Monday, November 23, 2009

If you can keep your head ( II Tim. 3 )

Paul loved the Jewish civilization, tradition, and culture, with all the passion of one who knew himself to be somewhat peripheral to it. Stalin, after all, was a Georgian. Hitler was an Austrian. And Paul, who had the most impeccable Jewish credentials, and had even completed advanced studies at Jerusalem U, studying with the most prestigious rabbis of his day, was still the guy from Anatolia.[1]

Yet, Paul knew that "the beloved community" was on a collision course with reality. His nation, his tribe, his people, were being mismanaged into destruction. Israel had crucified and rejected the Prophet God sent them, and that's a hard mistake to bounce back from. So, Paul warned his protege, dying cultures can break bad. Dying cultures can be possessed by an insane lust to share the misery. "Timothy, my lad, watch out," Paul wrote.
2Ti 3:1 Şunu bil ki, son günlerde çetin anlar olacaktır.
2Ti 3:2, 3 İnsanlar kendilerini seven, para düşkünü, övüngen, kibirli, küfürbaz, anne baba sözü dinlemez, nankör, kutsallıktan ve sevgiden yoksun, uzlaşmaz, iftiracı, özünü denetleyemeyen, azgın, iyilik düşmanı olacaklar.
2Ti 3:4 Hain, aceleci, kendini beğenmiş, Tanrı'dan çok eğlenceyi seven, Tanrı yolundaymış gibi görünüp bu yolun gücünü inkâr edenler olacaklar. Böylelerinden uzak dur.
Let's look at that last sentence:
  • Böylelerinden -- from these kinds of people
  • uzak -- far away
  • dur -- stay!
Although it may be a surprise to today's apocalyptic nincompoops, Paul's letter to Timothy was written to Timothy. The condemned prisoner was giving the man he most counted on to further his legacy the exact admonitions and advice that protege needed. Paul did not break away from addressing Timothy to pen a handful of sentences for the entertainment of 20th century fortune-tellers.

Still, Timothy had to know what to expect as his culture came unglued. How people could be expected to react to those special pressures. What kinds of charlatans would arise to take advantage of the prevailing misery. All of this is helpful information for believers facing the unraveling of their worlds, at those hinges of history.


[1] A man may live 50 years in the south -- but whenever he opens his mouth, people hear "Pittsburgh."

No comments: