Category: Breaking the fourth

Sometimes I read the Bible and ask the Lord, “Why is this verse here, and what can I learn from it?” When I ask these questions, I’m thinking of 2 Timothy 3:16.

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.

2 Timothy 3:16 (NIV)

Verse 17 tells us the “why.”

So that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

2 Timothy 3:17 (NIV)

While reading Judges 1, I encountered an incident in the text I didn’t understand. At least, I didn’t know why it was in the Bible; how could it teach, rebuke, correct, or train?

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I look up to the mountains
Does my strength come from the mountains?
No, my strength comes from God
Who made heaven and earth, and the mountains

for King & Country, “Shoulders”

For King & Country’s song, “Shoulders” opens with a nod to the beginning of Psalm 121.

I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.

Psalm 121:1-2 (NIV)

While for King & Country restate the opening of Psalm 121, I like their declaration, “No, my strength comes from God who made heaven and earth, and the mountains.” While reading Psalm 44 today, I thought about where our help comes from. Indeed, I thought about how every good and perfect gift is from God above. Specifically, when I read Psalm 44:6-7, I thought about how careful we must be to remember where our help comes from.

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To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.

1 Corinthians 9:22 (NIV)

Is Paul telling us to do worldly things like hang out in bars and strip clubs to try and win people for Christ? If we consider this verse without context, it certainly looks like it. However, within context, Paul explains to the Corinthians why his life has been so challenging. Instead of telling the Jews how wrong they were about the law and following it, Paul followed it even though it had no impact on his salvation. By doing so, Paul demonstrated Christ’s love for the Jews. For example, when Timothy was circumcised, it was done to avoid offending the Jews, so they might be saved. Similarly, Paul doesn’t collect a salary or take a wife with him to not burden the churches. Consider what Paul said in 2 Corinthians 6:15.

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In 1 Corinthians 7, Paul discusses sex between a husband and wife. However, during his discourse, he says something that we might misinterpret. 

I wish that all of you were as I am. But each of you has your own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that.

1 Corinthians 7:7 (NIV)

Within context, Paul has been discussing abstinence between a husband and wife for a set period. 

Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control (emphasis added)

1 Corinthians 7:5 (NIV)
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