Don’t Wake Up with Double Petunia

It was pointed out to me how Satan—during the temptation of Jesus recorded in Matthew 4—pulled a bit of Scripture out of context to suit his purposes. He quoted Psalm 91:11, 12 to encourage Jesus to jump; after all, “it is written” that angels would come and catch him.

But read all of Psalm 91. Among other things, we see the testimony of loving, trusting, and acknowledging the Lord (vv. 1, 2, 9, 14). Had Jesus trusted and obeyed Satan . . .

It can sound very convincing when “Well, the Bible says right here . . .” is inserted into the conversation. There are false teachers who deliberately misuse Scripture. But even sincere believers need to be careful of inadvertently twisting Scripture, trying to make it say/endorse things that it does not. We mustn’t connect Bible dots that aren’t there. That reminds me of an old funny poem. (There are different versions online. This is the way I originally memorized it.)

drooping petunia

A petunia is a flower like a begonia.
Begonia is a meat like sausage.
Sausage and battery is a crime.
Monkeys crime trees.
Trees a crowd.
The rooster crowd and made a noise.
The noise is on the face like eyes.
The eyes are opposite the nays.
A horse nays.
A horse has a colt.
You catch a colt and go to bed.
You wake up with double petunia.

Ha! I love that corny progression of errors! But when Scripture is twisted, misquoted, or taken out of context in an attempt to defend practices/teachings that don’t actually connect to Scripture, it’s no laughing matter. And it can set up a ripple effect of further error. We need to pay attention, research the Scripture, make sure. Because when we just swallow—unquestioned—what someone (even a trusted leader) has told us that God says or wants . . . well, what started out as a lovely flower could turn into a disease.

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