Wednesday, March 28, 2007

1 Timothy 2:1-4 First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, in order that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. 3 This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

The first note that I want to make is a rhetorical one. In the Greek, the first verse of chapter two has twelve words in it. Six of these twelve all begin with "p." Furthermore, when this letter would be read aloud by Timothy (and his hearers), this alliteration would be unmistakable for emphasis and to grab the listener's attention. Read it transliterated: "parakalo oun proton panton poesthai deeseis, proseuchas, eneuxeis, eucharistais huper panton anthropon." Just a rhetorical note that I think is significant.

Second of all, it seems that from verse one, Paul is encouraging young Pastor Timothy to make prayer requests for all men (panton anthropon). Paul gives this request in four Greek words for prayer:
1) Entreaty - a supplication, asking, prayer
2) Prayer - this is the most generic term for prayer
3) Petition - it has the idea of a request; a conversation; a meeting about something
4) Thanksgiving - a giving of thanks or a blessing

Paul notes in verse one how these are to be made for all men. But note in verse two how he further specifies as to whom these prayers are to be made. On behalf of Kings and all those in authority. Paul is commanding this young Pastor to pray for the government and for those in leadership. He is to lovingly care and pray for the kings and royal officials (cf. Rom 13:1ff).

Why would Paul do this? Well, read the second half of verse two:

1 Timothy 2:2 , in order that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.

We pray and care for our government officials so that we may lead a tranquil (quiet, peaceful) and quiet (still) life with all godliness. Furthermore, verse three tells us, in doing this (that is, praying for our government officials and submitting to their leadership in tranquility and quietness) it is good and pleasing before God our Savior (1 Tim 2:3).

The point this morning? Let us not neglect those in leadership. For us here in the States, let us never forget to pray for our President, the cabinet, those in authority over us in our respective states in all the various governmental positions. May we lift them up in prayer and humbly and quietly respect them and honor them:

Romans 13:1-4 Let every person be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. 2 Therefore he who resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. 3 For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same; 4 for it is a minister of God to you for good.
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