Out of Context

There are times when we are told an inspiring Bible verses. Such as the one quoted above. The person who is sharing it may use it to inspire someone to go out and do a difficult task. Or to try and resolve a difficult situation. For the most part the intention is well meaning. The use of the verse is crafted in such a way as to support the positive feel good intentions.

Yet it really needs to be thought through. The verse above is meant to be read in context to the chapter it is taken from. The Israelites have troubles and have gone to Ezra for council. Ezra is just as upset as the people and is crying and lamenting. He tells them what has to be done to get right with God to which they agree. So the message that they were with Ezra now makes sense.

To try and make this out to be a nice feel good motivational message for anything else is to rob the scripture of it's meaning. It would be the same as taking an random sentence from an instruction from a random book and applying it as a motivational meme.

As an example, "one life was bad enough to lose", may sound meaningful. It could even be used in an inspirational quote. Just neglect or forget it comes from the book Dracula by Bram Stoker, 1897.


Updated 1st September 2016



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