The Scriptorium

Think It Can't Get Worse?

Think again. 2 Timothy 3.13

The Pastoral Epistles: 2 Timothy 3 (4)

Pray Psalm 2.1-6

Why do the nations rage,
And the people plot a vain thing?
The kings of the earth set themselves,
And the rulers take counsel together,
Against the LORD and against His Anointed,saying,
“Let us break Their bonds in pieces
And cast away Their cords from us.”
He who sits in the heavens shall laugh;
The Lord shall hold them in derision.
Then He shall speak to them in His wrath,
And distress them in His deep displeasure:
“Yet I have set My King
On My holy hill of Zion.”

Read and meditate on 2 Timothy 3.13.

Reflect.

1. Why should we expect evil to “grow worse and worse”?

2. What will that look like? How should we look upon people who are “being deceived”?

Meditate.
Paul had already described a fairly grim scenario for the last days (vv. 1-9). This had been the cause of his being afflicted and persecuted, and of advising all believers that they should expect the same (vv. 10-12).

And Paul says it’s going to get worse. The weeds which the devil sows into the field of the world will proliferate, grow strong, and threaten the good seed of the Kingdom (Matt. 13.24-30, 36-43). Evil men will get worse. Impostors – those who pretend faith but are really wolves in sheep’s clothing – will grow worse and worse. Those who lie and deceive will increase, and, consequently, those who are deceived will increase as well.

It’s just what we might expect from a world of rebellious sinners, where every person only wants to do what is right in their own eyes. There will always be tares in the field. There will always be people to mock the Gospel and mock us, to spin wild lies about life and morality, and to convince many to believe their lies. We must neither be surprised nor chagrined by this. But just make sure we’re ready.

Follow Paul and Jesus; hold fast to sound doctrine; maintain your testimony; look for opportunities to love. Do that, and Jesus will take care of you, come what may.

Reflect.
1. What are some examples of deceiving teaching in our day? How does this hurt people?

2. How can we know that we ourselves are not “impostors” when it comes to faith in Jesus?

3. How does God view the rebellious people of the world (Ps. 2.1-6)? How should that encourage and guide us in dealing with the evil of our day?

Make progress, make progress in well-doing, for, according to the apostle, there are certain people who go from bad to worse. If you are progressing, you are advancing. Progress in well-doing, progress in good faith, progress in good deeds. Keep singing. Keep advancing. Do not wander. Do not return. Do not remain stationary. Augustine (354-430), Sermons 256

Help me to persevere today, Lord, no matter what I have to confront. Grant me grace so that I…

Pray Psalm 2.1-6.

Pray for those who are hostile to God and the Gospel. Pray that they may come to their senses and find the truth that is in Jesus. Be prepared to bear witness to the Lord today.

Sing Psalm 2.1-6
Psalm 2.1-6 (Agincourt: O Love, How Deep, How Broad, How High!)
Why do the nations vainly rage, conspiring together from age to age?
Earth’s kings and all of their counselors stand against the Lord and His Right Hand:

“Now let us cast His yoke below, His Kingdom authority overthrow!
Throw off His Law, reject His Word; no more be governed by this Lord!”

The Lord in heaven laughs in wrath at all who embark on this cursèd path.
His angry Word to them is plain: “Yet shall My King in Zion reign!”

T. M. Moore

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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All psalms for singing adapted from The Ailbe Psalter. All quotations from Church Fathers from Ancient Christian Commentary Series, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006).All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (available by clicking here).

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.