Is a "fiery trial" the same as an "overwhelming flood"? Interestingly, both terms are applied to the events impending in the lives of Peter's audience. Rome was coming in all her might and visiousness to work the wrath of God on that whore, Jerusalem. Societal disorder and alarm was like a refiners fire, purging faith right down to the pure ingredients. So, it was a fiery trial.
But, the process God used was to send wave after wave of Roman legions. Throughout the provinces, cities, villages, and country-side they stormed. Like a flooding river overfllows it banks, so Rome overflowed into all the lands, carrying away all that was not secured.
Faith and patience allowed the elect to endure the fire and be refined by it. Behavior remained excellent in dark times.
Entering Jesus--as Noah entered the ark--made it possible to float above the flood. And so, as the water lifted Noah and purified his world from corruption; the corresponding figure rescued God's elect. They used the water (of baptism, entering Jesus) to lift them above the coming storm unto safety.
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