18. Hebrew Worship: The God Who Plays a Mean Game of Cricket


The third plague was of gnats or lice, depending on which translation you read.  More to the point is the fact that Aaron caused the plague by striking the dust of the ground with his staff.  This is because it was a direct attack on one of their demi-gods, like each of the plagues was.

Khepri was the god associated with the scarab beetle.  It lays its eggs in the balls of dung and the young dung bugs emerge from the dung ball fully formed.  Through reasoning too arcane to interest me at all, they associated all that with creation, rebirth and the sun.  Khepri was the god of the morning, and Ra of the midday and some other one the god of the afternoon.

So to an Egyptian versed in the theology of the day, they fully understood that Moses and Aaron were overtly, publicly, defiantly proclaiming that their Yahweh God was superior to this god of the Egyptians when they struck the abode of the dung bug god.

Not only did Yahweh come through in a big way, but the magicians had to concede that they were completely outclassed this time.  They had kind of, sort of kept up with Moses and his God for two rounds, but on the third pitch, they fanned.

They were so completely beaten, they did not even try to spin it but overtly told Pharaoh that “This is the finger of God.”

As concession speeches go, that one was elegant for being utterly comprehensive while completely conceding the field to Yahweh.  They did not even try to compete in the future.

The point that grabs me is that God choose not to blow the Egyptians out of the water on the first play.  He allowed them to nurture the fantasy – for a season – that they could play in the big leagues.  Then He upped the ante and they folded ignominiously.

We humans have trouble with that.  We tend to feel betrayed when He lets the enemy bat first and run up the score.  Often we feel abandoned.  And ‘way too often we leave the playing field early because we are pretty sure He has too.

But that is not necessarily the right interpretation of a losing score.

About 15 years ago, I was in England and I learned a profound lesson about this.  I had come down from my room a bit early and arrived in the hotel lobby before my host.  While waiting for him, I flicked a glance at the two TV screens and saw that one of them was broadcasting a cricket game.

I know the game exists and very little more.  I was horrified when I noticed that the score was 515 to zero.  I could not imagine that kind of carnage in any game.  Where is the sportsmanship?

When my thoroughly English host appeared, I gingerly pointed out the score.  He understood my discomfort and with that exquisitely condescending attitude the Brits dominate when it comes to explaining their culture to dumb Yanks, he told me two things.

A cricket game takes about five days.  The score was so high simply because his side had not come to bat yet.

Then with a consummate confidence that marked me for the rest of my life, he said, “Come back tomorrow when we get to bat.”

That became a picture of God to me.

He is more confident than a Brit when He is playing His game.  In spite of the fact that it gives me the willies, He is quite willing to let the devil bat first.  515 to nothing does not intimidate God in the least.  Nor is God worried about the fact that I am worried over His letting the enemy run up the score.

And that is what He did here.  He was toying with the Egyptians, like a cat torments a rat it has caught.  He knew exactly what magic the Egyptians knew and what they did not.  He deliberately allowed them to pretend they were keeping the score tied, just to egg them on.

Then, like the cat that tires of the game and eats the rat, God decided He was quite done with humoring them, and He went to bat and as they do in cricket, He ran the score up and up and up and up.

Long before the game was over, it was clear that the Egyptians were utterly out of their league pitching to The Almighty, the God of the lowly Hebrews.

Today’s prayers are about the God who is the Finisher.

18. Hebrew Worship: The God Who Plays a Mean Game of Cricket

Copyright October 2015 by Arthur Burk

From Calgary, fresh off the plane

Comments

  1. Susan Sander says

    AMEN!! My soul feels battered and bruised but my spirit is jumping up at this. And against all odds I declare: He wil have the final bat.

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  2. valynda says

    God the Finisher, absolutely love this one. Thanks Arthur for you perseverance. And then God comes up to bat……can’t wait!

