Thursday, 22 October 2015
…lest if some Macedonians come with me and find you unprepared, we (not to mention you!) should be ashamed of this confident boasting. 2 Corinthians 9:4
Paul continues the thought of the previous verse concerning his boasting in what the Corinthians were going to do in their gift giving. The term “Macedonians” leaves off any article and therefore it is as if Paul is conducting a competition between the two groups of people – pitting them against one another to spur them on to the greatest gift possible.
Charles Ellicott and others think that this may mean that the two unnamed brothers of chapter 8 are Macedonians. Thus they would be able to report on this competition between the two. However, if they are coming with Titus, who is carrying Paul’s letter, then this doesn’t fit. Paul will only travel to Corinth after the letter is received. It is whoever travels with Paul, not with Titus, who is being referred to. As he says, they were to come with him. When they traveled together, he didn’t want them to find those in Corinth “unprepared.”
Paul will be traveling with Macedonians who will be evaluating the words he spoke to them. If the gift at Corinth didn’t match his boasting, it would be embarrassing. This is exactly what he has been trying to avoid. This would be particularly so with the Corinthians who had done the boasting. In order to get them on the ball he says, “…not to mention you!”
Together, all parties would find some sort of shame in the events which had transpired. The words “confident boasting” indicate that which is below something else, like a foundation, or the ground. It is what provides stability and steadfastness. If the gift wasn’t ready, the sure words of those in Corinth, and the boasting of Paul concerning them, would seem as if they lacked any true foundation.
Life application: Words without a firm foundation and something to back them up are just wasted breath. Be sure to follow up on what you speak (as Paul is doing in this letter) to ensure that your words are found true and reliable.
Lord God, how often do our words lack any true foundation! And when this is so, people feel they cannot trust us in the future. Help us to be people of truth, honesty, and integrity. Help us to never bring shame upon Your name by being anything less that the epitome of integrity. May those who are called by the Lord act as if it is true! To Your glory I pray this. Amen.