Yesterday I began studying 1 Timothy chapter 5 and I felt like it was really what I was supposed to be reading. Have you ever had that feeling? It's a very good feeling. Anyway, I felt like I was being fed spiritual nourishment from the Lord. I then began concentrating on verse 8, which reads,
"But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel." (KJV)
Wow! Heavy duty exhortation right? This person has "denied (repudiates, contradicts) the faith" and is "Worse than" (English translation of cheirón G5501 "more severe") "an infidel" (apistos - properly "not faithful" because unpersuaded, i.e. not convinced (persuaded by God). ("faithless, unpersuaded") does not always refer to the unconverted – see Jn 20:27. 571 (ápistos) describes someone who rejects or refuses God's inbirthings of faith (note the root, faith, 4102 /pístis).
"The eyes of all look to You, And You give them their food in due season. You open Your hand And satisfy the desire of every living thing." ~Psalm 145:15, 16
"And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus." — Philippians 4:19
So the question is; What does it mean to "provide for"? Here's where this verse gets interesting. To "provide for" is the English translation of the Greek word, "pronoeó" (G4306). Pronoeo is made up of two Greek words, 1. "Pró" (from 4253 / "before") and 2. "noiéō" (from 3539 / "think").
Put these two words together and you have; "to think (plan) before, showing necessary forethought to act properly (in God's will)."
From the Strong's Concordance: G4306, 3 Occurrences (Ro 12:17; 2 Co 8:21; 1 Ti 5:8)
From pro and noieo; to consider in advance, i.e. Look out for beforehand (actively, by way of maintenance for others; middle voice by way of circumspection for oneself) -- provide (for).
Let's take a closer look at the second part of the word pro-noeo, which again, is "noeó" (Strong's G3539).
HELPS Word Studies: 3539 noiéō (from 3563 /noús, "mind") – properly, to apply mental effort needed to reach "bottom-line" conclusions. 3539 (noiéō) underlines the moral culpability we all have before God – for every decision (value-judgment) we make. This follows from each of us being created in the divine image – hence, possessing the inherent capacity by the Lord to exercise moral reasoning.
As you can see, this word "pronoeo" isn't so easy to translate into English. Translators traditionally put it as "provide for", but its much bigger than that. So let's look at 1 Timothy again after reading all this.
"But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever." (NASB)
Its actually quite "simple" (2 Cor 11:3) and "logical" (Rom 12:1) and circles back around to the first and greatest commandment and the one connected to it. Namely;
“Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?”
Jesus said to him, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. The second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
All the law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.” ~Matthew 22:36-39
Being poor, being injured, being sick (often these are connected - not always). Or being uneducated doesn't put anyone under the title of "denying the faith" or "worse than an unbeliever".
Who is it that provides? Is it not the LORD?
"Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
“So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:31-34 (NASB)
"and who brought you through the great, fearful desert of venomous serpents and scorpions, an arid place with no water. He made water flow from a flint rock and fed you in the desert with manna (which your ancestors had never before known) so that he might by humbling you test you and eventually bring good to you. Be careful not to say, “My own ability and skill have gotten me this wealth.” You must remember the Lord your God, for he is the one who gives ability to get wealth; if you do this he will confirm his covenant that he made by oath to your ancestors, even as he has to this day." Deuteronomy 8:15-18
Being poor certainly doesn't nullify anyone in God's eyes. Quite the opposite actually.
"Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?" ~James 2:5
Paul gives us this utterance from the Logos of God,
"And recognizing the grace I had been given, James, Cephas, and John—those reputed to be pillars—gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, so that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the Jews. They only asked us to be mindful of the poor, the very thing I was eager to do." Galatians 2:9, 10
And spoken of the Lord Yeshoshua HaMashiach Himself,
"For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich." 2 Corinthians 8:9
And again, Paul speaks of true riches,
"As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things." 2 Corinthians 6:10
Paul refers to the "saints" (actually hagios, holy) who were poor;
"For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem." Romans 15:26
So we see, "provide for" is much more than financially. But providing for yourself and your neighbor, loved ones, household, family and enemies, the true riches in MESSIAH.
"Blessed is the one who finds wisdom,
and the one who obtains understanding.
For her benefit is more profitable than silver,
and her gain is better than gold.
She is more precious than rubies,
and none of the things you desire can compare with her." ~Proverbs 3:13-15
Do this and you will never deny the faith, you will never be worse than an infidel. Love the Lord with all your heart. By God's grace, by His Spirit within us we can do this
His yoke is easy (crestos pleasant) and His burden is light and you shall find rest unto your souls.
Go to Him today. And stay connected to Him. And learn of Him.
I pray the Lord help us all to understand Him better. Amen
"The rich and poor meet together: the LORD is the maker of them all." Proverbs 22:2
Additional comment: The context of 1 Timothy 5:8 is very important too. He was given instructions regarding how to run a church, and more specifically, the duty of the widows. He suddenly made a general statement about "providing for your own." He was telling us we are ALL responsible to carry out his very important instructions. He was doing what he always did so well, and that is to goad his listeners into obedience to God. Give God all your heart (through prayer, study of His Word, and obedience). Give God all your mind (all your thoughts; Psalm 10:4; 2 Cor 10:5). With all your strength (Deuteronomy 6:5; Luke 10:27; 1 Cor 9:23-27). And loving your neighbor as yourself will naturally accompany that first and greatest commandment, if you have God's Spirit within you of course...
You can be saved!
if you have never repented of your sins and been saved and feel the desire to do so now please say this prayer. This is how I was powerfully saved 20 years ago!
Say, "My Lord and my God, Have mercy on my soul, a sinner, I believe Jesus the Messiah died on the cross and shed His precious blood for the forgiveness of all my sins. I believe God raised Jesus from the dead and Jesus is now on the right hand of God and can hear my prayer at this moment and wants to live through me and give me power to keep His Word. I open up the door of my heart and I invite You into my heart Lord Jesus. Please be my Lord and Savior in every aspect of my life. Thank you God for saving my soul and I vow to serve you with all my heart which is the first and greatest commandment. Amen"