Alexander the coppersmith did me much harm. May the Lord repay him according to his works. You also must beware of him, for he has greatly resisted our words. At my first defense no one stood with me, but all forsook me. May it not be charged against them. But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that the message might be preached fully through me, and that all the Gentiles might hear. Also I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen! - 2 Timothy 4:14-18
Did you know that there are two Daniels in lions dens? But wait, I'm getting ahead of myself. One thing at a time.
The verses for this post tell of a dispute between two opposing sides: Paul's and Alexander's.
The first word in these verses is Alexander. Or should I say, the first name. I could have included Alexander in with the 7 people discussed in my previous post, Paul's Last Words #8: Who Are We Like?, but I did not do it for a reason, and that reason is this blog post.
Alexander was a coppersmith. We don't know much else about him, nor whether he personally stood up and resisted Paul's words or was the leader of a faction against Paul. All we know is that he "resisted Paul's words."
Notice in verse 15 where it says that Alexander "resisted our words" (that is, those of Paul and whoever was with him), and in verse 17 where it states that the Lord strengthened Paul so that the message might be preached fully. In other words, God gave Paul the words to say to overcome Alexander's resistance. From this we can gather that it was probably a verbal resistance of Paul's preaching and not a physical altercation. Alexander was probably jeering and mocking Paul; stirring up a riot?
What happened then? At Paul's first defense, everyone who was with him forsook him (verse 16). Actually, not everyone forsook him. The most important person stood with him, strengthened him, and gave him the words to say. Anyone want to take a guess who that person was? Verse 18a: "But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me."
Yes! Our faithful Lord will "never leave us nor forsake us" (Hebrews 13:5). This promise held true for the Israelites in Deuteronomy 31:6-8 and it still holds true for Christians today.
Paul goes on at the end of verse 18: "Also I was delivered our of the mouth of the lion" (there's my part about there being two 'Daniels in lions dens'). Not only that, but we can trust the Lord do deliver us from 'every evil work'!
Does this mean that we will escape everything bad? By no means! Look at verse 18 again:
And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen!
The key is here: "to preserve me for His heavenly kingdom." That means that no matter how much evil the devil throw at us, nothing shall be able to snatch us out of His hands (John 10:29). Like Paul says, to Him be glory forever and ever Amen!
Do we trust Him? Even when we are faithless, He remains faithful (2 Timothy 2:13). When things are going tough, when we are assailed by the devil's fiery darts, do we have faith in Him to persevere?
Remember the last words of Jesus recorded in the gospel of Matthew: "Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Matthew concludes his book with a well deserved Amen to those words.
I am nearing the end of my study on 2 Timothy 4; next post will be the last one, covering 2 Timothy 4:19-22. I hope you have been as blessed through the study of Paul's last words as I have been.
Blog Post IndexWhat Is Christmas? He Said Be Still Don't Fake It As Iron Trusting God With Goals True Friends You Have Been Called To Liberty We Overcome Memories With God All Things Are Possible Is Our Light Shining? Paul's Last Words #10: Conclusion Paul's Last Words #9: Our Faithful Lord Paul's Last Words #8: Who Are We Like? Paul's Last Words #7: Loving His Appearing Paul's Last Words #6: Keeping The Faith Paul's Last Words #5: Running The Race Paul's Last Words #4: Fighting The Fight Paul's Last Words #3: As A Drink Offering Paul's Last Words #2: Your Ministry Paul's Last Words #1: I Charge You Unicorns in the Bible Riches: Good or Bad? Do We Know Him? If There Was No Tomorrow As I Have Loved You Following Christ Forgiveness Faith and Works #4 (Final Part): Dead Faith Faith and Works #3: Works Are Your Witness Faith and Works #2: Works Aren't It Faith and Works #1: What Does It Profit? A God Who Approves Cannibalism? Happy The One Who Dashes Not Everyone Who Says To Me, "Lord" Rightly Dividing The Word?