Finding meaning in Scripture

Meaning always comes from context. When it comes to Scripture, there are many contextual clues that help us to understand the meaning of God’s Word. The wording, grammatical structure, the biblical author’s tendencies, emphases, and the historical setting all help explain various passages. When it comes to the many stories of the Bible, sometimes it is an understanding of the geography and topography that shapes its meaning. Consider the words of this very familiar Psalm:

“I lift up my eyes to the hills where does my help come from?

My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.”

Psalm 121:1–2

In the days of King David, Jerusalem was surrounded by mountains where enemies could attack from higher ground. The psalmist finds hope, in spite of the geographical disadvantage in God alone. It is the context of the Psalm that reveals its meaning.

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