un•der•stand – to realize or become aware of something
What is the cost? What does the commitment entail? How far away is it? How much time will it take? UNDERSTANDING the full picture is important in any aspect of life.
This semester I am taking a course called Interpreting the Bible. I am learning to analyze, interpret, and apply what I am reading. I am also discovering that many times we read God’s Word with a “preunderstanding” (conscious and subconscious preconceived notions). These notions may be based on things we learned as a child, from our life’s experiences, or from our culture.
Understanding a passage in the original context - including who wrote it, to whom it was written, and what historical things were going on at the time, is so important. To understand how to apply God’s Word to our lives today, we need to grasp the meaning of the text as God originally intended.
“Each passage of scripture was God’s Word to other people before it became God’s Word to us. We are separated from the biblical audience by culture and customs, language, situation, and a vast expanse of time” (Grasping God’s Word, 2005). With that said, the time bound message of Scripture contains eternally relevant principles that we can discover and apply to our lives in today’s world. That is why it is important for us to dig deep and meditate on God’s Word and never rely totally on the understanding or interpretation of someone else.
The concept of digging in and finding the truth for ourselves is a great practice in other areas of our life too. This week several things happened that were separate but also connected in many ways. First, I am on an email/prayer list for a missionary in the Sudan. Her name is Michelle Perry and her base is an orphanage in a very dangerous area. She shares her stories and how God is working in the lives of the Sudanese people on her blog. This week she shared a very insightful story. Before I share her link I want to tell you the other half of the story. While spending time on the internet last week I kept seeing a post for KONY 2012. I didn’t have time to check it out, but this weekend my daughter called to let me know that she had sent me an email that would touch my heart. It was the KONY 2012 video.
As I watched the video, I thought about Michelle’s work in a different light. My daughter was right, my heart broke for the children that have been abused and tortured by this awful person. One particular scripture came to mind:
“He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one
of the least of these, you did not do for me” – Matthew 25:45
I plan to continue to pray for Michelle and the work she is doing in the Sudan. Beyond that, I cannot say where my heart will lead me.
The key to taking any type of “action” can only be found in truly UNDERSTANDING. Many of you have probably viewed the KONY 2012 video. If you have not, I have provided a link below. You will also find links to the two posts that Michelle Perry’s wrote this week - she is a beautiful writer and photographer, and captures the words and faces of life in the Sudan, beyond anything you can imagine. She sheds a new light on the same topic and your heart will be touched.
Have a blessed week. As you continue to study God’s Word, I pray that you will seek a deeper understanding of each passage you read.
I’ll be back on Wednesday as we continue our Journey to the Cross.
God’s Peace, Donna Weaver
Original KONY 2012 video:
Michelle Perry, Missionary in the Sudan - blog posted 3/8/12:
Michelle’s follow up blog posted 3/9/12: