2 Timothy 3:6-9 ISV
For some of these men go into homes and deceive foolish women who are burdened with sins and swayed by all kinds of desires. These women are always studying but are never able to arrive at a full knowledge of the truth. Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men oppose the truth. They are depraved in mind and their faith is a counterfeit. But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those two men, their stupidity will be plain to everyone.
I always wondered something about those magicians of Pharaoh’s back in the time of Moses. Why would it be a good thing that they could duplicate God’s plagues the first few times? Then I remembered that, in the scientific world, the first step to getting rid of a problem, such as a disease, is to duplicate it. Knowing the nature of the problem is at least helpful in discovering its solution.
Perhaps, then, the magicians were really scientists. So maybe Pharaoh was cheering them on those first few plagues, saying, “Yes! You’ve duplicated the problem. Now get to work on the solution!”
However, there came a time when, not only could the magicians no longer “do likewise with their enchantments”, God even allowed the Hebrews to be spared some of the plagues while they continued to decimate the Egyptians. I can imagine Pharaoh, and that point, changing his tune. “You idiots! All you ever did was make more frogs and bugs! Now you can’t even make bugs! What good are you?” If Jannes and Jambres were not beheaded or impaled, I guess they were at the very least looking for new jobs.
2 Timothy 3 is talking about religious con men. They keep deceiving women who claim to be trying to learn truth but never manage to do anything but fall for every quasi-religious self-help scheme that comes along. Jannes and Jambres were solid with Pharaoh, I bet, before Moses and the ten plagues came along. Note that many scholars say the plagues were each a different frontal attack on the gods and pagan religious practices of Egypt. God attacked and undermined their pet sins, since their entire society’s structure was based on a false religion. He intended to show them His truth by destroying their foundation of lies.
So Paul takes the example of Jannes and Jambres, who had similarities to the false teachers of his day, and explains how the women of his time could stop being deceived by them. If you just get rid of your sins, ladies, these false teachers will be exposed to you for the liars they are, and the truth will start making sense to you.
This problem is still common today. What will it take for silly women nowadays, laden with sins to stop listening to the latest spiritual scam artist? I want to say that they need to get rid of those sins they are carrying around with them. The Bible clearly says, in many places and ways, that we have to purify ourselves or a. The Lord will not hear us, and b. we will not hear Him.
It’s not that there aren’t any good religious self-help books. But let’s study the Scriptures, not the latest religious best seller, to learn how to stop being silly and burdened down by sins Christ died to forgive and cleanse and make disappear. Then we’ll know how stupid some of these self-help wizards are.
Images from Kozzi.com and 1Photos.com