Categorized | Illustrations

The Central Verse

THE CENTRAL VERSE=THE CENTRAL THEME
BY ROBERT STROUP

Someone recently e-mailed me the following information:

THE CENTER OF THE BIBLE:

Did you know that:

1) Psalm 118 is the middle chapter of the entire Bible?

2) Psalm 117, before Psalm 1 18, is the shortest chapter in the Bible?

3) Psalm 119, after Psalm 118, is the longest chapter in the Bible?

4) The Bible has 594 chapters before Psalm 118 and 594 chapters after
Psalm 118?

5) If you add up all the chapters in the Bible except Psalm 118, you
get a total of 1188 chapters?

6) 1188 or Psalm 118:8 is the middle verse of the entire Bible? Should
the central verse not have a fairly important message?

“It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.”
Psalm 188:8.

Is this central verse not also the central theme of the entire Bible?

I thought about it for a while and concluded that this middle verse of
the Bible really is pretty much its central theme. Although we know
that the original manuscripts were not divided into chapters and
verses, it’s hard to believe that God didn’t have something to do with
placing the very middle verse of the Bible right in the very middle
chapter of the Bible – right between the shortest and the longest
chapters in the Bible. The Lord, in what with time would become the
very center of the Book, inspired the writer to pen these words, “Trust
Me, this Book is true. You can trust the 594 chapters that come before
this one and the 594 chapters that come after this one. You can trust
the thousands of verses that come before this one and the exact same
number of verses that come after this one. I have inspired them to
guide you – I have given them to serve as beacons of light in a dark
world. Put your trust in me and in My word – not in the opinions of
man.”

Perhaps God has allowed this particular verse to be in the center of
His Book to remind us of where He desires to be in our lives – right in
the middle! When He gave Moses the Tabernacle plan, He instructed him
as to where he wanted it to be located: “Put it right in the middle of
the encampment with three tribes encamped on each side of it.” God
didn’t want His dwelling place among His people to be out on the edge
of town somewhere. He wanted to be their town square – right smack dab
in the middle of their lives.

And so it is with all of us. God doesn’t want just our token
acknowledgments our little religious niceties – NO! God wants to be
right smack dab in the middle of our lives. So to help bring this
message home, He lifted His voice with these words right in the middle
of your Bible “Trust me! Just trust me! Don’t doubt me – don’t put your
trust in anyone or anything else. What I’m telling you is right!”

What is trust? Webster’s defines trust as “Firm belief or confidence in
the honesty, integrity, reliability, and justice of another person,
faith, reliance. Confident expectation, anticipation or hope.” So trust
is a wonderful combination of faith and hope – two wonderful motivators
in our walk with God. But trust is not just a mild dose of faith and
hope – it is firm belief, it is confident hope. Trust is faith at its
best; it is hope to the nth degree. Do you understand what I’m trying
to convey? Let me sum it up with a verse found right in the middle of
your Bible: “It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence
in man.”

Look at the chapter just prior to this one Psalm 117 – the shortest
chapter in the Bible: “O praise the LORD, all ye nations: praise him,
all ye people. For his merciful kindness is great toward us: and the
truth of the LORD endureth for ever. Praise ye the LORD.” Then look at
the emphasis of the chapter immediately following Psalm 118 – which is,
of course, Psalm 119 – the longest chapter in the Bible: “Wherewithal
shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to
thy word…Thy word have I hid in mine heart that I might not sin
against thee…How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter that
honey to my mouth!… Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto
my path… The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth
understanding unto the simple… Thy word is very pure: therefore thy
servant loveth it.” Psalm 119: 9, 11, 103,105,130,140. The emphasis in
both the shortest and the longest chapters in the Bible is the
trustworthiness of His Word – so right between the two, in fact, right
in the middle of the entire Bible, His appeal is that we too, like the
Psalmist, would put our trust in Him and in His Word.

“‘Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus, just to take Him at His word; just to
stand upon His promise, just to know, thus saith the Lord. Jesus,
Jesus, how I trust Him, how I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er. Jesus,
Jesus, precious Jesus, Oh for grace to trust Him more.”

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