Monday Musings, Scripture verses

Caught in Translation

Have you ever come across a Bible verse that you know you must’ve read before, but that somehow seemed completely unfamiliar and new to you? It’s happened to me twice in the past couple of weeks – times when the verse just jumped out at me and I thought, “How in the world have I missed that before?”

The first was from Psalm 86:11: Lord, teach me how you want me to live. Then I will follow your truth. Give me a heart that doesn’t want anything more than to worship you.

Wow, I love that! It sums up exactly what I want – and what I need – in only 28 words. I’ve read all of Psalms and have studied some of them more in depth, but this verse never resonated with me so. I think it’s the translation – this is from the NIRV, which isn’t a translation I read very often. The NIV (which I used for years) says “Teach me your way, LORD, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.” The ESV (which I’ve used for about 2 years now) says “Teach me your way, O LORD, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name.”

Those are both pretty close to my newly-discovered version, but not exact. I love how the NIRV translation just puts everything on the line. Those are exactly the 3 things I want: to know how God wants me to live, to follow Him and His truth, and to worship Him wherever I am and whatever I’m doing.

The second verse that hit home for me is Romans 4:17: As it is written … in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist.

The verse is talking about the first covenant God made with Abraham, and how Abraham believed God. I love the reminders that the God Abraham believed and followed – the same God that we love and worship today – gives life to the dead and brings things into existence from nothing. What a summary of God’s power! I chose this as my next memory verse because sometimes I need a reminder of exactly how powerful and in control God is (sad, but true). If I believe that God really is who He says He is, then why do I worry about anything? Why do I get all in a wad over things people do or don’t do (or say), or why do I try to take things into my own hands to “fix” them? God has it all covered. All I have to do is show up with a willing heart and be ready to follow.

I think that’s a good thing to remember anytime, but especially as we just celebrated Holy Week and Easter. The God Abraham loved, served, and believed is the same God who created the universe out of nothing. He’s the same God who raised Jesus from the dead. And He’s the same God who is still very much in our world today, seeing His plan to completion. What a privilege that He lets us come along for the ride!

Now it’s your turn. What verses have you read or heard lately that really resonated? Or what’s one that you might have come across years ago but still keep fresh in your mind?