The’s Top 100+2 –

Countdown Verses #32 - #23

1 Peter 3:10-18, Countdown #32: 1 Peter 3:15
Isaiah 53:1-12, Countdown #31, 51, 58: Isaiah 53:5, 53:4, 53:6
Random Walk in a Gallery of Religious Art, Step 44: Matthew 27:27-31, Christ Crowned with Thorns, by Titian
Romans 6:5-23, Countdown #29: Romans 6:23
Isaiah 40:21-31, Countdown #27: Isaiah 40:31
Joshua 1:1-18, Countdown #26, 92: Joshua 1:9, 1:8
Romans 5:1-11, Countdown #23: Romans 5:8

More of The’s Top 100+2

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1 Peter 3:10-18, Countdown #32: 1 Peter 3:15 (6/5/12)

Our Countdown Verse #32 tells us to “set Christ apart as Lord in your hearts and always be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks about the hope you possess.” Probably I should be embarrassed to say that it’s very rare for anyone to ask me that question.

Peter is telling the faithful that we should do so much good and turn so far from evil – even when others are treating us badly – that people ask us, “How is that you are able to stay so positive about life?” Then we can answer, “Because Jesus Christ is Lord of my heart, and I try to be like him.”

Isaiah 53:1-12, Countdown #31, 51, 58: Isaiah 53:5, 53:4, 53:6 (6/6/12)

Translating poetry is extremely difficult, especially if you think, as most translators do, that your readers should know roughly what words are used in the original. Many modern translations will at least break the lines into short pieces to make it look like poetry on the page. Of course, you run into the problem that verse 6, say, is 12 words long in Hebrew and 28 words long in the King James Version. In addition, modern translators often strive to make the text accessible to as many people as possible, so their English has a middle-school reading level. The King James version is also rated at mid-school or high-school level, although the vocabulary is so difficult for modern speakers that I’m not sure I believe that. Meantime, Isaiah was an aristocrat, a member of the king’s court. His Hebrew poetry is not written for mid-school children!

So why am I telling you this? Because Isaiah sets his beautiful ideas into beautiful poetry, which is lost in translation. I encourage you to at least read it in your modern translation and in the King James version, which is more poetic. Nevertheless, our Countdown Verses #51, 31, and 58 contain such a beautiful message that nothing can obliterate it (KJV):

Romans 6:5-23, Countdown #29: Romans 6:23 (6/7/12)

Our Countdown Verse #29 says, “the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord.” What’s the difference between wages and gifts? You have to do something to get wages – in this case, commit a sin – but a gift is given to you by someone who has no obligation to do so. Only volunteers go to hell.

Isaiah 40:21-31, Countdown #27: Isaiah 40:31 (6/8/12)

Did your mother ever say in exasperation, “Didn’t I tell you that? Didn’t you hear what I said? Didn’t you know better than that?” If I had listened to my mom in the first place, she wouldn’t have had to ask me these things in the second place.

Isaiah had the same problem. The people of Israel, the children of Jacob, had received the message about God’s power, wisdom, and grace since the beginning. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Joshua – and numerous others – had heard from God and passed on the message. People didn’t listen, and Isaiah asks them, “Do you not know? Do you not hear? Has it not been told to you? Have you not understood?”

He was pretty exasperated, but in spite of it all, he offers a promise in our Countdown Verse #27 to anyone who is willing to listen:

Joshua 1:1-18, Countdown #26, 92: Joshua 1:9, 1:8 (6/11/12)

Moses is one of the very few people in the Bible called God’s “servant.” He talked to God face to face, and he made Pharaoh let the people go. The Law was delivered through Moses. He led the children of Israel for 40 years in the desert. Moses, take him all in all, was a pretty tough act to follow.

So where is Moses when they actually get to Canaan? Dead. Now Joshua has to take over the reins and lead the people into the Promised Land. No wonder God says three times to Joshua, and the shock troops from Reuben, Gad, and Manasseh repeat, “Be strong! Be courageous!”

Our Countdown Verses #92 and 26 are part of God’s word to Joshua:

Romans 5:1-11, Countdown #23: Romans 5:8 (6/12/12)

Paul did not found the church at Rome and had not been there when he wrote to them. He planned to visit them, however, and his letter is more or less one that says, “I’m Paul; you may have heard of me. I’m going to be in your area, and here are some things I’d like to discuss with you when I arrive.” Consequently, it is calmer and better thought out than most of the letters he wrote to his own churches.

In this section, Paul discusses peace and enmity between us and God. His point is that while we were still sinners, we were enemies of God, but in spite of that, Jesus died for us and brought about reconciliation. The latter part of Paul’s argument is summarized in our Countdown Verse #23, “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” The rest of his argument is summarized in vss. 10 and 11.

By this time in our countdown, we are not surprised that verses 3 to 5 – which talk about suffering, endurance, and character – did not make the top 100.

More of the’s Top 100+2 is coming soon.
Countdown Verses #100 - #95
Countdown Verses #91 - #82
Countdown Verses #75 - #70
Countdown Verses #69 - #63
Countdown Verses #60 - #53
Countdown Verses #50 - #44
Countdown Verses #43 - #39
Countdown Verses #38 - #33
Countdown Verses #32 - #23
Countdown Verses #21 - #15
Countdown Verses #14 - #8
Countdown Verses #6 - #3
Countdown Verses #2 - #1a
Countdown Verse #1

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