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Philippians 4:10 To blossom at last

26-04-2023 - Posted by Hans

Now I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that at length, for once your dispositions toward me blossomed, to which you were disposed also, yet you lacked occasion

What now follows in this letter are some of Paul’s personal outpourings in response to the gift that the Philippians had sent to him through Epaphroditus (4:18). The above verse could superficially be seen as a reproach, but that is certainly not the idea. That the Philippians “for once” allowed their disposition toward Paul to blossom does not prove that they were previously lax or negligent. For it was not at all due to their attitude towards Paul; the opportunity simply did not arise to actually support him.

Paul compares the Philippians’ disposition toward him to the hibernation of trees and plants. His readers had to wait a long time for their interest and attention in Paul to flourish. This metaphor from nature aptly illustrates that we must learn to cultivate patience. Love never dies, but it has tides. Sometimes autumn or winter lasts a long time. But always spring and summer follows! And what a great joy it is for Paul to see the patience of his readers and himself ‘rewarded’!