When I came to the city of Troas to preach the Good News of Christ, the Lord opened a door of opportunity for me.
But I had no peace of mind because my dear brother Titus hadn't yet arrived with a report from you. So I said good-bye and went on to Macedonia to find him. (2 Cor 2:12-13)
Taking a journey to Troas, expecting to meet with Titus, he was delayed a while at Troas, when an opportunity to preach the Gospel there presented itself. This was the door of opportunity. Paul’s heart and soul was ever ready to preach the gospel, in season and out of season. What a great chance to share with the people at Troas. But Paul leaves ministry opportunity behind. Why? That’s so unlike Paul. We saw yesterday that he was troubled by the lack of news from Corinth via Titus. He was busting to know what happened in Corinth. That was Paul’s stated reason. Paul himself says that was the reason for leaving Troas prematurely.
Paul’s comment “Furthermore, when I came to Troas . . .” suggests that he had another reason for not coming to Corinth. “Furthermore” (δὲ de) has an adversative sense to it. Something that was contrary to what was being discussed. A BUT, the opposite to what preceded it, or simply a continuation or explanation of the point. He therefore tells them that when he came to Troas, and was blessed there with great success, and was engaged in a manner most likely of all others to interest his feelings and to give him joy, yet he was deeply distressed because he had not heard, as he expected, from them; but so deep was his anxiety that he left Troas and went into Macedonia.
But was that the reason which made him leave the ministry opportunity behind? I suggest there could well have been another reason hidden between the lines in the text. Paul’s heart was ever ready to preach the gospel. This was his life’s work and vision. This was where his heart was. This is what he pursued in every place he went. I find it hard to believe that Paul would abandon the chance to share at Troas simply because he was waiting on news from Corinth. I don’t think it likely that he would leave Troas with work unfinished and head off to Macedonia just so he can find Titus sooner and get a report on Corinth.
I think Paul’s words “no rest in my spirit” are the key another possible reason. One that makes more sense to me. His “spirit” was under the Holy Spirit. I suspect Paul was also troubled about staying on in Troas in an area where the Holy Spirit had prevented them from going before. Oh it is true that Bythnia and Mysia (Troas) are different regions and one could argue this was a new deal. I concede that. But I also feel the Holy Spirit has said clearly go to Macedonia via the vision of the man from Macedonia calling them. I wonder therefore if the troubling in Paul’s spirit is not Holy Spirit led and thus Paul responds as he did and leaves Troas with work unfinished. Don’t know, just a hunch. When I see Paul I will ask him. If you get to ask him first then give me a report. I will wait for you in Troas. No, maybe in heavenly Troas.
But we can’t get past the fact that Paul’s openly stated reason was his concern for the Corinthians. Anything else has to be conjecture. But it doesn’t stop us thinking about. I have experienced many times when I have stated and indeed thought the reason I did something was X only to find out later it was Y. There were either some underlying reasons behind the scene of which I was not aware at the time or clarity came later which showed that God had his hand on the situation in ways that I didn’t imagine at the time.
Now is the time to stop any more pondering on a blah segment and move on. I merely wanted to show you that there is always more to be gained from Scripture, even when we think we have sucked it dry. I think God wanted you to see that too. His Word is way deeper than ever we can think or imagine. There is no book like it on earth.
Understanding can wait; obedience can't. Instant obedience will teach you more about God than a lifetime of Bible discussions. Bob Gass
There are many of God's commandments you won't understand until you first obey them. Bob Gass
Sometimes it takes years, but eventually you discover that the greatest hindrance to God's blessing in your life...is you. Bob Gass