a strong man armed

I thought of a verse recently, and as I've been reading through Mark, today I came to a verse similar to it. But I'm more familiar with this verse in Luke:

Luke 11:21
When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace:

I'm more familiar with this verse. At first glance, Luke 11:21 seems like it's saying it's a pretty good idea for men to arm themselves to to keep their houses and possessions safe. Think about it: When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace. Yes, it seems we should all go out and arm ourselves right now, to keep our houses and possessions safe... If you totally take it out of context!

2 Timothy 2:15
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

It's so important to rightly divide the Word, instead of taking one little sound bite and twisting it to mean something totally different or even opposite from what the Word really means. Let's consider the context of Luke 11:21.

  1. If you look at the verse right before it, you see that Christ was not talking about an example of how godly Christians should live, but of what it's like when the devil possesses someone before Christ casts him out, and how the devil works:
    v20 & 21a
    But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you. When a strong man armed keepeth his palace...
    I don't think that we should take, what the Bible says about how the devil works, as our example for godly living, do you?
  2. The passage doesn't stop with v21, stating that the goods will be kept safe, but it continues into the next, all important verse 22: But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils.
    So we see that the point of v21 was not to arm ourselves to keep our houses, and then it's promised that our goods would be safe. When taken in context, it goes on to present a strong argument to the contrary: But when a stronger than he shall come...
The passage that I read in Mark today was:
Mark 3:26 & 27
And if Satan rise up against himself, and be divided, he cannot stand, but hath an end.
No man can enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the strong man; and then he will spoil his house.

Every Word of God is good, but it needs to be used in a completely honest way, and not wrestled around to make it sound like it means something else. So think twice next time you hear a partial little "sound bite" or "clip" from the Bible, and don't assume it means exactly what it was made to sound like, being taken out of context. That's the way the devil tempted Jesus, too.

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