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  • Virginia Brown

The Power of a Preposition

Reading Scripture well requires attention to detail, and this means that we can’t forget the prepositions of God’s Holy Word. “Prepositions? How boring!” you might think. Bear with me. Our theology hangs on preposition—these small parts of speech pack a powerful punch. Let me show you this from Psalm 23.


In verse 4 of this famous chapter, David writes, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.” There are two prepositions in this section: through and with. Taken together, they communicate this simple yet profound idea: God is with us through trial. To further understand this, observe what the passage does not say: “Even though I walk around the valley of the shadow of death.” David tells us that we don’t walk around the valley of death’s shadow, but through it. We get different theologies with through the valley and around the valley, and it all hinges on a preposition.


Beloved saints of the Lord, trials and tribulations are bound to come, and yet it is through these very experiences where God will show himself to be with us. God may deliver us by taking us around the challenge, yes, but He also may preserve us through the fire. The preposition through in Ps 23:4 shows us the latter reality—God is with us by showing his faithfulness to us in, during, and through our times of deep challenge and struggle. Prepositions pack a punch. Don’t miss them!


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