All of the details are not provided for us. However, we know that Paul was imprisoned in Rome under Nero when he wrote his 2nd letter to Timothy. In the book’s last chapter appear these words:
“At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them! But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength…and I was delivered from the lion’s mouth.” (2 Tim 4:16-17).
I can barely imagine being in Paul’s shoes. He’d been in Rome long enough to know what Nero did to Christians. And when it came time for Paul to first stand in the emperor’s court, he stood alone. Bear in mind that Paul had many people in the city that he referred to as friends. Yet sadly, not one of them found it within themselves to show up that day to support him. Instead, each and every one of them deserted him.
Deserted and alone; talk about salt being thrown into an open wound. The fear and loneliness must have been overwhelming. Yet, Paul made a specific point to tell Timothy that he forgave them all; their lack of support was not to be held against them. The most striking thing to me about the whole scene, however, was Paul’s realization that while he had been deserted, he was NOT alone. God, Himself, stood by Paul’s side playing the roles of encourager, advocate and lawyer. Through it all, Paul was strengthened and delivered.
Folks, sometimes you may feel (or literally be) deserted by all your friends, family, and acquaintances. However, if you belong to Him, you will never be alone; the Lord will be at your side to strengthen you! –Dave
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