Saturday, 5 April 2014

Literally or Contextually?

Today I read some articles that pointed out that a lot of Christians have used bible verses too literally and that those verses often quoted are taken in the wrong context.   For example, Jeremiah 29:11 that saysFor I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  

Now, there is reason in the article's argument that the verse had to be read in the context of where the Israelites was at the point of time: in exile, in Babylon, in despair.   I can understand that.  However, it also argues that it should not be used for when we are having a bad day or when things don't go our way.  In a way that is also true but I believe that by saying we need to look at ONLY the situational context then we are limiting what is the WORD of GOD.  

Yes, God's Word should be read in context and should not be used in vain or for our own selfish gain but God's Word being GOD'S WORD should also be powerful enough for use to meditate on and used in more ways than one, right?  

So what if Jer 29:11 is used as a source of comfort, strength, peace and assurance?  Not only for the big things or "Godly things" but also to help us overcome the little struggles that we face in our daily lives.  I'd rather that God's Word be used to help and encourage Christians, especially those young in faith, to keep their eyes on Jesus, even if it means sometimes taking the verses literally.  

God works in all sorts of ways and in all sorts of manner... what is more important is that we keep clinging on God's Word and allow God's Spirit to work in and through us so that eventually we can truly get what God wants to say to us, in whatever context he wants us to understand it in.  Only then can the very Word of God be fully realized in our lives... don't you think so?