My Grace-Full Life

7.9.19 Praise & Prayer Prompt: Context in the Bible

PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• One of the quickest ways to get me on a soapbox is to use Scripture out of context.
It is crazy-easy to cherry pick words from the Bible and use them to build an argument.
But without context, it’s like picking a novel off the shelf, randomly flipping to the middle, and using the first sentence you read as a way, to sum up, the whole book.
If you land on the sentence, “She told the waiter that she wanted extra ice in her coke,” and you use that define the whole book, chances are REALLY good that you’ve missed a key plot point.
The problem is that when people read the Bible, they have to understand that while every word is ordained by God in His Holy Word, it doesn’t mean He condoned every action that is written.
For example, 2 Samuel 13 includes the story of David’s daughter Tamar who was raped by her half-brother Amnon.
I can assure you that God does not condone rape, but this story is included in Scripture.
Similarly, we can’t make the mistake of applying our social norms to the social norms of a time and culture very different from ours.
Their environment and way of life were different.
What we can focus on is people because people don’t change.
The people of the Bible experienced love, pain, sorrow, regret, laughter, joy, hunger, sleepiness, and the full range of emotions and feelings that we have today.
We also have to recognize there’s a difference between the old Covenant versus the new Covenant and recognize Jesus’ role in that new Covenant.
And at the heart of the Bible, the primary reason we read it, is to know God.
It’s His love letter to people.
Is 2 Timothy 3:16-17, it says, “All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”
Then, in 2 Corinthians 2:13a CSB, it says, “We also speak these things, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit…”
The word of God is designed to instruct us.
But it’s more than just reading words on a page and maybe occasionally marking certain passages with a highlighter.
We need to pray as we read.
Let the Holy Spirit teach us.
We can’t let human interpretation and assumptions dictate the Word of God.
His Holy Spirit is called a Counselor for a reason…
He can and will guide everyone who seeks with a sincere heart (Deuteronomy 4:29).
Today, as you pray, thank the Holy Spirit for His willingness to guide you and teach you through God’s Word.
Thank God for the promise that whoever sincerely seeks Him will find Him.
And ask the Holy Spirit to help you view the Bible not as a book of words, but as a way to know and understand God, His love, grace, mercy, and forgiveness.

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