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Paul's Exhortations & Instructions to Brother Timothy 2nd Letter Volume 52
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Paul Left to Stand Alone at his first Defence
2 Timothy 4:16 At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge.
Paul found himself at a somewhat peculiar state and that was he was all alone to answer the Romans for the false charges they seized him and bound him in chains. He stood falsely accused before that vile, vicious, and volatile Emperor Nero (who thought himself to be a god) as he began to declare with these words, "At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge." (2 Timothy 4:16) (KJV). The English word 'answer' is translated by the Greek word apologia meaning a plea ('apology'): - answer (for self), clearing of self, defence. When Paul writes, 'no man stood with me', he means that no one was there to come by his side and speak on behalf of his defence. It was not that all of the Christians in Rome at that time shrinked back from fear (no doubt some did), but many may have already fled the city before Paul's arrival due to extreme persecution manifested against all Christians by the hand of evil Nero. The English word 'forsook' is translated by the Greek word egkataleipō which means the same thing as our English definition and that is, to leave behind in some place, that is, (in a bad sense) to desert: - forsake, leave. It was not that the Christians in Rome left or abandoned Paul, but they left behind the pesecution they faced in Rome as our Lord Jesus told the first disciples to do when faced with such a situation with these words, "And when you see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that its destruction has come. And let those in Judea flee to the mountains. And those in its midst, let them go out. And those in the open spaces, let them not go into her." (Luke 21:20-21) (Modern King James Version).
When Paul writes, 'I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge', he probably spoke directly of the many brothers and sisters in the faith that he mentioned at the end of his letter to the Romans in Chapter 16, for he named almost thirty (30) different men and women of God and none were at his first defence, so he wants our Heavenly Father to not take an inventory of this and absolve them from this betrayal. Here is what Dr. John Gill had to say about this verse, "Meaning, that when he made his first defence against the charges laid unto him in one of the courts of judicature in Rome, no man appeared in his cause, to speak to his character, to be a witness for him, or plead his cause: but all men forsook him; all his friends, all that came with him from Judea, or from Asia; being timorous of coming into danger, and of the loss of their lives; as the disciples of Christ were, when he was apprehended, who all at that time forsook him and fled: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge; that this sin may not be imputed to them, or they be punished for it, but that it might be pardoned; so differently does he express himself on the account of these, than on the account of the coppersmith; he sinning through malice, wilfully and obstinately, these through surprise, temptation, and weakness."
Finally, here also is what Matthew Henry had to say about this verse, "He had lately been called to appear before the emperor, upon his appeal to Caesar; and then no man stood with him, to plead his cause, to bear testimony for him, or so much as to keep him in countenance, but all men forsook him. This was strange, that so good a man as Paul should have nobody to own him, even at Rome, where there were many Christians, whose faith was spoken of throughout the world, Romans 1:8. But men are but men. The Christians at Rome were forward to go and meet him (Acts 28); but when it came to the pinch, and they would be in danger of suffering with him, then they all forsook him. He prays that God would not lay it to their charge, intimating that it was a great fault, and God might justly be angry with them, but he prays God to forgive them. See what a distinction is put between sins of presumption and sins of infirmity. Alexander the coppersmith, who maliciously withstood Paul, he prays against: The Lord reward him according to his works; but respecting these Christians, who through weakness shrunk from Paul in time of trial, he says, The Lord lay it not to their charge. Observe, (1.) Paul had his trials in his friends' forsaking him in a time of danger as well as in the opposition made by enemies: all forsook him. (2.) It was their sin not to appear for the good apostle, especially at his first answer; but it was a sin of weakness, and therefore the more excusable. Yet, (3.) God might lay it to their charge, but Paul endeavours to prevent it by his earnest prayers: Let it not be laid to their charge."
If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ and His amazing healing power, pray this from your heart to the Lord Jesus Christ (you speaking directly to Him), Dear Lord Jesus, I confess to You that I am a sinner and I need Your forgiveness. I believe You shed Your Blood and died for my sins. I believe that You rose from the dead proving that You alone are God. I repent of my sins. I want to turn from my sins. I ask You Dear Lord Jesus to come into my heart and take control of my life. I want You to be my Lord, Savior, and my God. Amen...
Sincerely in Christ,
Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
Author of “Silent Assassins of the Soul - Are you Broken by Pornography and Masturbation? You can be Restored by the Lord Jesus Christ and brought into Deliverance, Freedom, and Victory! A Guide for Men and Women in the Enemy’s Crosshairs” e-book available now @ Amazon Kindle, @ Apple I Bookstore for IPod, Barnes and Noble for Nook, Reader Store for Sony Reade, Kobo, Copia, Gardners, Baker and Taylor, and eBookPie…
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