Posted inDevotional

Forging Character

Psalm 50:1–6; 1 Kings 14:1–18; 1 Timothy 1:12–20

You probably believe that you have never had a prophesy (a “word” from God) spoken “over” you. You might be right. As such, you’ve never had someone say to you, “I thought of you when I read/heard this.” Nor have you heard, “I felt I had to share this with you.” Nor have you ever had your spirit “struck” by a sermon, a song, or a moment.

If you’ve never had any of these happen, it might be time to stop reading this and ask God when it has happened (note, this wasn’t a whether).

Not all prophetic words are positive for a person. Jeroboam, his wife, and their son (Abijah) received a prophetic word. It wasn’t good. There are multiple points that are sad.

Abijah was probably very young when he died (based on context). As he was young, he hadn’t developed the bad habits of his father and family. That he was the only member of the family to be honored in death is telling.

The other sad part is that Jeroboam and his wife (and by extension their children) heard and witnessed the prophetic word coming true and their hearts were not (it seems) changed. God has relented in punishment (or reduced it) when a person repents. Jeroboam didn’t bother.

Paul emphasizes God’s relenting tendencies by his own testimony. He reminds Timothy that he (Paul) was the enemy of Christ and Christians before he became the champion he was. In just a few words, Paul shows us the depth of the tragedy of Jeroboam and all those like him throughout history and today.

Paul’s perspective is also important regarding his instructions to Timothy about “waging war” (the implication being a war of faith) and the cast out Hymenaeus and Alexander. It may well be that this passage is about Timothy either mourning or trying to drawback Hymenaeus and Alexander into the church.

It would make sense as Paul reminds Timothy that the prophetic word that was “over” him was about waging a war of faith. The situation with Hymenaeus and Alexander seemed to require some sort of battle with the two. Paul told Timothy that he (Paul) had let them free. As Paul was Timothy’s mentor, the strong implication is that Paul wanted Timothy to do the same.

It is Paul’s preceding words that provide the “silver lining” to Hymenaeus and Alexander being handed over to Satan. They can still return, for Jesus Christ is every faithful and loving. In addition, Paul added a “to be taught” clause, meaning that his expectation is that Hymenaeus and Alexander are likely to return.

※Reflection※

  • It can be hard to let someone fall away as Hymenaeus and Alexander. What can we observe about God in these situations? What can we observe about ourselves?

※Prayer※

Lord Christ, thank you for your faithfulness toward us and the unending grace you pour into our lives. Help our hearts to see your faithfulness and grace poured out for the world. Amen.

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