Valuable fatherly advice in view of Timothy’s responsibilities at Ephesus.
I. Advice concerning public prayer (verses 1-8)
1. Pray for all men (v. 1).
2. Pray for those in authority (v. 2a).
3. Pray for peace and quietness; conducive to godliness (v. 2b).
4. Pray with a view to the spread of the gospel (v.3, 4).
5. Pray through the One Mediator (v. 5-7).
6. Pray everywhere (v. 8a).
7. Pray with holiness and trust (v. 8b).
II. Advice concerning the sisters (verses 9-15)
1. They should be characterised by:
– Modest apparel (v. 9a).
– Absence of self-advertisement (v. 9b).
– Good deeds (v. 10) (as Dorcas, Acts 9:36).
– Comparative quietness in the church (v. 11-14).
2. They are promised:
– Protection and blessing in the tasks of motherhood (whilst they continue in the Way).
Very appropriately, the emphasis passes on, in this chapter to the all-important matter of prayer, for that would need to be basic to all Timothy’s future ministry, as it is, indeed, to all ministry. This young servant of the Lord must be reminded again and again that God’s almighty workings will always be linked with, and dependent upon, our believing prayers and that God Himself has planned it so (see John 14:12-14). Apart from all else, it is one of God’s wise ways of keeping us close to Himself.
The other matter dealt with, and at some length, is that of the position and function of sisters within the local fellowship and there is an unmistakable call to a due (and we would say beautiful) deference on their part. This whole matter, of course, is rooted in the great principle of divine order, something to be welcomed, surely, by all true Christians. God is a God of order and He has made that fact abundantly evident throughout the created universe. As far as His human creatures are concerned, it is a simple fact that God has ordained, and is operating, His own wise plan as to leadership on the one and support on the other. And it is such a wonderful help for us all when we are enabled to see that following is just as important as leading. The functions are varied, but, to say the least, they are equally valuable, and beautifully complementary to each other. Amongst Christians, most certainly each of these functions is to be cherished as a God-given privilege.
In touching this particular matter of God’s order, there is little doubt that Paul also wanted to impress on Timothy, the fact that orderliness in the church, in all its operations and activities, is a matter of great importance, and altogether essential to the raising and maintaining of a true and powerful testimony in any place. The following chapter, we shall see, takes up the same theme.