Tuesday, 20 March 2018
No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier. 2 Timothy 2:4
Continuing on with the simile of the previous verse (being as a soldier), Paul next says to Timothy, “No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life.” When people are enlisted in the military, that is their sphere of life. This may appear less so in modern times, but Paul is writing during the time of the Roman empire. They lived as soldiers, they trained as soldiers, the served under their commanders as soldiers, and they – if called to do so – suffered, fought, and died as soldiers. Even today, those in the military have lives set apart for the call of the service which is different than those in civilian life.
This is their profession, and the affairs of a civilian life are set apart from their conduct as military men. Civilians go to work, they come home to their family, they buy and they sell, and they go on vacations if time and money permit. In a host of other ways as well, the life of a civilian is entirely different than those of a military man. Further and especially, civilians have a different structure of leadership. The military has a set line of command, and soldiers are dedicated to their commander’s authority.
Because of this, the soldier does not get involved in regular civilian affairs. The soldier’s priority and conduct are first and foremost geared toward that of the military so “that he may please him who has chosen him to be a soldier.” The soldier isn’t concerned about a civilian boss, and he isn’t concerned about a company’s profit. He was enlisted into the military by an overall military commander, and it is to that individual that he is to show his allegiance.
Paul’s words are to be equated to the minister of Christ, and to Christ who has chosen him for the ministry. Timothy is being instructed that his allegiance is to be first, foremost, and solely to the Lord Jesus. This is certainly true with all Christians, but Paul is addressing Timothy as a minister. He is ensuring that nothing of worldly entanglement will draw him away from his wholehearted allegiance to serving his Commander, Jesus. As an interesting connection to this thought, the Constitution of the State of Tennessee states the following –
Article IX. Disqualifications.
Section 1. Whereas ministers of the Gospel are by their profession, dedicated to God and the care of souls, and ought not to be diverted from the great duties of their functions; therefore, no minister of the Gospel, or priest of any denomination whatever, shall be eligible to a seat in either House of the Legislature. Section 2. No person who denies the being of God, or a future state of rewards and punishments, shall hold any office in the civil department of this state.
In the Tennessee constitution, they consider ministers in the light which the Bible proclaims here in 2 Timothy. Their calling is one which, by necessity, should preclude them from becoming entangled in the full-time political affairs of the House of the Legislature. Atheists, being morally unqualified because of their lack of belief, are also prohibited from holding office. If their oaths cannot be trusted, their moral direction is therefore unreliable and perverse. Good job Tennessee!
Life application: Atheists in Tennessee are no different than atheists anywhere else. The difference is that Tennessee’s constitution explicitly recognizes what others fail to see. If a person does not believe in a Creator, they thus acknowledge that there is no afterlife where judgment will be executed on humanity. Because of this, they believe they are not accountable for immoral decisions made now. Therefore, they identify themselves as wholly unsuited to make decisions on behalf of people who are moral beings. Consider this as you place your vote for those in public office. Find out what they believe, and base your voting decisions, first and foremost, on a sound, moral, and godly standard.
Lord God, when we vote as citizens of a nation, our thoughts first and foremost should always be, “Is this person going to act in a godly manner, honoring of you?” Help us to remember this, and to never vote for any person who would be willing to support abortion, societal perversion, or immoral levels of taxation – taking from earners and giving to the indolent. May our votes be cast while honoring You. Amen.