Is there a logical flow in 2 Timothy 2:4-7?
Sometimes Paul can write what sounds like a staccato of bullet points that seem a little disconnected.
In context Paul sounds like he is writing in view of only a little time left to him. In a way that many who face the end of their life do, he tries to summarize things for Timothy. In so doing he hits points that should be obvious.
2 Timothy 2:8 Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was
raised from the dead according to my gospel:
In verse three Paul uses the image of a soldier to both capture the difficulties that will lie ahead as well as the image that he will not be alone.
2 Timothy 2:3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of
Paul carries the soldier image into verse four as a warning against divided loyalties.
2 Timothy 2:4 No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs
of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a
In verse five Paul switches metaphor to athletics to warn against the temptation to take short cuts. This may be in view of the difficulties that Paul has mentioned. One might surmise that the temptations to which he is referring would be the temptation to avoid hardships or the temptation to compromise the gospel.
2 Timothy 2:5 And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not
crowned, except he strive lawfully.
In verse six Paul describes a reward for faithful service using the metaphor of a farmer. Here is an encouragement to persevere in the hardships ahead by being reminded that there is a reward for those who are faithful in their service.
2 Timothy 2:6 The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of
Paul concludes this section describing future hardships by asking Timothy to refect on what he has said and asking the Lord to provide Timothy with understanding.
2 Timothy 2:7 Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee
understanding in all things.
Paul even earlier in the letter wrote Timothy to encourage, exhort, and even chide him in regard to his work for the Lord.
2 Timothy 1:6 Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up
the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.
I see in verses 4-7 a theme of instruction for Timothy with a view to coming hardships.