Ephesians 5:8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the Lord. [NIV]
I’ve mentioned before that words spark thought for me. Today was an interesting variation on that. I read verse eight several times before I realized I’d been subconsciously adding the word [IN] before the word “darkness.” Dropping the [IN] and reading “you were once darkness” changed my whole perspective on what I’d read. It has reminded me this Word is not only timeless but it’s still alive and well. Darkness is not a place I was “IN” but the far more ugly reality of “what I was.” It says it right there but I missed it.
I re-read those verses thankful for the specific words of hope I found there, words like “now you are light in the Lord” and “the fruit of the light.” The emphasis on “WHAT I was” [darkness] has now been dramatically changed because of God’s intervention through Jesus in my life to “what I WAS” [past tense]. “Once darkness” was changed to “the fruit of the light” and that is the joyful connection to Advent I share with you in December, 2020.
That first “Advent” in Bethlehem was God’s intervention in the world He’d created. His choice was to make Himself visible once more to redeem His people and free them from their dependence on their own best efforts to dispel the darkness that plagued their lives. Jesus was born to reveal God’s promise to ordinary people who were “once darkness.” The “Advent of Light” could forever change their emphasis from knowing “there was GOD” [hope] into the new reality that “God was THERE!”
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
1 Peter 3:8-10 ESV, NIV, AMPC
• 8 Finally, all of you…
ESV-have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.
NIV-be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.
AMPC-should be of one and the same mind (united in spirit), sympathizing [with one another], loving [each other] as brethren [of one household], compassionate and courteous (tenderhearted and humble).
• 9 Do not…
ESV-repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.
NIV-repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.
AMPC-return evil for evil or insult for insult (scolding, tongue-lashing, berating), but on the contrary blessing [praying for their welfare, happiness, and
protection, and truly pitying and loving them]. For know that to this you have been called, that you may yourselves inherit a blessing [from God—that you may obtain a blessing as heirs, bringing welfare and happiness and protection].
• 10 For…
ESV-“Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit;
NIV-“Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech.
AMPC-him who wants to enjoy life and see good days [good—whether apparent or not] keep his tongue free from evil and his lips from guile (treachery, deceit).
I read through these three versions of I Peter 3:8-10. Then I starting looking for similar words, phrases and ideas in each version with the assumption that the repetition agreed upon by so many different translators at different times gives them meaningful emphasis.
Finally all of you…Agree to focus your minds as one heavenly household on sympathy, compassion, love, and recognizing one another with tender hearts.
Do not…miss your inheritance of blessing because of misinterpreting revenge and rebuttal as your right to justice
For…only you can restrain your tongue and lips from convincing deceit that can keep yourself, and others, from being able to love, and enjoy life and see good days.