The Predestined Life

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Are all the events of your life already written down somewhere? Does an inexorable fate drive you onwards to some destiny that you can’t foresee or know? If something really terrible happens to you, was it written that it had to be that way? According to The Living Bible, the Psalmist writes, You saw me before I was born, and scheduled each day of my life before I began to breathe. Every day was recorded in your book.

Now, that’s a profound thought. That before I was ever born, every day of my life was scheduled for me. In Rick Warren’s The Purpose-Driven Life he wrote, God made you for a reason. He also decided when you would be born, and how long you would live. He planned the days of your life in advance, choosing the exact time of your birth and your death. The Bible says, You saw me before I was born, and scheduled each day of my life before I began to breathe. Every day was recorded in your book.

Actually, that’s what The Living Bible says. The Living Bible is a paraphrase for easy reading. And it’s also an interpretation of the Scriptures. Here is how the King James version renders the verse. It’s Psalm 139, verse 16: Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. Marginal reading says, And in your book all my members were written which in what days they should be fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.

So we see a substantive difference in what two different sources think the Psalmist is trying to tell us. I think that difference arises out of the theological assumptions of the translators. I believe translators try hard for objectivity. But sometimes they take us down the wrong path because they believe that’s what the Psalmist was trying to say. Now, what’s the ordinary reader to make of all this?


Author
Ronald L. Dart

Ronald L. Dart

People around the world have come to appreciate Ron’s easy style, his non-combative approach to explaining the Bible, and the personal, almost one-on-one method of explaining what’s going on in the world in the light of the Bible. After retiring from teaching and church administration in 1995 he started Christian Educational Ministries and the Born to Win radio program.

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