Sometimes we wonder if we can apply Bible verses to a particular situation we’re going through, even though they were written to other people in different situations. The truth is that we can take any principle from any text of the Scripture and make some application of that principle. But until we consider the principle in its original context, we won’t understand its meaning correctly.
Let’s use Deuteronomy 31:5–6 as an example, “The LORD will deliver them over to you, and you must do to them exactly as I have commanded you. Be strong and courageous; do not be afraid or terrified of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.” We see God’s people receiving instruction from God on what they are to do as they face their enemies. They are urged to believe Him and not be afraid. His presence with them will be enough.
We have to hear the teaching of Deuteronomy 31:5–6 first in this context, understanding that God’s people are being called to do exactly as He commanded them. Then we can extract the principle that where God has spoken and given instruction, we’re on safe ground when we follow it. Whatever He teaches us, though we may be fearful to live it out in this world, we must do. We must not be afraid. We can walk in what God has told us to do and be safe. We need to be strong and courageous and obey Him because we trust He is all-powerful, all-knowing, and altogether good.
The phrase “Be strong and courageous” has no power unless it is understood in the original context. We must start from a place of obedience, and then we can be courageous, believe God, and walk in what He’s taught us to do. He will give us a blessed life when we do that.
We can take that principle with a single meaning in the original context and apply it to multiple situations. Understanding the meaning is very important, but if we focus on what something means and ignore how to live it out, we misunderstand the reason God gave us His Word. He gave us His Word not just to know it, but to live it.
We would like to thank Walking In Grace / Richard Caldwell for providing this plan.