We must all die; we are like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be gathered up. But God will not take away a life; he will devise plans so as not to keep an outcast banished forever from his presence. 2 Samuel 14:14
The Bible is an amazing book. My “go-to” copy, a 1993 NRSV study edition with really helpful notes, cross-references, and all the cool maps, has 2,355 pages. It’s not as worn as my old NIV, but we’re getting close to the day when the big NRSV is going to have to stay on my desk. My next “carry-around” edition is either going to be an NLT, or a CEB, but I haven’t found quite the right one yet.
On line, BibleGateway.com is my source. It’s exceptionally well organized, and I appreciate having countless translations at my fingertips; plus – quid pro quo – my daily writings are linked via Bible Gateway’s Blogger Grid. However, even with all those choices available I still tend to default to the above four translations, plus the occasional reference from the KJV and The Message.
GOOD STUFF! But back to Samuel, and the tie-in to my “the Bible is an amazing book” observation. My Wednesday evening men’s summer Bible-study is reading the story of King David in the Samuel books. We often make note of the brutality of the era (circa 1,000 BC), and have to remind ourselves that the Old Testament is the narrative account of how a nation became a chosen people, and how they struggled in their relationship with God. The Bible tells the story: good and bad, ugly and beautiful, faithful and unfaithful, following God’s way and – repeatedly – completely missing the mark.
But there, right in the middle of the mess that was David’s era, we see moments of redemptive connection to the great love God has for all his children. So I’ll quote the 2 Samuel 14:14 passage again, this time from the NLT:
All of us must die eventually. Our lives are like water spilled out on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again. But God does not just sweep life away; instead, he devises ways to bring us back when we have been separated from him.
God “does not just sweep life away!” But – instead – God “devises ways to bring us back when we have been separated from him.” We covered a lot of ground in our discussion, so I am grateful to my friend George, for making sure we didn’t summarize our way beyond that verse without taking a good, long, look.
GOD IS SO COOL! Like I say, the Bible is an amazing book. The Creator is in the business of reaching in through time and space, and God’s Spirit touches us in many different ways. But – time and again – it is the words of scripture that the Spirit uses to stop us in our tracks, and to teach us the depths, the breadth, and the reach of that tender love.
Grateful – DEREK