Tuesday, December 3, 2013
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7 KJV).
We have often heard the expression “timid Timothy,” but have you ever wondered why he was timid?
Satan, God’s arch-nemesis, has implemented—and is still employing—various clever strategies (“wiles,” “devices,” et cetera) that hinder God’s purpose for creation. Although most professing Christians are completely ignorant of how Satan schemes and deceives, he is very much aware of what they are supposed to be doing (and he works tirelessly to keep them unlearned).
For those Christians who do know what God is doing, and they are, by faith, doing the same, Satan has a two-fold plan of assault. Firstly, he will attempt to mislead the Christian and get him or her to water down God’s Word (message). If the Christian does not compromise, then Satan will attack the Christian (messenger). Although this is true throughout the Scriptures, acknowledging Satan’s implementation of it in Paul and Timothy’s ministries is needful in comprehending today’s Scripture.
Paul was committed to faithfully transmitting—preaching, teaching, and writing—the doctrines of God’s grace. Satan understood that he could not get Paul to corrupt God’s Word, so then he began to use evil men—kings, priests, emperors, and common unbelieving Jews—to physically hinder Paul’s ministry (as documented throughout the book of Acts; cf. 1 Thessalonians 2:14-16).
In the context of today’s Scripture, Paul is in prison for preaching an “illegal” religion in the Roman Empire (2 Timothy 2:8,9). Satan is attempting to use Paul’s troubling circumstances to discourage him and Timothy. In addition, Timothy’s young age causes older “educated” people to criticize and disregard his ministry: Paul encouraged Timothy, “Let no man despise thy youth” (1 Timothy 4:12). Timothy has faithfully held to God’s Word rightly divided, just as Paul had instructed him (1 Timothy 1:3-11), but the constant opposition is beginning to greatly weary him. Timothy is beginning to shy away, wanting to give up. The false teachers have intimidated him to near-silence.
Now we see why Paul wrote what he did in today’s Scripture….