Nate didn’t come up with the phrase “God-glorifying grammar,” but it’s right up his alley. During our last talk, he pointed out the glory of prepositions, which I would like to share with you.
A preposition, for those of us who may have forgotten, is a connecting word between a noun/pronoun and its context, such as for, of, under, over, through, on, and so forth. They can be used to communicate a broad range of concepts. Tiny words that pack a big punch.
What Nate pointed out was that every time we come across a preposition, that little connector is just bursting with information. Whenever we see a preposition, we know three things: first, we know that there is a noun or a pronoun somewhere; second, we know that there is another word or phrase connected to it; and third, we know that there is a relationship between the two, and the pronoun in the context tells us what that relationship is.
Consider an example from Scripture: “No, in all these things we are more than conquerers through him who loved us” (Romans 8:37, emphasis added). You can see the two prepositions here in bold. Taking in for our example, we can see our pronoun easily enough: it’s we. And our compliment is all these things. So what of the connection? Just think of how different this life-giving verse would be if we substituted the word over for in– that would contradict the preceding verse, which says “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” Doesn’t work. What about with instead of in? That would seem to imply that we need the famine, sword and whatnot to be conquerors, which isn’t exactly true.
No, in all these things we are more than conquerers through him who loved us. In the midst of the circumstances, in the thick of the fight, when our head is bowed with sorrow and our muscles ache with fatigue, even then we are more than conquerors. Praise Jesus! God doesn’t promise to lift us out of our circumstances, but rather to fight for us in them, to walk with us through them. He gets the glory, and we get the joy. Thank God!
And thank you, lowly preposition.