Philippians 2:23
The apostle comforts the Philippians with the intimation that, if he cannot himself visit them, he will send them Timothy, who was already well known to them all.

I. HIS OBJECT IN SENDING TIMOTHY. It was twofold.

1. To comfort his own heart. "That I also may be of good heart, when I know your state." The apostle had a tender anxiety respecting the best beloved of all the Churches.

2. To give them guidance for Timothy was one who would "naturally care for their state" with an almost instinctive devotion to their interests.

II. HIS REASON FOR SENDING TIMOTHY IN PREFERENCE TO ANY OTHER.

1. They already known Timothy's devotion to the apostle and to the gospel of Christ. "But ye know the proof of him, that, as a child serveth a father, so he served with me in furtherance of the gospel." When the apostle was at Philippi, Timothy - "mine own son in the faith" - was his congenial assistant, obeying his counsel, and imitating his example, in everything that tended to the edification of the Church.

2. There was no other helper with the apostle at the time possessed of the same quick sympathy with their state as Timothy. "For I have no man like-minded, who will naturally care for your state: for they all seek their own, not the things of Jesus Christ."

(1) The apostle contrasts Timothy with other preachers or evangelists, who sought their own advantage rather than the honor of Christ. He had had sad experience of alienation, halfheartedness, and selfishness in the very circle of the evangelistic companionship. A man's own things may be different from the things of Christ. The highest life is where our interests are identical with the interests of Christ. God will disappoint all other interests.

(2) He commends the anxious concern of Timothy on their behalf.

(a) It was a concern for their spiritual state.

(b) It was, as the word imports, an anxious care on their behalf, testifying at once to his own personal interest in their welfare and to his profound appreciation of the worth of immortal souls.

(c) It was a concern natural to one inheriting the interests and the affections of his spiritual father.

(d) It was implanted in his soul by the Lord himself; for it was with him as with Titus; "Thanks be to God, which put the same earnest care for you into the heart of Titus" (2 Corinthians 8:16). - T.C.







Him, therefore, I hope to send
I.CARES FOR THE CHURCH.

II.WAITS PATIENTLY THE END.

III.COMMITS THE FUTURE INTO THE HANDS OF THE LORD.

IV.ANTICIPATES DELIVERANCE IN HOPE OF FURTHER SERVICE.

(J. Lyth, D. D.)

So soon as I shall see how it will go with me
The first day of the new year is often a season of —

1. Peculiar transactions: balancing of accounts and commencing business.

2. Humanity and benevolence, family gatherings, gifts to the poor.

3. Thankfulness and joy for preservation of life, etc.

4. Seriousness and recollection.

5. Forecast. Let us confine ourselves to the latter view, and consider —

I. OUR INABILITY TO DETERMINE OUR FUTURE CIRCUMSTANCES. The endowments of the apostles were not absolute. In some cases Paul could foretell things to come, but in others he was left in ignorance, and could only reason from probabilities (Acts 20:22). And when we look into futurity, all that meets the eye is a dark unknown.

1. Even prophecy is wrapped up in so much obscurity that the fulfilment and the explanation generally arrive together. How often has this been exemplified in the calculations of not very wise men, who, in addition to being drawn off from more useful duties, have frequently survived their laborious schemes.

2. Your own history testifies that God has led you by a way which you knew not, and you hardly know it now. Had all your changes been foretold, they would have appeared incredible?

3. Nor have you any information that can enable you to foresee things for a single year — how it will go with your health, circumstances, relations.

II. WHAT USE WE SHOULD MAKE OF THIS IGNORANCE. Let us —

1. Learn our littleness, and that God is all in all. "Trust in the Lord with all thy heart."

2. Beware of presumption. The future is God's, not thine. Never say "I will" without "If the Lord will."

3. Never despair. Seeing we know not how it will go with us, why should we look only for evil?

4. Draw off our attention from future events to present duties. We are to cast, not our work, but our care, upon the Lord. Duty and means belong to us, but events are entirely His.

5. Seek after a preparation for all events. We shall find this in Divine grace. This drew prayer from Jacob when he went forth with a staff; this preserved Daniel in the court of Darius and in the lion's den; this enabled Paul to say, "I can do all things," etc. And seeing that we have neither the ordering of the weather, nor the choice of food, happy is the man whose constitution enables him to bear any weather, and whose appetite enables him to relish any food.

III. WHAT THERE IS TO ENCOURAGE US UNDER ALL THIS DARKNESS AND UNCERTAINTY. You say, "I see not how it will go with me," and —

1. It is well you do not. You know as much as is good for you. It is with the mind as with the senses. A greater degree of hearing would incommode us. If our eyes could see things microscopically we should be afraid to move. Were we informed of the blessings of providence beforehand, we should cease to enjoy those we have; or of adversities, what dismay would ensue.

2. God does; and He is your friend, and far more concerned for your happiness than you can be.

3. You know that it shall be well with them that fear God.

4. Your ignorance only regards time; all in eternity is sure.

(W. Jay.)

We should —

I. EXPRESS FUTURE PURPOSES WITH A RESIGNATION TO GOD'S WILL AND GUIDANCE (Psalm 21:1).

II. OBSERVE THAT GOD'S PROVIDENCE extends to every particular thing — our incomings, outgoings, journeys, the very hairs of our head. This should teach us —

1. To set on our affairs with looking up to heaven for permission (James 4:13). Let us in all our affairs be holy, and not limit our holiness to coming to church.

2. That we ought Dot to set on anything wherein we cannot expect God's guidance, and so consequently cannot trust in Him for a blessing.

3. To take nothing but that for which we can give God thanks.

(R. Sibbes, D. D.)

I. IMPLIES —

1. Reliance on His providential care.

2. Because of His mercy and love.

II. IS NECESSARY UNDER ALL CIRCUMSTANCES.

1. In joy and sorrow.

2. In all our plans and purposes.

3. In small matters as in great.

III. IS A SOURCE OF UNSPEAKABLE COMFORT.

1. It brings peace.

2. It assures that all will be well.

(J. Lyth, D. D.)

The child at school is not to lean his elbow on the table, and vex himself by thinking how he shall find raiment, how he shall get home, how the expense of his education is to be defrayed. He is a learner; he is to mind his book — the father requires no more of him — he will provide. The farmer is not to muse from day to day about the weather: "Perhaps it may not be a fine season — there may be a blight — and all my labour may be lost." No: but he is to act; he goes forth bearing precious seed, commits it to the ground, and then pursues his other business — and what can his anxiety do afterwards? The soldier is to learn his exercise, to obey the word of command, to keep his arms bright, to be always at the post assigned him; but he is not to neglect all this, by busying himself in drawing plans of the campaign, and describing the duties of the general.

(W. Jay.)

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