But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
Paul declares that the contributions of his Philippian friends are pleasing to him, and acceptable to God. He cannot requite their kindness, but declares that God can and will.
I. THE EXTENT of the supply. The emphasis is on all.
1. There are many promises of this kind even in the Old Testament. "They that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing." "No good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly," etc. But in all their fulness we find them only in the gospel, where Christ tells us that our heavenly Father knows our need, and caring as He does for sparrows and lilies will much more care for us.
2. This promise is exceeding broad. It is not restricted —
(1) In the nature of its object, but comprehends temporal and spiritual good.
(2) Nor in the absolute measure of the good it possesses; not your occasional, but your constant need; not one kind, but every kind; not a portion, but all.
3. It is possible to misinterpret the promise. We are not to make it the ground of foolish expectations. God will not do for us what we can do for ourselves, nor gratify our whims. The promise has a just and obvious limit. God will supply our need. He does more, but does not engage to do so; and He is the final and righteous Judge of what our needs are. We may not feel the want of what God sees we require. We may desire wealth, or health of body, but God may see that we need spiritual riches and health of soul, and to give the latter He may have to withhold the former. Take the case of Paul who prayed for deliverance from his thorn in the flesh. God's response was grace to bear it, and Paul saw that his need was supplied, and then gloried in his infirmity.
II. ITS MEANS — "riches in glory," or "glorious riches," a phrase indicative of the wealth of Deity; but more than this, for behind the works of His hand there is the uncreated wealth of His own infinity. Here we come to an ocean without a bottom or shore. What we see gives us a small idea of the Divine possibility. Notwithstanding all that God has given, His ability to give remains undiminished.
III. ITS MEDIUM. The passage is sometimes made to read "out of" His riches and glory. This is true, but what Paul means is that our need is supplied by a certain method. We are under a mediatorial government. By Christ God made the worlds. Through Him, too, comes daily bread and daily pardon. The promises of God are yea and amen in Christ Jesus. Apart from Him there is no mercy to anyone. Prayer is only heard as offered in His name.
IV. ITS CERTAINTY. There is no doubt or contingency: God shall do it. Some one has said that the apostle here draws a bill on the exchequer of heaven that God will make the wants of the Philippians His own care. Rather let us say that he draws a bill which he is assured God will honour the moment it is presented in believing prayer. What are the grounds for this?
1. The apostle knew that God loved His own children with a peculiar love, and was therefore sure to take care of the Philippians.
2. He knew that God approved of their act, and would therefore compensate them.
3. He knew his own standing with God. We have friends for whom we can say that "for our sakes" they would do what we desire, and God thus puts Himself in human conditions and enables Paul to claim Him as his own.
(J. Stacey, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.