CONTEXT! Oh my goodness. This verse has been taken out of context for the wrong reasons. Used in ways that inevitably cause discouragement, even as far as a crisis of faith. It is said that “Scripture will interpret Scripture.” In the sense that Scripture must not contradict itself. The most secure way I know for that to not happen is to read passages within context.
To coin an elegant Jersey response, “Yo, Peter! Preach it!” In this chapter, it is no holds barred for our outspoken brother. After Yeshua’s ascension, Peter tempered his reactive behavior for the most part. But, in this chapter, it has returned as boldness. Why?
The Roman believers began “independently” of the emissaries from Jerusalem. Prior to the new congregation of believers, there was a significant Jewish community living in Rome. Perhaps, as we discussed earlier, there were those who returned from the best Shavuot (Pentecost) the Jewish people had ever attended in Jerusalem.
John 16 is written but a few days before the unthinkable will happen. Yeshua would be betrayed, tortured, nailed to a cross, and die. But, in “A little while, and you will no longer see Me; and again in a little while, you will see Me.” (vs. 16) Yeshua would rise from the dead. The Holy Spirit would then be poured out on them. What!?
Trust in the LORD forever. Forever. What does that even look like? Our finite minds might try, but because our brains are finite, well, you know. So when Isaiah exhorts his brothers and sisters, his country, to trust ADONAI forever, you have to wonder. As a prophet has the LORD given him insights into eternity?
Most likely, this psalm — written by David — was a psalm of ascent. Ascent as in walking up to the Tabernacle in worship. This psalm has a wide range of themes, from conquering God’s enemies, defending widows and orphans, to remembering the Israelites in the desert, to warnings to kings of the nations, etc. But today’s verse, and many others in this psalm, is about comfort.
If someone would threaten to remove chocolate from this world if I didn’t choose my most favorite verse of the Bible, it would be today’s verse. Why? Because there are thousands of verses I love. Actually, it’s not that difficult for me to pick this passage. I mean what a love letter!
Unfortunately, we’ve all been to prayer meetings where there was a lot of “babbling.” Eloquent wording, but babbling nonetheless.
Here’s that old confusing redemption and sanctification thing. Redemption means without our earning it, we are redeemed. Because it is only by the grace of the Father and atonement by His Son, that our sins are covered. Sanctification is the process is living out that our flesh was crucified. Because we will be dealing with those passions and desires that fight against the spirit in us for the rest of our lives.