We all know John 3:16, and many know II Timothy 3:16, but what about the other 3:16’s?
The divisions of the Biblical books into chapters and verses was not handed down by God to the original scribes and authors, but was divided by several groups or individuals during the Middle Ages. (You can read more about it in this article from Probe Ministries, friends of mine.) And while in many cases, the divisions seem to ignore logic and context, it would be interesting to get God’s take on them.
There is also a book I discovered while researching this post (incidentally, it was written by a computer science professor who is also a Christian). While I haven’t read it, it is cool to think that there are others who’ve asked the same question: “What can I learn from Scripture by just reading a key verse from each book?” Of course, it makes sense to start with one of the most important and well known verses in the entire Bible, where the Gospel is summed up in a concise statement of faith, John 3:16. So, here for your meditation are the 49 “3:16’s.” I leave it as an exercise for the reader to figure out why there are only 49 3:16’s if the Bible has 66 books.
While not every verse has immediate deep insightful meaning, it is a little surprising how many do, or how many are part of key events. What is kind of fun is how many of them seem to flow into each other and form a storyline of their own, sometimes with humorous results.
To the woman he said,
“I will make your pains in childbearing very severe;
with painful labor you will give birth to children.
Your desire will be for your husband,
and he will rule over you.”
“Go, assemble the elders of Israel and say to them, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—appeared to me and said: I have watched over you and have seen what has been done to you in Egypt.
The priest shall burn them on the altar as a food offering, a pleasing aroma. All the fat is the LORD’s.
So Moses counted them, as he was commanded by the word of the LORD.
But to the Reubenites and the Gadites I gave the territory extending from Gilead down to the Arnon Gorge (the middle of the gorge being the border) and out to the Jabbok River, which is the border of the Ammonites.
the water from upstream stopped flowing. It piled up in a heap a great distance away, at a town called Adam in the vicinity of Zarethan, while the water flowing down to the Sea of the Arabah (that is, the Dead Sea) was completely cut off. So the people crossed over opposite Jericho.
Now Ehud had made a double-edged sword about a cubit long, which he strapped to his right thigh under his clothing.
When Ruth came to her mother-in-law, Naomi asked, “How did it go, my daughter?”
Then she told her everything Boaz had done for her
but Eli called him and said, “Samuel, my son.”
Samuel answered, “Here I am.”
Her husband, however, went with her, weeping behind her all the way to Bahurim. Then Abner said to him, “Go back home!” So he went back.
Now two prostitutes came to the king and stood before him.
and he said, “This is what the LORD says: I will fill this valley with pools of water.
The successors of Jehoiakim:
Jehoiachin his son,
He made interwoven chains and put them on top of the pillars. He also made a hundred pomegranates and attached them to the chains.
Beyond him, Nehemiah son of Azbuk, ruler of a half-district of Beth Zur, made repairs up to a point opposite the tombs of David, as far as the artificial pool and the House of the Heroes.
Or as an hidden untimely birth I had not been; as infants which never saw light.
Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour.
And moreover I saw under the sun the place of judgment, that wickedness was there; and the place of righteousness, that iniquity was there.
The LORD says,
“The women of Zion are haughty,
walking along with outstretched necks,
flirting with their eyes,
strutting along with swaying hips,
with ornaments jingling on their ankles.
In those days, when your numbers have increased greatly in the land,” declares the LORD, “people will no longer say, ‘The ark of the covenant of the LORD.’ It will never enter their minds or be remembered; it will not be missed, nor will another one be made.
He has broken my teeth with gravel;
he has trampled me in the dust.
At the end of seven days the word of the LORD came to me
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter.
The LORD will roar from Zion
and thunder from Jerusalem;
the earth and the heavens will tremble.
But the LORD will be a refuge for his people,
a stronghold for the people of Israel.
You have increased the number of your merchants
till they are more numerous than the stars in the sky,
but like locusts they strip the land
and then fly away.
I heard and my heart pounded,
my lips quivered at the sound;
decay crept into my bones,
and my legs trembled.
Yet I will wait patiently for the day of calamity
to come on the nation invading us.
On that day
they will say to Jerusalem,
“Do not fear, Zion;
do not let your hands hang limp.
Then those who feared the LORD talked with each other, and the LORD listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the LORD and honored his name.
As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him.
These are the twelve he appointed: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter),
John answered them all, “I baptize you with water. But one who is more powerful than I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has completely healed him, as you can all see.
ruin and misery mark their ways
Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?
But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.
The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. Scripture does not say “and to seeds,” meaning many people, but “and to your seed,” meaning one person, who is Christ.
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being
Only let us live up to what we have already attained.
Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.
Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.
Beyond all question, the mystery from which true godliness springs is great:
He appeared in the flesh,
was vindicated by the Spirit,
was seen by angels,
was preached among the nations,
was believed on in the world,
was taken up in glory.
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness
Who were they who heard and rebelled? Were they not all those Moses led out of Egypt?
For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.
keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.
He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.
So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.
I hope that you enjoyed this as a little something different.
Day 20 Praise: The Lord knows we are dust, giving strength to the weary, power to the weak, and rest to those He loves.