One of my biggest debates… Okay it was a full on theological argument… was around somebody ascribing a second meaning to the parable of the sower. He had an opinion or feeling of what it meant to him personally in a particular circumstance. My argument was that Jesus a few verses later is asked by His disciples the meaning of the parable, and He tells them.
18 “Hear then the parable of the sower: … – Matthew 13:18-23
So granted I am a logical analyst, a rational thinker. Abstract, while appreciated, is odd to me. If Jesus tells us the meaning of the parable how could I ascribe personal alternative meaning to it? Recently I was conflicted by a verse read in its rightful context.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. – Jeremiah 29:11
What a beautiful promise. Who me Lord? You have plans for welfare for my future?
Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. – Jeremiah 29:12-13
Anything you say Lord? I’ll call on You and I’ll seek You with all my heart. After a promise like that why wouldn’t I?
I will be found by you, declares the LORD, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the LORD, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile. – Jeremiah 29:14
“Because you have said, ‘The LORD has raised up prophets for us in Babylon,’ – Jeremiah 29:15
Clearly this promise in its original context is not directed at me. But it is a promise that reveals to us the heart of God towards His people. Now that we can personalize! We can personalize, from this verse, the nature and character of our God. We can confirm His heart towards us as we align ourselves with the covenant that He has promised to us.
That said… God is God. It’s His Word. It’s His Scripture. It’s His promises. If He would choose to speak through a donkey or even me… Then how dare I assert He couldn’t, if He chose to, speak something new from a promise of old purposed for a particular people.
CONTEXT IS KEY. JESUS IS KING. RELATIONSHIP IS HIS HEART.