Friday, August 16, 2013

Out of context

It's crazy how you can totally destroy the meaning of something when taken out of context!

We see this over and over on the news - they can pull one sentence they don't agree with out of a whole conversation and focus on just that.  In fact they can build an entire report around it .  That's why the news should be called ' This is My Opinion and I really don't care what the real entire story was'.... And that's why I refuse to listen to or watch the news - it's not real. Ok, maybe the weather.

And how many times have I been in conversation with someone and later hear they claimed I said something that I didn't?  This is also because they only remembered or chose to remember one part of the entire conversation.  They pulled one sentence out of context and put their spin on what I was trying to communicate.

We shouldn't be surprised at this.  Disappointed yes, but not surprised.  And IF in our mainly insignificant conversations we are disappointed - how much more so must God be disappointed when we remember that easily the most often taken 'out of context' thing in the world has to be God's own words, the Bible!

Just this morning I was reading in Psalm 121 where it says, " I will lift up mine eyes to the hills from whence cometh my help."

When you hear people refer to or quote this passage, it is the perfect example of scripture largely taken out of context!  Growing up I heard it taught as if it was an 'inspirational part of creation', or possibly a place that inspires worship.  You've heard of a 'mountain top experience ' connected to a positive 'break-through Christian experience'?

In the original language the context in which it's written reminds us that a mountain in Biblical times was terrifying to the Israelites!  Their mountains were full of bandits, torturous roads and extreme weather.  So when you read this passage correctly , this is no inspirational moment but instead a question to The Lord asking, " what will help me when I enter these dangerous hills, where my life is in great danger?"

Scripture read and understood in it's proper context is so much easier to understand...why do we try to make things so different then they were intended to be?  I assume to fit our own adgendas or possibly because we hurry through even our time with God.

I'm reminded again this morning to highly value the context in which things are placed, taking time to properly understand them...  and to leave them there!

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