Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Medicine and Good Works

We looked at verse 22 yesterday, but it is worth looking at Timothy 5:22-252 together. What I find interesting is that in 22 Paul is talking about sin that Timothy is supposed to keep himself from and in 24 and 25 he is talking about sin, but verse 23 seems out of place. “Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thy frequent infirmities.” Paul appears to be prescribing a medicinal aid for Timothy, then returning to his previous thought. But is that the case or are they somehow connected?

I’m not sure, but they may be more connected than they look at first. Paul has just told Timothy to keep himself pure, then he tells him to drink wine instead of water. Today, we think of water as being clean and pure, but in those days they didn’t have our water treatment facilities. The alcohol in wine killed the impurities. So when we get to 24 and it says that some men’s sins are open before judgment and some are after, we can think of water and wine. Water doesn’t look like it will hurt you, but you may drink it and it will make you sick. We know that wine isn’t good for us, but then we drink it and it kills the stuff that was in the water, so we feel better.

In verse 25, Paul talks about good works. I think what he is saying is that with some people we know well ahead of time that they are going to do something good. Perhaps they announce it. Perhaps someone else announces it. Then there are people who say little, preferring to just do the good work and move on. But when someone does something good, someone is sure to find out about it.