Mining the Depths of God’s Word

July 26, 2023
5 min read
Bilingual Bible Insights

The LORD orchestrated my life story to include a three-year chapter in Mexico when I was a teenager. The ripple effect has been profound!

I’ll back up to tell you how this came to be, starting with my parents. In their early twenties, my mom and dad had a desire to serve the LORD. Their honeymoon was a trip to attend Bible school to become missionaries and take the gospel to another part of the world that didn’t have God’s Word in their language.

Five years later, having finished the missionary training, with two little girls and a third on the way (that’d be me), they headed in the direction of Papua New Guinea. However, the door was suddenly closed to all foreigners. While they waited, the needs around them became apparent, and God had equipped them to help meet those needs. Instead of going overseas, my parents remained in Ontario and served in support roles at the mission office, all the while raising four children (the youngest being Jon, my brother).

Missionary Kid in Mexico

Fifteen years later, our family moved to Mexico. The LORD had opened that door and we were excited! While my folks took Spanish lessons, my siblings and I attended the missionary kids’ school in English. I didn’t study Spanish extensively or attain intermediate levels of fluency, yet I’m very grateful for what I did learn. It’s a delight to converse with Latinos in their language. And it’s a privilege to interpret for others—including in Peru with a team from RMCC led by Pastor Quinn Davis in 2013. To be a bridge to facilitate conversation, questions, and fellowship is both humbling and exhilarating.

The Bilingual Bible is a Treasure

In preparation for my mission trip to Iquitos, Peru, I purchased a bilingual Bible from the RMCC bookstore. What a blessing it is to read His Word in both English and Spanish!

Here are four examples:

Matthew 8:1-3

One of my assignments in Peru was to teach the children a Bible lesson in Spanish. Little did I imagine how much I would learn through it.

On the flight south, I was reviewing the Scripture text. The account in Matthew 8 describes a leper who approached Jesus, worshiped Him, and asked to be healed. “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” Jesus reached out His hand and touched the leper, which was considered unthinkable, unclean. Jesus told him, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Immediately, the man was healed!

In Spanish, Jesus’ response in verse 3 reads: “Quiero, sé limpio.Quiero is the word for “want” or “desire.” It’s used to say, “I love you”. Sé limpio means “be clean.”

This impacted me profoundly. Jesus wants to heal and help us! Isn’t that comforting? He’s not dragging His feet, as if He must do an undesirable chore, as if He’s willing but would rather not.

Genesis 18:14

Earlier this year, I was reading Genesis 18, which tells of a time the LORD visited Abraham, who was living in a tent in Mamre (Hebron). God had previously promised to make Abraham’s descendants a great nation. On this occasion, God specifically told Abraham that Sarah would have a son—and soon! She overheard their conversation and laughed at the news, which seemed ridiculous and impossible— she was way beyond child-bearing age.

So God asked Abraham: “Is anything too hard for the LORD?

Of course not! In Spanish, this question is expressed as “¿Hay para Dios alguna cosa difícil?

In English, that’s literally: “Is there for God anything difficult?”

My first thought was, “Oh, the adjective ‘too’ is missing (as in ‘Is there for God anything too difficult’).” But as I pondered further, the impact of this statement is just as powerful without it.

There are no degrees of difficulty with our God. Nothing is too hard for Him; nothing is at all hard. Isn’t that awesome?!

Psalm 130: 3-4

“If You, LORD, should mark iniquities, O LORD, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with You, that You may be feared (Psalm 130:4).” The beginning phrase of verse 4 in Spanish reads, “Pero en ti hay perdón,” which, translated to English, is “But in You there is pardon.

What stood out to me is that in Him and with Him we find and receive pardon.

Jesus provides forgiveness. He is the source of forgiveness.

James 1:5

James 1 is packed with powerful and practical truths. Verse 5 contains the precious promise: “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

Curious to know how they expressed the phrase in Spanish, I read it in my bilingual Bible. The word “abundantemente” jumped off the page, grabbing my attention. That’s how God gives—abundantly.

When we need wisdom and we ask Him in faith, we can expect to receive it—in abundance, liberally, generously. God is never stingy or low on resources!

Dig Deeper

Isn’t He wonderful?!

His Word to mankind—in any language—is rich, powerful, life-giving, and life-changing!

The Truth is a treasure to marvel at, whether we know a second language or not.

Similar gems of insight can be found in a variety of ways:

  • by studying the meaning of words;
  • by examining maps to find where Biblical events took place (…or why not go to Israel?!);
  • by learning about archeological discoveries;
  • by comparing Scripture with Scripture;
  • by meditating on what God has said, allowing the Holy Spirit to teach our hearts and illumine our minds with “the depth of the riches, both of the wisdom and knowledge of God.” (Romans 11:33a, NKJV)

Whichever way you choose to dig deeper, I can guarantee you, God’s Word is inexhaustible!

Amen y Amén! (It’s the same in every language.)

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