2 Timothy 2:14-19
The Lord Knows Those Who Are His
Words are marvelous things, the purpose of which is to precisely define and describe what one knows about God, himself, and the world—that is, to speak the truth. What we know of God comes through revelation, specifically the Bible; what we know of ourselves comes from viewing ourselves through the lens of the Bible—that is, what it tells us about ourselves; and, what we know about the world we learn from discovery through our senses. We then take what we discover through these means and speak or write what we have learned through the use of words. In doing so, we advance knowledge of God, ourselves and the world.
Several years ago when I was in college taking philosophy courses, I had to read the works of such “luminaries” as George Berkeley, Immanuel Kant, and several others who taught that one can never know that what one senses with his eyes, ears, nose, tongue, and hands is anything other than what his mind perceives. In other words, in the realm of what goes by the name of “Modern Philosophy,” there came a radical disconnect between what our senses sense and what our minds perceive such that one only knows what he thinks he knows (which is murky at best) but not the world, himself, and certainly not God, if there even be one.
Now if this seems laughable to you, that’s because you are reading about it through my description of it. But if you were to read it from one of these fellows, you would be shocked to discover that they make really good arguments, and if you were to go toe to toe with one of them, you would lose the argument—that is, until you relied on your own common sense to bring you back down to reality.
So we come now to the passage at hand. Paul tells Timothy not to waste time with those who misuse and abuse words—indeed, abuse God’s own word by using it against itself and twisting it so as to preach all sorts of falsehoods. Timothy, and every other pastor, is to “rightly handle the word of truth,” interpreting Scripture with Scripture according to the sense in which the apostles taught us and which the Church has handed down to us down through the ages. But even such heretics as Paul mentions do not concern him for “God’s firm foundations stands, bearing this seal: ‘The Lord knows those who are His’ and ‘Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.’” Those who are His will cherish words—His words above all—and use them rightly. And God knows exactly who these are.