Beyond the Gospels: Timothy

Today’s Scripture: 1 Timothy 2
[Click the link above to read online or open up your Bible.]

This chapter ranges from safe to deal with:

I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession
and thanksgiving be made for all people…
1 Timothy 2:1
to dangerous to deal with:
I do not permit a woman to teach
or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet.
1 Timothy 2:12
Most people can’t argue with a Believer’s responsibility to pray for others, even when it causes them discomfort. I know, having been called by God to start prayer groups within our church. Every time I’ve approached a pastor or brought up the need to pray in a group, no one has ever objected… at least not outright. I remember someone saying to me, several years after I began Prayer Team (the group prayer ministry focused on praying for leaders and ministries in the church)*, When you started Prayer Team I really didn’t think we needed it. We never had one before. So even if people object to prayer, they really just can’t voice it out loud, it’s too much a part of who Believers are expected to be, though it might go unpracticed.
Then we come to the call for men to pray. In my experience, there are few men willing to lift up their hands in prayer. The majority involved in prayer ministry are women. 
Next God’s Word steps on some toes by having something to say about women’s fashions. Women are called to dress modestly, adorned in good deeds, not with a lot of cleavage and bling. This is a touchy subject no one really wants to delve into, except maybe with the Youth.
Finally, we come to the most inflammatory topic of all: women should not teach or have authority over men. These topics can be offensive and controversial, especially when taken out of context from the whole of Scripture.
God’s Word and ways are often offensive to a broken corrupt perverted people. Which is exactly what we are apart from Christ. I have been offended by God and His Word. King David was offended by God and His actions, when he tried to bring the neglected ark of the covenant back to the heart of the nation.
And David and all Israel merrily celebrated before God
with all their might, with songs and lyres and harps and tambourines
and cymbals and trumpets. And when they came to the threshing floor
of Chidon, Uzza put out his hand to steady the ark, for the oxen
[that was drawing the cart] stumbled and were restive.
And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Uzza, and He smote
him because he touched the ark; and there he died before God.
And David was offended because the Lord had broken forth upon
Uzza… And David was afraid of God that day…
1 Chronicles 13:8-12 Amp
God striking Uzza dead was offensive to David. It made him angry. But I want you to notice one very important aspect of David’s response: And David was afraid of God that day… The proper response to any offense we experience from God’s Word and His ways is fear of the Lord. His Word tells us fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge.
I don’t believe it’s a sin to be offended by God’s Word. But I do believe our response to our offense can be sin when we choose to disregard or explain away His ways as no longer applicable to today’s society or culture.
God is God. His Word Eternal. He is a sure foundation for our times, as well as times before and those to come.
So now that you are thoroughly offended, how will you respond?
Father God, You are always right and I am wrong in my understanding
if I take offense at Your Word or Your ways. Open up my heart and mind
to bring my anger to You. May I wrestle with You as Jacob did
and not release You till You bless me with wisdom, understanding, and insight.

*Note: Prayer Team was retired in January 2016, it has been replaced by the Pastoral Prayer Hedge Group which meets Tuesdays at 6 pm. You are invited to come lift up our pastor in prayer.
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