Contextualizing—Not Standing Alone
As teachers, we can help students negotiate thoughtfully through difficult passages of Scripture more effectively by examining the context of a story. One way to get students to look at the context is to invite them to recount “what has happened to the children of Israel up to this point.” Have them list the good and the bad on the board or a piece of paper and see if similar scenarios occurred in the past. Another layer of context resides in the whole of Scripture. You might ask, “What stories in the Bible are similar to this one? How might the stories be different?” Without telling them what to think, you invite students to place the story among other stories and see the panorama of the interaction between God and people instead of focusing on only one moment that stands alone.