“If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayer that is made in this place” (2 Chron 7:14,15).
Have you ever been quoted out of context? If so, a different meaning may have been attributed to your words.
Seeking to read the Bible through the eyes of the original recipients aids in revealing the author’s intentions in writing, which, in turn, furnishes subsequent readers with a bridge facilitating the discovery of the author’s (or editor’s) illocution and perlocution at the time. Context involves understanding, as God’s revelation to the original readers, which is necessary for the correct application of His message in our lives today. We seek to discover the meaning that is already there, and then then apply that meaning to our lives today. Because it is so easy to unwittingly read meaning into Scripture, context helps keep us on track.
“If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayer that is made in this place” (2 Chron 7:14,15,ESV). Consider God’s promise to Solomon here in 2 Chronicles, though the context plainly relates to “this place” (the temple in Jerusalem) and “their land” (Israel, the land of Solomon and the Israelites), many modern Christians (myself included at times) yearn for this promise to be explicitly true of the land in which they (I) live. Moreover, as Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart point out, God’s people have no earthly country that is “their land;” instead, the country believers now belong to is a heavenly one (Heb 11:16). However, is it wrong to derive an implicit principle from this promise? If a people, or a nation, were to “humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways,” as narrated by the Chronicler, would there not be a positive outcome that would accompany turning to God and away from wickedness? I suspect there would be, but as the authors are apt in pointing out, and what should temper many modern sermons on this passage, the specific promise stated in 2 Chronicles has nothing to do with anyone other than those to whom it was given at that time. It may seem like I am splitting hairs here, but entire doctrines, erroneous and destructive, have been established on less; this is why we cannot lose sight of context.
“In that day I will raise up the booth of David that is fallen and repair its breaches, and raise up its ruins and rebuild it as in the days of old, that they may possess the remnant of Edom and all the nations who are called by my name, declares the Lord who does this” (Amos 9:11,12). Let us consider James’ reference to Amos 9 in his address at the Jerusalem Council in Acts 15. Two questions that jump out to me are: Was the selection of Amos 9 an arbitrary choice or an attempt at “proof texting,” on James’ part to make a point, or did James choose the passage thoughtfully to convey that the coming kingdom will admit both Jew (righteous remnant) and Gentile (elect from every nation)? At the Jerusalem Council, James (the brother of Jesus) spoke last, which seems suggests that by this time, the early church looked to him as one of its senior spokesmen (cf. Gal 2:6-9). James’s speech put to rest lingering questions pertaining to Gentile adherence to Jewish religious customs. James’s appeal to Amos 9:11,12 provides the scriptural basis for his argument, and the resulting decision of the council. The reference to Amos refers to the rebuilding of David’s “booth” (or hut), and subsequently, the ingathering of Gentiles who bear God’s name. The situational context observed between Amos and the council decision demonstrates how events in one place are occasioned by events in other places within the biblical narrative. James’ use of Amos 9 was just one of many OT passages that specifically bore evidence to God’s work among the Gentiles and I believe the context supports intentionality. God’s promise to raise up the “fallen booth of David” as recorded in Amos articulates the promised restoration of the Davidic kingship 2 Samuel 7 in which Gentiles are to be included in the covenant relationship.
Just because God honored Gideon’s requests about the fleece to confirm His will, does not mean that we are to act similarly, when in reality the episode is better understood as demonstrating God’s grace and mercy, despite Gideon’s lack of faith (cf. Judg 6:36-40). Similarly, the concept of “binding and loosing” (cf. Matt 16:19) when taken into context points to church discipline rather than the common teaching that it applies to dealing with demonic spirits. What is more, as I wrote in another post about the infamous verse in 1 Corinthians 14 in which Paul writes that “women should remain silent in the churches,” whatever the apostle’s intentions are concerning women in worship aver all, the immediate context in verse 34 has orderly worship in mind. One of the most important human resources for understanding the Bible is context.
 Unless otherwise noted, all biblical passages referenced are in the English Standard Version.
 Gordon D. Fee and Douglas Stuart, How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2014), 109.
 Richard Alan Fuhr Jr. and Andreas J. Köstenberger, Inductive Bible Study: Observation, Interpretation, and Application through the Lenses of History, Literature, and Theology (Nashville, TN: B&H, 2016), 191.
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This is a case in point matter that far too many people whether they be actual genuine devout Christians or even heathens are brushing off as a hysterical approach to analyzing what is going on in this madcap topsy-turvy insane man-made world today, relatively speaking “not seeing the forest for the trees!” Which is; that the gates of the hell have been flung open and the earth has been infested with demonic diabolical spirits that have one mission, which is to destroy humanity and pull as many souls into hell with them on judgment day!
2 Thessalonians 2:10–12 (NIV) “10 and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie 12 and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.”
People better open their eyes to the Truth fast and most important their hearts to their ONLY Salvation; Jesus Christ! This is how they will see and know the Truth. Not by leaders or news media but the only source of God’s eternal Truth and Hope! “Our Lord, Savior and Redeemer Jesus Christ.”
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Sorry for the error; was a bit off, “which is to destroy humanity and pull as many souls as possible into hell with them on judgment day!”
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1 John 5:2-4 “By this we know that we love the children of God: when we love God and keep His commandments. 3For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome, 4because everyone born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world: our faith.”
Romans 1:17-19 “For the gospel reveals the righteousness of God that comes by faith from start to finish, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.” 18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness. 19For what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.”
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