Philipians 4:4-9 and Waldenström's Commentary - Episle Lesson for Thanksgiving Day
Verse 4—Rejoice in the Lord always;1 again I say2 rejoice. Compare Philippians 2:18, 3:1, and I Thessalonians 5:14.
1. Even in trouble and distress. Compare Chapter 1:29 and Romans 5:3.
2. Yes, I shall say it one more time. Repetition is intended to impress the point more deeply.
Verse 5—Your mild nature should be known to all people.1 The Lord is near.2
1. Present yourselves to all people (even toward your enemies) so that they may learn to know your mild-scented nature.
2. The Lord is coming soon to save you. Think about that and it will be easier to be meek and gentle toward everyone, no matter how they behave themselves toward you.
Verse 6—Be not worried about anything,1 but in everything2 make all your wishes through invocation and prayer with thanksgiving3 known to God. See Isaiah 55:23, Matthew 6:25, I Peter 5:7.
1. Whatever it may be, spiritual or physical, Paul does not forbid Christian concern about what befalls them (compare Chapter 2:20, I Corinthians 7:32 ff., II Corinthians 11:28) but they are not to be worried. Such worry comes because one is not completely trusting in the Lord.
2. Without any exception.
3. Prayer should always be united with thanksgiving. See Colossians 3:17 and I Thessalonians 5:18. For no matter what befalls the believer, it will always work for his best (Romans 8:28) and, as such, is worthy of thanks.
Verse 7—And God's peace1 which is beyond all understanding2 shall protect your hearts and your thoughts3 in Christ Jesus.4 Compare John 14:27.
1. That innermost peace of the heart that God gives.
2. Which is greater than all human understanding. Paul's word could also mean: which is more than any human understanding can comprehend. Compare Ephesians 3:20. But according to the context, the former is preferred.
3. To keep guard over your hearts and thoughts. See Romans 8:38 ff.
4. Christ Jesus shall guard your hearts and thoughts and they will be preserved in Him and not be withdrawn.
Verse 8—In addition brothers, everything that is true,1 everything that is venerable, everything that is righteous, everything that is pure,2 everything that is lovable, everything that is harmonious,3 if there is any virtue, and if there is any praise,4 so think about this.5
1. Everything that Godly truth invites. The Apostle is not speaking here about their confession (what they believe), rather about the ethical life that is in agreement with the divine truth. See John 3:21, compare I Corinthians 5:8 and Ephesians 5:9.
2. Morally clean.
3. Everything that sounds good when one mentions it. When one hears that someone has done something really good, one says: "That sounds really good." Think then: "This is something that we also want to do."
4. If you hear that something is praised.
5. So that you may in your own lives do that. Of course the Apostle means by the words: True, venerable, etc. not different things but one and the same, viewed from different sides.
Verse 9—What you learned and received1 and heard and seen in me,2 do this, and the God of peace3 shall be with you. Compare Philippians 3:17, Romans 15:33, II Corinthians 13:11, and I Thessalonians 5:23.
1. Not only what you now hear for the first time, but also what you heard and learned during my visit to Phillipi and that you accepted in faith. (See I Corinthians 15:1).
2. Paul, by the example of his life, had shown both in word and deed how to live what he taught. In other words, "As you have heard me speak in my dealings with you, so you shall speak; as you have seen me behave, so shall you behave."
3. God who gives peace. Here the word peace is the same as in verse 7.