SCRIPTURE – FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT OF FAITH
“But you, O man of God, Flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto you are also called, and have professed a good profession before many witnesses.” 1 Tim. 11,12
In this soap journal we will contrast King Solomon and King Joash’s failures with the godly lives of Paul and Timothy. Moreover, we will show how Timothy took to heart the command of Paul to fight the good fight of faith as opposed to King Solomon and King Joash’s waning faith at the end of their lives.
Solomon started out so well. When God appeared to him and asked Solomon what he would like from God, Solomon asked for the exact thing that he needed the most: wisdom! He became the wisest man that ever lived besides Jesus. Kings and queens from all over the known world came to visit Solomon to verify for themselves how wisely Solomon ruled his kingdom.
Unfortunately, Solomon let his passions get the best of him and ended up following the gods of his wives. He only had 700 wives and 300 concubines (mistresses). Most of his marriages stemmed from peace treaties with foreign countries. Indeed, his marriage to these women sealed the deal. Solomon may have thought he could lead these women to the God of Israel. However, they ended up drawing him away from the One true God and into the worship of idols.
Joash also started out well. After his wicked grandmother, Queen Athaliah met her demise at the order of the priest Jehoiada, Joash assumed the throne. The temple of Baal was torn down and Joash repaired the temple of Yahweh (2 Kings 12:4-16). In addition, Joash persuaded King Hazael of Syria to not attack Jerusalem (2 Kings 12:17-18).
But then Joash’s trusted mentor, the priest Jehoiada, died. Joash began to listen to wicked advisors. Moreover, he revived the worship of Baal and Asherah in Judah. He even had Jehoiada’s son, the prophet Zechariah, stoned to death when he tried to warn Joash of his wicked ways. Joash was later assassinated by his servants who conspired against him (2 Chron. 24:17-25; 2 Kings 12:20).
Paul and Timothy
Paul, in his first letter to Timothy, instructs him to “Fight the good fight of faith.” Paul fought this fight of faith and finished a winner. Moreover, the Scriptures tell us that Paul had “finished the race and kept the faith.” A “crown of righteousness” awaited Paul’s arrival in heaven (2 Tim. 4:7-8). I have no doubt that he received the greeting every Christian longs to hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant….Enter into the joy of your Lord” (Matt. 25:23).
Paul instructed Timothy to flee the lust and evil of the world and follow after “righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness and gentleness” (1 Tim. 6:11-12). He instructed Timothy to “preach the Word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine” (2 Tim. 4:2). Timothy did not try to finish his course by hanging on to the coattails of Paul. On the contrary, according to church tradition, he continued on as the overseer at Ephesus after Paul’s death and eventually suffered martyrdom under the Emperor Domition.
They Finished Well
These two heroic saints of God suffered incredible hardship in their walks with God and yet they finished well. They did not allow the distractions of the world to derail them before they could finish.
Hebrews 3:14 tells us, “For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end.” Listen, it matters much more how we finish than how we begin. Don’t blow it all on the enticements of this world. Look for that “city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God” like Abraham did (Heb. 11:10). Finish Well! A great cloud of witnesses cheers you on every step of your journey (Heb. 12:1). Finish the race! Fight the good fight of faith all the way to the end!
Father God, help us to be diligent in our walk with You. Open our eyes to things in our lives that could bring us down. Give us the strength to fight the “good fight of faith” remaining steadfast to the end. Help us Father to keep our eyes upon Jesus when the enemy sends distractions our way. Guide us O’ God through this course of life that we may be able to hear you say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord,” In Jesus Name, Amen.