May 11, 2020
Yesterday we heard of Samson's disastrous marriage and his first major victory over the Philistines. Ways in which Samson disobeyed God's Laws are that he touched and even ate from a carcass, he murdered people when not at war, and he associated with pagans and even married one of them. In spite of this, God used him as a tool.
In this psalm, David models effective prayer. Let’s follow his example!
Yesterday we started Paul’s first letter to Timothy. As I said yesterday, this is a personal letter to Timothy, and it is one of the groups of letters called the Pastoral Epistles or sometimes called the 5 T’s. Central to the Pastoral Epistles is Paul’s concern for true teaching in the church, and he especially stressed avoiding the controversies that at that time came from Jewish background believers. These letters often include a listing of various things, and one example is the list of the types of lawlessness in chapter one. Paul frequently mentions how important it is for believers to keep a clear conscience. And chapter one also contained one of several Pastoral ‘trustworthy sayings’. A more unique point for chapter one is that Paul called himself the ‘chief of sinners’.
GNT Translation notes:
1Tim. 2:7 and that is why I was
sent as an apostle and teacher of the Gentiles, to proclaim [true
teaching to them so that they may become believers.//the message of
faith and truth.] [I promise that] I am not lying; I am telling the
15 [Verse 15 is particularly difficult to translate. NLT is a good translation, but it makes it sound like Christian women must bear at least one child in order to be saved: “But women will be saved through childbearing, assuming they continue to live in faith, love, holiness, and modesty.”
15 GNT But a woman will be saved
through having children,* if she perseveres** in faith and love and
holiness, with modesty.
*2.15: will be saved through having children; or will be kept safe through childbirth.
**2.15: if she perseveres; or if they persevere.
I offer the PET as an alternative: “As a result of that sin, the female descendants of Eve fall under the punishment God gave of having pain in childbirth. But even so, God is ready to help and save each woman— if she keeps fully believing in Him, does loving acts, and lives a holy and [self-controlled//wise] life.”
Cross reference and footnote in the PET: See Gen. 3:1-13. This verse can also be translated, “Even so, God will make each woman safe when giving birth to children— as long as she keeps fully believing in Him, does loving acts, and lives a holy and sensible life.”]
In 2015, a woman wrote after hearing this chapter complaining about Paul’s attitude toward women. I hope I can help some listeners by saying this: If you do not like what Paul wrote here, consider that Paul knew the audience was writing to. Compare what Paul said in Ephesians 5 with what Peter said in 1 Peter 3, and note how Paul lovingly wrote in this same letter about taking care of widows. It can be shown that Scripture played an important role in history to raise the position of both women and slaves. If you are interested in this general topic, you might also be interested in the translation note for verse 15 in the episode notes for today.
Let me tell the story of a missionary who served with me in Indonesia. Before Ron Kriens was a Christian and was working as a bus driver in a big city, he was impressed by Jesus’ resurrection and reputation as a teacher, so he was willing to accept Jesus’ words, and at first would only read Jesus’ teachings. But then he found that Jesus said that after his death, the Holy Spirit would lead his disciples into all truth. So he read books penned by Jesus’ disciples, John and Peter. Then he discovered that Peter respected Paul’s writings as Scripture. (2Ptr. 3) And finally, at some point, I know that he realized how important understanding the Old Testament is to understanding the New Testament. I tell Ron’s story to say this: God’s Word is a unity. The very coherence of the message is wonderful proof of God’s sovereignly in controlling the writings which have come down to us. We will find the most joy and peace in submitting to our sovereign Creator fully and not rejecting any part of His Word.