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  3. Anonymous says

    Dear Athur
    From the beginning you have said that God has the big picture and we only have the snapshot. With the world in turmoil we so easy get desponded. But i am so happy to be reminded that our GOD is the one who BATS LAST.Bless you and send your blogs when you can. It is awaited upon by me like kisses from God. I can reread and ponder anddigest untill the next one comes.
    Bless you for your wisdom and insight and for so willingly sharing with us your tribe.Rene from SA

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  4. says

    Thank you, Arthur, for modeling tenacity and transparency in leadership. I love the fact that God set you up for that illustration all those years ago and it still stands as a testament to His nature. This picture expands even more the blog on PsyOps. Here, the Master Cricketeer lets the enemy think he’s getting ahead. Thank you for all the many days you have gone back for more stories, whether you wanted to or not. You have expanded and stretched our worldview and pushed us to press in.

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  5. Jessica Pienaar says

    The prayer and many of the comments have made a deep impact on me. I am priviliged to be part of this tribe. I thank God for raising up a humble man of God to take the lead. I have taken courage and would like to not only watch the battle ,but to be an active member of the army.

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  6. Rosemary Williamson says

    We are so blessed to be a part of this and yes sometimes it has seemed as if we were slow walking backwards! But God! He is coming in to bat and He’s hitting some sixes! This week the slow walk has become a fast walk, almost to a run! No matter what, we will hang in with you. Thank you for your perseverance in keeping on keeping on, we owe it to you, the rest of the tribe and more importantly our Father, to keep up with you in cheering on the team who are in bat now! When things seem to slow down, it’s probably a drinks break!

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  7. says

    The enemy keeps saying “check mate”… as though our lives were a chess match… and we keep looking hopelessly at the board… for another move… but it’s not chess. It’s cricket… and we win.

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  8. Juliane Mueller says

    Dear Arthur,
    Thank you so much for not looking at the scores but again and again unto our Almighty God, the Finisher, and help us doing the same in this battle.
    I bless you with people who care for a rock where you can sit on and who help you holding your hands up like Aaron and Hur did with Moses: When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset. Ex.17:12
    I appreciate it so much what you do for people you do not even know. I bless your spirit with refreshing moments in intimacy with God, your friend, and with fresh undiscovered revelations about Himself. I bless you in the name of Jesus of Nazareth.

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  9. Debbie C. says

    So very timely, as I have very recently let go of something that I was legally entitled to, a Giver gone bad hanging onto money with the strength of 10 bulldogs but I feel a great sense of peace over all of this. God is not up in heaven wringing his hands, saying angels what is Debbie going to do now !?On the surface it may look like Pharaoh has won, but God just hasn’t come up to bat yet.

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  10. viviennehines says

    Arthur, this question of the devil piling up the score and being first at bat is one that baffled me until now. THANKS!

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  11. Sherry says

    Thank you for this prayer tonight. It reminded me that He is the finisher, He does have the last word; and even every word in-between. I was listening to your teachings tonight on an issue that I’ve been struggling through for some time, and this prayer gave me hope and reminded me that He IS the Finisher. I won’t be in this forever.
    I have missed most of these prayers, always meaning to get back to them but found it very hard to. Thanks for your tenacity and pushing forward even though the numbers dwindled, those prayers are still speaking.
    Blessings!

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  12. Louise says

    Thank you very much for the picture Arthur! 515 to nothing! And then God comes and He settles the score! He is so awesome!

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  13. Michelle Neely says

    Arthur,
    Thank you for the “Big picture” prospective needed in my life, at this time. Wonderful to be reminded of how our God has the last Word on all matters. Many prayers of increase to you and all of Sapphire and family.
    Sincerely,
    Michelle

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    • Michelle Neely says

      Now I will go and enjoy your latest prayer and blessing over us, and am so enjoying them. I can hardly believe how good God is for me to have found you now. Many other people have known about you for a long time. .

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      • Mike says

        Keep going Arthur, as a Brit I love this one.
        I’m still waiting and praying for my wife’s salvation, and we are coming up to our 50th wedding anniversary. So I know something about persevering in the brickyard. This series has been an inspiration to me.
        Blessings
        Mike

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