LEVITICUS 19, PSALM 23-24, ECCLESIASTES 2, 1 TIMOTHY 4

Ecclesiastes 2:17
"So I hated life, because what is done under the sun was grievous to me, for all is vanity and a striving after wind."

"So I hated life!"  Can you believe those words would come from a person who had everything the world could offer?  Look at how Solomon describes himself: He was King, with great wisdom, wealth and possessions.  Solomon had all the world offered, anything he wanted he had, yet, after trying it, Solomon found it wanting.  He saw life under the sun grievous as if chasing the wind.

It would seem a lesson should be learned from Solomon's life.  The result of Solomon's quest for life was the opposite of what it promised.  How could he find it wanting when what is promised is fulfillment? 

The "god of this world" is a liar and deceiver, so we should not be surprised to find what the world offers to be false.  Jesus asked the questions in Mark 8:36-37, "For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?  For what can a man give in return for his soul?"  In verse 35, Jesus promised if a man loses his life for His sake and the gospel's, he will save it.  

The choice seems clear.  Spend your life, like Solomon, pursuing this world with the eventual disillusionment, or lose your life for Jesus' sake and gain eternity with Him.  I love Jesus' description in John 10:10, " The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.  I came that they may have life and have it abundantly."

1 Timothy 4:1-16
"Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared." 1 Timothy 4:1-2

Paul begins this passage with this dire warning.  It is not his opinion or observation — the Spirit clearly warns of this truth.  Therefore, Paul gives Timothy explicit instructions on how to save himself and those who will listen to him.  Paul's teaching is a series of commands that flow from the premise of training yourself in godliness, in the words of the faith and sound doctrine, not the foolishness of those who abandon the faith.

Because of his hope in the living God, Timothy is to live a life that is an example to other believers, even though he may be younger than some of them.  Paul encourages Timothy to devote himself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation and teaching.  Paul is comparing Timothy's devotion to the devotion of those who depart the faith.  Paul used the same Greek word for devote in the previous chapter.  In describing the character of a deacon in 1 Timothy 3:8, Paul says he should not be addicted to much wine.  The word addicted is the same Greek word as devoted.  So what Paul is telling Timothy is significantly more than occasionally reading, exhorting and teaching Scripture.  Just as an addiction becomes a person's life, so too, Timothy's life is to be instructing himself and others in Scripture­­—the Word of faith. 

Lord Jesus, be my good Shepherd and lead me into the green pastures of Your Word and cause me to lie down beside the rivers of its comfort.  May I live the life Paul encouraged Timothy to live.

Comment