Context is everything—so the saying goes. Context helps give meaning. Context also helps us discern truth.
This makes me think of the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert after He was baptized. In Luke 4, the devil tries to convince Jesus that he can give Him more than His Father ever could. The enemy is trying to cast doubt in Jesus’ mind and get Him to abandon His Heavenly Father. But to everything the enemy says, Jesus comes back with a Scriptural rebuttal.
Catching on to Jesus’ use of Scripture, in a last ditch effort, the enemy tries to use this practice himself. Quoting Psalm 91:11, the devil says, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, for it is written, ‘He will command his angels concerning you, to guard you’ and ‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone'” (Luke 4:9-11).
The devil isn’t wrong. God will, in fact, command His angels to care for us and guard us. But Jesus knew that the context of Psalm 91 is that should we fall, God will command His angels to help us. It does not say throw yourself off a high place, and He will do the same.
Sister, if the Son of God needed the Scriptures to ward off the enemy, then how much more do we?
There is a quote often attributed to D.L. Moody that states, “Mark your Bible so that your Bible will mark you.”
We need His Word—the sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17)—to live in wisdom and discernment. Half-truths, like the one the enemy threw at Jesus, are frequently thrown about and often innocently taken as the full truth. Only through daily reading of the Word will we be able to cling to what is true and let what it is not fall to the side.
Context isn’t everything, sister. But context is something. By the power of the Holy Spirit, through the reading of His Word, and spending time in His presence, we will live a life marked by truth.