I. People Are Fickle, vs 16 — “all men forsook me.”
1. It is a sin to abandon a brother—”I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge.”
2. It is a sin to be bitter about it. Paul prays that God will not charge it to their account.
II. The Lord is Faithful, vs 17
1. The Lord stands by us. “stood by me.”—a technical word for advice given to a prison. No one spoke for him, but One spoke to him.
2. The Lord strengthens us. “strengthened me.” to empower
3. The Lord saves us. vs. 18, “And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve (keep from harm) me unto his heavenly kingdom.” But Paul was executed. Then, for Paul, it was not an evil work, for it ushered him into the presence of Jesus.
III. The Pit Can Be Fruitful
1. Awareness of the Lord’s presence
2. Accomplish the Lord’s purpose—”that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear.” Turn your pit into a pulpit.
3. Assurance of the Lord’s Protection—”will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom.”
Paul closes with a doxology. If we cannot move through this evil world with a doxology on our lips, we have an inadequate knowledge of God.
©Ron Dunn, LifeStyle Ministries, 2001