Shame on the but-phobic
If you are living your life on the basis of a daily verse offering with or without commentary you may have fallen into the trap of liking the fattty, sugary, artificially flavored snacks that are popular. People are slow to acknowledge the positives of God’s existence and message. They find his buts and rebukes are less attractive. Very often, the only way for a daily (memory or devotional) verse to make sense is for the user to be familiar with the context. Just saying the verse with no reflection is like spinning ones wheels or like blowing hot air into a cold room.
I pick this verse, 2 Timothy 1:9, as an example of how a thought can be carelessly twisted or disconnected to say something compact. A sentence beginning with “who” is likely to be treated as a question. Who hath saved is one word and who hath saved is another. Two words the writer uses to identify the God whose testimony is the only hope we have for covering our vulnerability.
The King James preserves the intent of the writer by beginning the verse with the relative “who“, because the main thrust of the passage are the COMMANDS (1) stop being ashamed (2) be a fellow-sufferer.
The reader is being encouraged to be in accordance with the power of God. Verse 9 answers to “what God?” Verse 10 contrasts the mystery with appearance and death with life. Verse 11 identifies Paul’s appointment to a ministry to non-Jewish people.
Ashamed of fresh testimony and prisoner status
It is fairly easy for Yeshua to become too much trouble when the easy way is being embraced by the majority. The pressure on many believers today is to talk less about Yeshua and more about God or Yahweh. If he exposed your national treasure as an oppressive fraud you’d think twice about calling him “Lord”.
Verse 9 is intended to identify the GOD (saving and calling)
1. Of whom one needs not be ashamed
2. With whom one needs to suffer
Let us never be ashamed of the Lord’s testimony or his prisoners (our leaders), but let us be fellow-suffers alongside the God who saved us, even if presently many leaders are neither giving Yeshua’s testimony nor are facing imprisonment by the state or other authorities.