“And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto His heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen” (II Timothy 4:18).
As Paul sits in the Roman prison writing to Timothy, he puts down some painful thoughts about the persecutions by his enemies and the desertion of his friends. Only Luke is still with him and things look bleak. “Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion” (v.17).
Just as in Paul’s time, so today many evil works surround us, that our only hope is in the Lord’s deliverance. Psalm 18:48–50 reads: “He delivereth me from mine enemies: yea, thou liftest me up above those that rise up against me: thou hast delivered me from the violent man. Therefore will I give thanks unto thee, O LORD, among the heathen, and sing praises unto thy name. Great deliverance giveth He to His king; and sheweth mercy to His anointed, to David, and to his seed for evermore.”
Such preservation is for the Christian, thus enabling him to be a part of his heavenly kingdom. For those who endure, Acts 14:22 comments, “Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.” “That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel” (Luke 22:30). The Lord deserves praise for His protective and sustaining hand. It is He and He alone who is able to deliver. In his last recorded words, Paul, as he reflected on God’s faithful working throughout his life and ministry, exhorted us to give glory now and forever to Him. Soon, the executioner released him to enjoy God’s everlasting preservation. KBC