Studying the Bible in Context
Just reading one verse of the Bible can be like basing your thoughts and reactions on one sentence of a conversation. Take a look at this passage from Exodus:
“Moses answered the people, ‘Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.'” Exodus 14:13-14 (NIV)
Did you notice Moses tell the people to stand still because the Lord will fight for them in verse 14? Doing nothing, however, was not the Lord’s plan!
“Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on.'” Exodus 14:15 (NIV)
“Rather than telling the Israelites to stand still, He propels them to action.” God wanted the people to “move on.”
When we read the Bible in context, we are taking into consideration:
WHO wrote it? (Who authored the book of the Bible it’s in?)
WHEN was it written?
WHO was the audience? (Who were they writing/speaking to?)
WHY were they writing/speaking?
WHAT were they trying to say?
Moses told the people not to be afraid. What were they afraid of?
God sees the bigger picture! The people were more focused on the problem than the promises of God.
What promise from the Bible do you need to remember today?
See also Inductive Bible Study posts