90 Day Bible Challenge – Day 49

90 Days BibleCongratualtions! We’re more than half way through the Bible this week. I hope you all are enjoying this experience as much as I am. This week we read Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon. You know, the reading of Psalms and Proverbs marked the first time since I’ve being doing the 90 Day Challenge that I’ve felt I rushed through the passages. I don’t know about you but I wanted to savor Psalms; I didn’t do it though because I also wanted to stay on schedule. The upside is that I’m already planning out Bible Studies I want to do once the Challenge is completed. Thanks to Geigh for the heads-up on a possible sudy guide. If you have other suggestions, let me know.

You won’t be surprised to know that the scriptures that stayed with me the most this week were from Psalms. First, Psalms 50:13-14 (NLT):

I don’t need the bulls you sacrifice;
I don’t need the blood of goats.
What I want instead is your true thanks to God;
I want you to fulfill your vows to the Most High.

Do you remember back in Leviticus and Deuteronomy when God gave all the laws and the rules for sacrifice. Well, it seems pleasing Him was not in the sacrifices themselves but in the obedience. That’s still true today. There’s no substitute for obedience. Keith Green wrote a song a long time ago, To Obey is Better than Sacrifice, that I loved. It’s beautiful, sad and encouraging all at the same time. There’s not much to add to the sentiment of the song or the scripture since the meaning is pretty clear. I’ll just say, Ouch!

Second, Psalms 116:15 (NLT):

The LORD’s loved ones are precious to him; it grieves him when they die.

Then, there is the Kings James version of that same verse:

Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.

You know the notion of God grieving at the death of one of His loved ones is a new thought to me so the New Living Translation (NLT) was interesting to read. It certainly sheds a new light on how God looks at the death of His people. I can see Him thinking of it as “precious” like the KJV uses, but to think of Him grieving puts the matter in a whole new light. I wonder why the NLT translators chose the phraseology they did. If you know, please let us in on it by posting a comment to the post.

The NLT version suggests to me a value that God places on the time that we live here on earth that I had not really considered much before. Sure, our time here is getting us ready for eternity and eternity is much longer than the time we’ll spend here, but yet this time is valuable and precious to the Lord. So it should be valuable and precious to us. I’m going to have to ponder on this during the upcoming week. Let me know what you think.

Have a great week.

4 thoughts on “90 Day Bible Challenge – Day 49

  1. As you know, Angela, I haven’t done this Challenge with you. However, it would be a big benefit to me to be able to do something like this since it’s difficult for me to get out to even go to church. Therefore, I hope that you’ll choose a study guide that is easily available here, though all the Christian bookstores are at other ends of the city.

    I have found my NIV Study Bible and have just looked up that interesting verse in Psalm 116. It quotes the KJV verbatim. In the notes, it mentions Psalm 72:14 as being very similar.

    Actually, v. 13 and 14, seem almost made for me right now: “He will take pity on the weak and the needy and save the needy from death. He will rescue them from oppression and violence, for precious is their blood in his sight.” This is attributed to Solomon. I wonder if the NLT has a different version here too. I must ask my pastor whether he studied Hebrew and if he can justify the difference in translation.

    The note for Ps. 116:15 says “Precious…is the death”. Not in the sense of highly valued but of that which is carefully watched over.” It then gives the analogous verse Ps. 72:14. I wonder what difference in meaning that infers.
    But we are also supposed to do God’s will here on earth. That ends when we die. We know He loves us and grieves for that but we were supposed to spread word of His love and goodness. Is there perhaps something in that that makes God grieve that He has lost one of His messengers? Just a thought.

    In view of what has happened with and to me in the last 6 months or so, I certainly feel like anything but a saint–more like a worm for everyone to stomp on. I’ve never been a very assertive person though there are times when I can be, especially on someone else’s behalf.

    Just a few thoughts going through my head. Please keep praying for me. My birthday’s coming up and I e-mailed my brother that in view of the circumstances, “you’ll agree that we should just forget about my birthday.” The e-mail I got back just said: “Huh?” I just can’t picture myself sitting at a restaurant table having a “birthday dinner” with him and his family right now. More later. Birthdays just aren’t that vital to me. My mother would have been mortally offended if we had ever forgotten her birthday. I’m not. After all, I spent 14 years alone without any close family in Europe.

  2. Sigrun, I like your take on the scripture in question where you say “Is there perhaps something in that that makes God grieve that He has lost one of His messengers?” Actually, that seems right to me. It’s as though one stage of our journey is over so the grief is for the part that’s over even as we look expectantly to what is to come. I have a couple of more sources to investigate but I think we’re on the right track.

    And I’d love for you to join me/us in the next study. I’m still looking for studies that cover the Psalms. I found one on Amazon for $10 but I’ll keep looking.

  3. Angela, there’s a cross reference of this verse in Psalm 72:14 that states “He will redeem their life from oppression and violence: and precious shall be their blood in His sight.” So could God maybe be grieving over what His children experience while on earth (in the form of pain and suffering) b/c it greives Him to see His children suffer, but He welcomes them home with love and happiness upon death b/c they are now with Him for eternity? Just a thought. This is a good question.

  4. Geigh, Sigrun mentioned this verse too. I think you both are on to something. I’m going to take some time today and look this verse and the original up in a bunch of different versions. I’ll let you know what I find.

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