Last but Not Least

When I was younger, I considered a career in analyzing data for professional sports organizations.  I’ve always been fascinated with analytics but positions for sports statisticians were few.  I remember at age six collecting baseball cards.  It wasn’t the picture on the front I cared about but the reverse side full of statistics.  I’d memorize the data of players such as Cecil Fielder, Paul Molitor, and Cal Ripken Jr. and organize them in Velveeta cheese boxes.  I still have them and hope one day to relive the nostalgia.

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There has always been a few statistics I would be intrigued to research concerning the “lasts” of the Bible.  One of my hypotheses states that the most read Bible verse ever is Genesis 1:1 and the least read ever is Revelation 22:21. This is the result of being determined to read the Bible but letting distractions hinder the outcome.  Also, because of a lack of time, we abandon the end of chapters and books in our studies.  We especially see this in our Bible classes.  We end up neglecting and rushing through the end of the material due to time constraints.  We rarely meditate upon the nuggets of truth that come at the end of these inspired writings.

For instance, have you ever noticed most of Paul’s salutations end with the word “grace” (2 Cor. 13:14; et al)?  I wonder why this was so important to the Apostle?  What about the book of Judges ending like this, “In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25)?  Certainly, God wanted to emphasize to myself and other readers one last time the tragedy of apostasy and the power of repentance.  Also, have you ever considered in Job 42:17, the last verse of this ancient book, how Job’s life paralleled to the patriarchs Abraham (Gen. 25:8) and Isaac (Gen. 35:29)?  All three were considered to have lived “satisfied” or “full” of days.

Psalm 119:160 declares that the sum total of God’s word is truth.  It doesn’t matter if it was recorded in Matthew 1 or Matthew 28 of our modern-day translations.  We need to make a conscious effort to give all of God’s word equal consideration.  Contemplate this next time you are reading a book of the Bible.  These verses may be last, but they are certainly not least.

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