Friday, October 26, 2007

Devotion at P31

I have a devotion up today at P31. If you came to visit today because you clicked on the link, welcome! And if you are one of my regular vistors and would like to read it, just go here.

Just a disclaimer, I used another Message version of the Bible as the key verse of the day. I know last time I did that, I got a lot of concerned mail. I realize that the Message is a paraphrase of the Bible-- but I like it when something explains something better to my addled, distracted, overwhelmed brain. And so, if it spoke to me, I share it in the form I received it. And that is why I used this verse. Just to put your mind at ease, I am going to post the Message version of the verse and then a few verses of that same passage from the NIV. I hope this will help others understand why I chose what I chose.

Here is the Message version:
“Somehow, though he moves right in front of me, I don’t see him; quietly but surely he’s active, and I miss it.” Job 9:11

And here is the NIV version:
Job 9:11, "When he passes me, I cannot see him; when he goes by, I cannot perceive him."

Which speaks to you more? If I read just the NIV version, I don't know that I would have picked up on the same sentiment (living life aware of God's activity around us-- the theme of this devotion) as when I read the MSG version. I love it when scripture jumps out at me and speaks to me right where I am at. When that happens, I am thinking a lot more about what message (ha, get it?) God has for me than what version I am reading.

To quote Forrest Gump, "And that's all I have to say about that."

Updated to add: ok, so that wasn't all I had to say about it! I am happy to report that so far I have not received any emails from people who are upset that I used the Message. So thanks to those of you who left me nice comments! One dear reader suggested I pray about the issue if it was bothering me-- that perhaps the Lord was looking to use it in my life. And I think He was. The last time was such a growth experience for me as I really struggled with it. During that time, I talked to several friends who are in ministry and learned a lot about taking criticism. Mostly I learned that I was going to have to deal with it and get through it. I guess my posting this today was a way for me to just go ahead and say out front to anyone who happened by that yes, I meant to use the Message and yes, I am aware that there are people who disagree with this version. And yes, I chose to use this verse on purpose. And so, I didn't want to get lots of emails with those type questions. Mostly because then I feel compelled to respond and I simply don't have time.
Thanks so much to those of you who have written me nice, affirming comments. I so appreciate your genuine concern, and I especially want to say that I respect every single person out there who is zealous for the validity and protection of the Word of God.
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Valerie said...

It's really the same reason we use commentaries and Bible study materials. They should never be a replacement for the actual Bible, but they so often open up a clearer understanding of the Word. A different perspective, an explanation couched in terms to which you can relate, even just a different wording can breath new life into a scripture.

Vanessa Bentley said...

I agree - there is an immediacy about the Message version that the NIV might not have for everyone. Thank you for your message via email. It reminded me of exactly what I needed to be reminded of today! Isn't God good to us??

Sisterlisa said...

I like using the King James Bible. it reads this way,

"Lo, he goeth by me, and I see him not: he passeth on also, but I perceive him not."

It didn't say anything about 'I miss him.' although that may be what the writer of the Message got out of it. Which is a good thing of course. We SHOULD miss Him if we don't feel Him coming to us.

I think it's a good thing when your readers want to know what the Bible says. I understand many Christians use various versions. I honeslty love the poetic nature of the King James Bible and it's the oldest English translation.

There is a book called "Let's Weigh the Evidence" that's worth reading.

It doesn't bother me what version any writer uses on P31, I always keep my Bible open and look up the verses on my own. It's good for me to use my Bible and become acquainted with God's Word.

Two things come to my mind in your recent situation with your readers.

One is that how wonderful that they want to be clear as possible with what he teaches us. I don't see that so much as criticism, but rather a compliment to their relationship with God to be sure of what he is teaching them.

Two is that whenever something spiritual becomes a controversy I want to know why. What does God's word say about it? Sometimes God reaches down into our souls to try and bring something to light for us to see. may we ever be searching for God to do a work like that within us.

Proverbs 25:4, "Take away the dross from the silver and there shall come forth a vessel for the finer"

This is one of my life's verses. I want to be heated up by the fire to reveal the dross(the dirty part that you find on old silver)and for the tinker (God) to remove it and make me shinier(a light for Him)

Pray about it MaryBeth. Maybe there's something deeper He wants you to find.

MooBeeMa said...

Great P31 devotion! Thank you for continuing to put yourself out there with your writing. It is a blessing to so many.

Two things also come to my mind regarding your recent nit-picky reader issues. 1.go to "moderate comments" the delete button.

And that's all I have to say about that.

Anonymous said...

The Message Bible was not done as a paraphrase of an English Bible but as a translation from the original Greek & Hebrew - I've heard the author, Peterson at Regent College in Vancouver, BC. It is a valaid translation which simply uses modern language to strike a chord with its readers. I think God wants us to be able to relate with his word and understand it in our modern language- after all that is why it was translated into English (or any other languages) in the first place!

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Cindy said...

Thank you Mary Beth. I was just considering getting the Message Daily Bible for my son. I love all translations, love to compare. I mainly use the NIV for study, but have been reading the CEV this year. It is good to look at more than one version, but I did not think the Message was a paraphrase anyway, so thanking "Anonymous" for the detail. I believe the Lord has gifted many, that is why we can look at different versions to glean new thoughts from His word.
I started reading "Becoming a Vessel of God's Power" (Donna
Partow) yesterday and gleaned from 1 Kings 19:11,12 that God does come in quietness (after the fire came a gentle whisper). God spoke to Elijah after the gentle whisper. I think God is speaking to me through both of you, it may be a gentle reminder with all going on in my life at the present...not miss him working in the quiet, and to not replace my quiet time with him and in His word for any busyness.
Thanks for your words, I have not been online for a few weeks, this is the first P31 in a while and how it spoke to me. <>< :)