Man's Extremity is God's Opportunity
2 Timothy 4:16-18
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.…

1. All men forsook me, but the Lord stood by me. Hence, observe: that man's extremity is God's opportunity, or when man's help faileth then God appeareth, He then cometh in as an Auxiliary. The Lord only is immutable, He never faileth His at their need. God's people are never less alone than when they are most alone; never less forsaken than when they are forsaken of all.

2. Strengthening grace is the gift of God. "And strengthened me." He doth not only give us renewing grace and then leave us to our own free-will, but He giveth us persevering grace also. As He is the Author of our grace by vocation, so He is the finisher of it by preservation.

3. Whilst God hath any work for His servants to do, He will assist and uphold them in spite of all oppositions. "That by me the preaching might be fully known." Though Nero rage against Paul, and all men forsake him, yet God will assist him that He may preach the gospel to the world. Our comfort is, that our times are not in our enemies' hands but in the hands of a gracious God.

4. God would have His truth revealed to the sons of men. "And that all the Gentiles might hear." He would have the gospel known — fully known — to the Gentiles. Truth is good, and the more common it is the better. Where it getteth ground, Satan's kingdom falleth like lightning from heaven suddenly and irresistibly (Luke 10:18). Let none then hide their talents, but as the sun freely communicateth its light and heat to us, so let us freely impart our gifts unto others.

5. The Church's enemies ofttimes are lions. "And I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion." Lions for potency, lions for policy (Psalm 17:12), lions for cruelty, lions for terror. Be serpents for policy, and not for poison, lions for prowess, and not for rapine. Be not familiar with these lions, come not near their-dens lest they make a prey of you, have no fellowship with such unfruitful works of darkness but reprove them rather.

6. God many times suffers His dearest children to fall into the mouths of these lions, so that to a carnal eye they seem hopeless and helpless.

7. That God will deliver His from this great danger. He that brought thee into the mouth of the lion will bring thee out again (Daniel 6:22).

(T. Hall, B. D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: 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.

WEB: At my first defense, no one came to help me, but all left me. May it not be held against them.

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