Good Morning, Siblings!
Today’s readings are 2 Corinthians 10-13
In today’s writings we see that a lot of talk has spread about Paul, malicious rumors and various evil speech. He spends a great deal of time defending himself and while we are not fully aware of what every charge is, we can tell from Paul’s refutations that they are serious and have had a significant impact on his character in the eyes of others.
I’ve spoken about Lashon Hara before, but it’s always a good rabbit trail for you to take, especially in this day and age, and so I encourage you to do so. It would be a tremendous testimony for the Father if His people could be shown free from guilt of this sin as a body! To many, we are the only example of Messiah they see. I shudder to think of how I’ve represented Him in the past and do my best to hold myself to the highest standard possible today. It is such an honor to be a child of the King! Let us go forth and represent the kingdom well in our speech.
Paul had me laughing right out of the gate today. I could just hear him saying those words.
I who am humble when face to face with you but bold toward you when I am away! 2 Cor 10:1
Oh Paul, here in our modern era of social media, we know all too well people being meek to our faces but bolder via text.
I beg of you that when I am present I may not have to show boldness with such confidence as I count on showing against some who suspect us of walking according to the flesh. 2 Cor 10:2
He is literally begging them to remain in the spirit, living according to the word of YHWH. But I want to point out that he is referencing correction that he has to show to a body of believers.
I think we tend to forget this and commit a great error in holding people who are not in covenant accountable to the behavior expected of those who are in covenant. We apply the standards of behavior expected of YHWH’s people to those are not YHWH’s people but often fail to apply them to YHWH’s people.
The strictest standards of behavior should first be applied to ourselves. If we aren’t living as Messiah did, how can we judge or expect others to when they don’t even call Him their Messiah?
At the beginning of 11 we see a concern of Paul for those who have set their hearts to follow Messiah being led astray by a false gospel and a false messiah. He even references the original sin in this. Let’s remember what that original sin was. Satan put doubt into Eve’s mind about YHWH’s words and then altered them, ever so slightly, to get Eve to eat that which YHWH had expressly told her not to eat. There is a lot to dissect there and a great deal of wisdom to glean from that.
I feel this is a great time to remind us, also, of Messiah’s words in Matthew 5:19
Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
A conversation I’ve heard discussed throughout the years is the matter of the thorn in Paul’s side. I’ve heard speculation that it was a speech impediment, a physical disability or consistent pain, and one sweet lady I worked with years ago always laughed and said that she just knew that the thorn in Paul’s side was a woman!
For me, that question is answered in the sentence directly following: a messenger of satan. That the assault seems to be mental, is not surprising. The first thing the devil did was get us to doubt YHWH’s word. He doesn’t have many new tricks up his sleeve. Plant seeds of doubt in us regarding YHWH’s Word and His purpose.
After reading these passages though, and seeing the back and forth struggle with humility and boasting, the fact that Paul says the Father sent him this affliction to keep him from becoming conceited might have made me chuckle a little bit.
I wonder if Paul saw the humor in the contradictions of his writing. Perhaps he was using it as a literary tool. It is difficult to imagine what his letters looked like before being passed through so many filters: this translator translates it to that language, another translator takes that translation and translates that to another language, and so on.
Either way, there is much to chew on.
As we finish out the second book of Corinthians, please leave your own rabbit trails in the group comments.
Thank you for being here and may YHWH bless the reading of His Word!
And with that, we have completed another book. Rak Chazak!
Test everything, hold tight to what is good.~ 1 Thess 5:21
We are saved by Grace alone: Obedience is not the root of our salvation, it is the fruit!