Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | July 19, 2020

“If I have to boast, I will boast of what pertains to my weakness.”

Today’s devotion comes from 2 Corinthians 11:30-33.

“If I have to boast, I will boast of what pertains to my weakness.  The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, He who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying.  In Damascus the ethnarch under Aretas the king was guarding the city of the Damascenes in order to seize me, and I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall, and so escaped his hands.”  2 Corinthians 11:30-33.


Why did Paul use this example of what pertains to his weakness to make his concluding point of the chapter?  

In the prior Scripture, Paul detailed seemingly better examples of his weakness such as “I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers among false brethren;  I have been in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure.”  2 Corinthians 11:26-27.

If Paul did use one of those examples, the reader may be focused on his strength, his endurance, and his perseverance.

Paul’s example of being let down in a basket does lead us to meditate on Jesus’ words describing salvation.  “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him;  and I will raise him up on the last day.”  John 6:44.  Just as a fish deserves no credit being captured by a net and drawn up and into a boat, we deserve no credit and reason to boast being drawn into salvation.  Likewise, Paul deserved no credit and reason to boast of being let down in the basket to save his life, so to speak, drawn down (instead of drawn up) into salvation.

Other doctrine boasts about its own wisdom, its own alleged free-will, its own works, and its own perseverance.

But, Reformed Doctrine boasts about God’s wisdom, God’s will, and God’s preservation of the saints.

Simply, other doctrine boasts about its alleged free-will choices.

But, Reformed Doctrine boasts about God’s choices.

“… God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God.  But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, “LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD.”  1 Corinthians 1:27-31.

“And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God.  For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.  I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.”  1 Corinthians 2:1-5.

“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves;  we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed;  perplexed, but not despairing;  persecuted, but not forsaken;  struck down, but not destroyed;  always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.”  2 Corinthians 4:7-10.

“And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.”  Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.  Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake;  for when I am weak, then I am strong.”  2 Corinthians 12:9-10.

“Who will separate us from the love of Christ?  Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?  Just as it is written,


But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.  For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  Romans 8:37-39.


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