Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Philippians 4

Exhortation, Encouragement and Prayer (v. 2-9)

Euodia and Syntyche are pleaded with to agree in the lord.

I wasn't sure what this section meant, so I went looking for information about these 2 people, apparently they are two women involved in some sort of disagreement. I don't completely see how to glean that from the text, but with it in mind it does seem to be hinted at.

Make your request be known to God and focus on good things.

Again, in the context of them being in a disagreement of some kind, this is Paul's advice on conflict resolution, and it seems good I suppose. In other setting, focusing on good things seems like a good idea. 

I was definitely interested in this phrase "let your requests be made known to God". If God is all knowing doesn't he already know your requests? I would argue that this is evidence that when people in the bible speak of God, they aren't meaning the same thing that modern Christians do.

God's Provision (v. 10-20)

When I am in need I can get by through God who strengthens me. I know what it is like to both have absence and abundance, I can be content either way.

I guess the underlying message here is that we should be content in the good times and the bad. That is a good lesson, when bad times come by not to be so downtrodden but instead be happy for what you do have.

I'm not a fan of the idea that he gets through the bad times because he is strengthened by God. When you get through a struggling time, you do it through your own strength and the help of your community. To give the credit to an imaginary friend seems a shame to me.

Paul thanks the Philippians for helping him when no one else would.

In verse 18, Paul mentions a sacrifice for God. I'm mentioning this here because I find it quite curious, but I don't really know what it means. It is possible it is just the fact that they sacrificed some resources for Paul, but I'm not sure I'm convinced of that. What fragrant offering is sacrificed to the lord? 

God will supply all of your needs.

This kind of thing seems dangerous to me. They give him stuff and he promises God will take care of their needs. There isn't exactly a cause and effect spelled out here, but it is implied. It makes me think of the prosperity gospel, where they prey on poor people to give them money and God is supposed to return the favor ten fold

Final Greetings (v. 21-23)

Greet all saints in Christ Jesus.

What a strange way to sign off.

For the overview post (If you think I should add or remove stuff from this list please let me know, I think it would make good conversation) 


4:8 Focus on good things

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things"

4:11 By content in the good times and the bad

"Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content."


4:13 Give credit to overcoming struggles to God

"I can do all things through him who strengthens me"

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