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II Timothy 1 Part 3

New King James Version 8. Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God,

In light of the spirit of power, love, and a sound mind that we have been given, Paul now urges Timothy to not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord. We might, indeed, have plenty of opportunity to be ashamed. In a world that is increasingly hostile to all things having to do with God and morality, testifying to such things seems increasingly shameful to many. Moreover, when it comes to the Christian world, if we truly testify of the truth for today that God is not working through a religion but through individual faith in and identification with Jesus Christ, we will also find that we can suffer much difficulty. Many people are very attached to their religion, whether it is their religious rituals or their religious works. To question these will lead to anger and rejection. Read the rest of this entry »

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II Timothy 1 Part 2

New King James Version 4. greatly desiring to see you, being mindful of your tears, that I may be filled with joy,

Paul now expresses to Timothy his great desire to see him. He wants to do this particularly because he is mindful of Timothy’s tears. Timothy has undergone a great sorrow since the last time Paul saw him. I believe this sorrow had to do with the rejection of Paul in Asia, which Timothy was there to witness. Of course, as Paul was rejected, Timothy Paul’s representative was also rejected and experienced that rejection first hand. Also, since Paul represented the Lord Jesus, He was rejected as well by those in Asia, though they doubtless never would have admitted it. Yet Paul knew that Timothy had experienced this great sorrow, and so this inspired him to want to see him. Read the rest of this entry »

II Timothy 1

New King James Version 1. Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus,

The Resultant Version 1. Paul, a commissioned one of Jesus Christ through the will of God, in harmony with the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus,

The book of II Timothy, like all of Paul’s books, starts off with the author’s name. We believe that this was because letters were written on scrolls at the time, and one would not want to roll the scroll all the way to the end to see who the author was before reading. Read the rest of this entry »

We have already studied through one letter of Paul to Timothy in our study of I Timothy. Therefore, we have already considered the man Timothy and who and what this young man was to whom Paul wrote these two letters. Timothy was a young man whom Paul chose to be the young assistant to himself and Silas when he started on his second apostolic journey. Timothy was probably in his mid-teens at the time, and he quickly rose in Paul’s estimation until he was sending him as his representative and to act on his behalf even before Timothy was out of his teen years. When we consider that this young man was acting as God’s representative to men some of whom might have been four times his age, we can see that great trust was placed in Timothy both by Paul and by God. Read the rest of this entry »

II Samuel 24 Part 3

16. And when the angel stretched out His hand over Jerusalem to destroy it, the LORD relented from the destruction, and said to the angel who was destroying the people, “It is enough; now restrain your hand.” And the angel of the LORD was by the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.

The pestilence seems to advance from every side like a besieging army until it surrounds Jerusalem. At last the angel bringing the plague stretches out his hand over Jerusalem to destroy it. His “hand” stands for his power, which was being put forth to cause this plague. Yet at this point the LORD relents and speaks to the angel, telling him to stop. The destruction that has happened so far is enough. He should let his hand drop and his power go idle. In this way Jerusalem is spared. So now we see that David was right in his thinking that led to his decision in verse 14. The LORD did show mercy in the end, as David anticipated. Read the rest of this entry »

II Samuel 24 Part 2

10. And David’s heart condemned him after he had numbered the people. So David said to the LORD, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done; but now, I pray, O LORD, take away the iniquity of Your servant, for I have done very foolishly.”

It seems that David’s heart, though it remained far too quiet at the beginning of this episode, once all is over finally acts to condemn him. This does not just mean his emotions, for the Hebrews thought of the “heart,” the Hebrew leb, as being the inner man, including the inner thoughts and opinions and values, not just the emotions. We would put it that David’s conscience smote him, because his conscience was part of his heart. Read the rest of this entry »

II Samuel 24

1. Again the anger of the LORD was aroused against Israel, and He moved David against them to say, “Go, number Israel and Judah.”

We read that again the anger of the LORD was aroused against Israel. This means it was hot against them. Why is this called “again”? I do not think this needs to trouble us too much, for they had done plenty of things to anger Him in their history! If we put the thing in context, He had recently brought a famine on Israel in II Samuel 21:1. In that case it was because of Saul and his bloody house who slew the Gibeonites. That time His anger was assuaged by David granting the Gibeonites’ request to get revenge on Saul and his bloody house. So He has been angry with them recently, and it is not too surprising that He is angry with them again now. Read the rest of this entry »

II Samuel 23 Part 3

24. Asahel the brother of Joab was one of the thirty; Elhanan the son of Dodo of Bethlehem,

Notice first of all that this verse does not list the third member of the second three, as we would expect it to. Instead, it goes right on to start listing the thirty and never mentions the name of the third member of this second three at all. Why might this be? Chronicles does not help us, as it does the same thing, listing only Abishai and Benaiah in the second three and omitting the name of the third.

We cannot tell for sure, since the Bible does not tell us who the third member of this three was, but I think we can make a very good guess, and that our guess will justify the omission. That is, we would guess that the third member of the second three was Joab, Abishai’s brother and David’s army commander. He certainly must have done valiant deeds himself to have been the captain of all David’s army and to have the loyalty of so many men in the army, as we can see he did in passages like II Samuel 20:11. The valiant would not follow a coward or an unworthy man, and Joab certainly must have been one of David’s mighty men. Read the rest of this entry »

II Samuel 23 Part 2

8. These are the names of the mighty men whom David had: Josheb-Basshebeth the Tachmonite, chief among the captains. He was called Adino the Eznite, because he had killed eight hundred men at one time.

Now we come to a list of David’s mighty men. It seems David had certain mighty men who fought in his army, warriors who depended on God. God responded by giving these men the ability to do marvelous and even superhuman feats. Like David, who killed Goliath by the power of God, these men also worked exploits by faith and trust in the God of David. Read the rest of this entry »

II Samuel 23

1. Now these are the last words of David.
Thus says David the son of Jesse;
Thus says the man raised up on high,
The anointed of the God of Jacob,
And the sweet psalmist of Israel:

Now we come upon David’s last words. These are a little out of order here, coming from later in David’s life than the historical record we are considering, just as the last chapter came from earlier in David’s life than the historical record. We might imagine that “David’s last words” means that he gasped these out as he was expiring. That may have been near to the case, but I think what is really meant is that this was his last revelation, his last prophetic utterance, his last inspired words from God. He might have said “bring me water,” or “I love you all” to his family, and such things after this, and yet these would still be his last, God-given words. This is what makes them very important, just like we would view Paul’s last words to believers today in II Timothy to be of special importance, since they were the last inspired words God recorded for us chronologically before falling silent. Read the rest of this entry »