Sometimes we fill in what we think the Bible is saying or should say with information we bring to the reading. We take passages out of context and end up making the bible say something it never was intended to say. Like Autocorrect, this can lead to some embarrassing conversations, but it can also have more serious consequences.
When is the last time your Autocorrect led to an embarrassing text message?
2 Chronicles 7:11-16.
- Read verse 14 by itself. How have you heard this passage interpreted before?
Consider the following quote:
“If America is found anywhere in the Bible, it is by analogy. And we are not the hero of the story.
We are Rome.
The Roman world had a policy of “Make Rome Great Again”–or perhaps better “Keep Rome Great Always”–and that vision was supported by the always unhealthy alliance of “God and Country.”
To serve the state was to serve the gods and vice-versa.
Rome put before the early Christians the choice of serving Caesar rather than Christ. To choose to serve Caesar was not simply a political decision but a religious one.
It’s no different today.
Even when serving Christ by name, if that service is for the furtherance of political power, of controlling others, of building an alluring city of man and calling it the City of God—when America does that, America is Rome.
When Americans claim divine support by rifling through Scripture and place themselves in that story, that is a Roman tactic.
It is not a move of “seeking God’s face” but of turning away from it.
It is not a “turning from wickedness” but of dwelling in it.
It is not following the Christ but marching resolutely in the opposite direction.”
- Who is God responding to? Who does he address?
- What is the impact of inserting America into passages like this one? How could this be damaging? What would we miss out on?
- What is the impact of interpreting this passage through a lens of individualism? How could this be damaging? What would we miss out on?
- What can we and should we take from what God had to say to Solomon and the nation of Israel?