We like to win. Whether it’s our team that’s winning or as individuals winning – from our jobs to the pickle ball court – we like to win. We frame our desire to win around what we like to say is our competitive nature. We fight tooth and nail when it comes to something we want. We train, we fight, we go the extra mile seeking the victory or some sort of prize – even if its imaginary. Do we do the same for God? And there is another nature that kicks in: The fear of losing.
Our God has never been defeated, and even when whit less humans think they’ve won against God it’s only a fleeting fantasy. When Pharoah went up against God, he lost 12 times. Because of his hubris, God hit Egypt with not one, not two, but 10 plagues. The last cost him his own son. I know I said he lost 12 times. Adding to the 10 plagues, Pharoah, wrapped in anger and arrogance decided to chase the Israelites to destroy them. He had not learned his lesson. God allowed Pharoah’s chariots to come quickly upon the fleeing Israelites, but there was one problem: a pillar of fire blocked their advance as God parted the Red Sea for the Israelites escape. Still thinking his army was greater than God, Pharoah’s chariotsentered the dry seabed in hot pursuit only to drown as the walls of water collapsed. God 12 – Pharoah 0.
When Haman, in the book of Esther, hatched a plot to kill all the Jews in the Persian Empire – an empire that stretched from India to the Upper Nile with 127 provinces, the victory was sweet Irony. Haman plotted to have Mordecai, who raised Esther, impaled on a 75-foot-high pole because Mordecai did not bow down to him – and he wanted all of the Jews destroyed. Haman had King Xerxes issue an order, that could not be rescinded, that would have eliminated all Jews by a date certain.
Turns out Haman’s treachery was found out and he and his wife and 10 sons were impaled on the tall posts instead, and although the King’s order could not be changed, he issued another order allowing the Jews to defend themselves, and they were victorious. Esther remained queen and Mordecai was given the second highest office in the land; the same office Haman had cherished.
Though God is not mentioned in the book of Esther, the book shows that God plays multidimensional chess. He maneuvered to get Queen Vashi removed and Esther to replace her in a nationwide search for a new queen. God used Mordecai to ally Esther’s fears of approaching the King without being summoned, a break of protocol that carried a death sentence. God then exposed Haman’s treachery all because Haman was a glutton forpraise. He forgot (probably never knew) that he wasn’t all that. God 1- Haman 0.
The greatest of all examples of God’s unbroken string of victories is in the life of Jesus. The Pharisees plotted against Jesus. They wanted him dead, but they depended on the Roman Governor Pontius Pilate to do the dirty work for them – a theme so thin of fact that even one of the thieves being crucified spoke of Jesus’ innocence in Luke 23:39 “Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, ‘If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us.’ But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, ‘Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.’ Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” And Jesus said to him, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.'”
The Jewish priests thought they had won. Jesus had threatened their hold on the Jewish people’s pocketbooks and now he was dead. They didn’t realize that Jesus was sent here to die in repatriation of our sins, and it remains the greatest story ever told. God 1 – Pharisees 0. The day is coming for all of to see the final chapter, planned ions ago, for our salvation. The cheers of victory by the multitude of those who died in Christ and those who met hm in the air will reverberate throughout the universe.
Written by: Charles Richardson