orchestras were eventually sent to camps, were they, too, died. As we know, the sanctions against the Jewish community became an all-out war of terror against it. What began slowly rapidly turned evil, indeed.
So, fast forward from the years of Hitler’s reign of terror to the Twenty-First Century. What does this lesson teach us today? If we see persecution toward Christians increasing throughout the world, if we understand that it isn’t just going to go away, how do we proceed? One might say that there is really no place we may run, no place to hide. World War III may be the ongoing war against terrorism that has engulfed the world. Even if we perceive the threat to a Christian way of life, there really isn’t any place we may go for asylum. We are told by Y’shuaJesus directly that a time will come that we are unable to buy, sell, or trade. (Matthew 24) We are not appointed for wrath, but if we are not prepared, we certainly will be caught up in it. And we must not yield our souls to gain only a temporary life. Therefore we must be prepared. We must, like Joseph who helped Egypt, prepare for famine and plague and violence. We must become strong both physically as well as spiritually if we are to survive “underground.” Prepare Now!
Lord Bless, Keep, Shine. . .