Context, Context, Context

In real estate offerings, the motto is always “location, location, location.” When reading the Bible, the motto is “context, context, context.” You might be surprised to know that familiar bible stories and verses you have loved have been told out of context with an incorrect meaning. Scriptures taken out of context are one way our perspective of the Bible gets skewed.

I was teaching a class the other day, and we discussed Psalm 46:10; “Be still and know that I am God.” First, the second half of that verse is never quoted: “I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted in the earth.”

Many who have the personality of “doing” are not fans of this verse because they think it means stop “doing.” If we stop “doing,” then that is a problem- so we believe.

In context, this Psalm was written in wartime. But God ends war and brings peace by destroying the Assyrian soldiers and their weapons, to be of use no more. This is another great story of God doing “immeasurably more.”

In this context, the Hebrew meaning for “still” means to “cease striving, or withdraw, or take your hands off.” Because many of us are “doers” it is hard to take a “hands-off” position. Hear me when I say there is a time to act and obey God, but we get impatient and try to make something happen. And we all know the mess that makes.

The second half of Psalm 46:10 is declaring God is in His rightful place. God is sovereign over all, and He is speaking these words to the nations with whom He will eventually be exalted. Now go back and read all of Psalm 46. You will see God is our security and strength. He doesn’t mean you need to be “still” in the way of not doing anything, but be “still” and let Him fight your battles. God wants us to surrender our “weapons” and “worries.” So let us all pray to “be still and know that He is God, and to keep Him in His rightful place—On The Throne.”

Picture of Tanya Magnus

Tanya Magnus

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