32. Hebrew Worship: Brinkmanship

In the last couple of weeks in the NFL, there have been a few games won in the last three or four seconds.  A win is a win, no matter when it comes, but the thrill of a team fighting back against all odds to win in the final seconds makes the win so much sweeter than a 45 to 9 game that was “over” in the first half an hour.

As we look at the emotions involved, there are two distinct dynamics.  AFTER the win, there is euphoria in the stands and on the field.  However, the long fight back from being behind in the score is anything but euphoric.  It is brutal.

In a movie, the last minute resolution of the crisis is carefully scripted, and we all know from the beginning that the bad guys will lose, and somehow the good guys will win.  The tension is deliberately developed to make the story more interesting.  The more impossible the last second win is, the more compelling the story is to the purchasing public.

But in a football game, provided it is not rigged, the players are living with the agony of probable, real-time defeat up until the last seconds.

In our walk with God, we combine the two dynamics.  God writes the script, and He deliberately raises the risk level and delays the intervention for a long time, in order to make His win extra large.  But we here on earth, who are walking out the story line, are like the football players who do not know if we will win or not and feel the agony of potential defeat while the tension is building.

God allowed James to be murdered, and He rescued Peter.  He rescued Daniel but allowed Jeremiah to die a hard death.  We simply do not know how God will write the script.  For Him, there is no concern.  He runs His plans with precision and utter control.  For us, the sense of powerlessness as humans up against God’s ancient enemy is never too far away.

This was the dynamic with the Exodus.  God fully knew He was going to use the Red Sea to finalize His victory over the Egyptians.  The Hebrews had all the victory they needed.  They were free and they had wealth.  How much better does it get?

Well actually, an eradicated Egyptian army was better, but they had no heart for such a battle.  God did.

So God used them as the bait to lure the Egyptians to their destruction.  He was at peace with the gamble.  The Hebrews would not exactly have used the phrase “at peace” to describe their emotional construct at the time.

In the end, He did it for two reasons.  First was to benefit them.  After the sheer terror was over, they were able to concede that the destruction of Pharaoh and the army and the chariots and the horses was a pretty cool insurance policy for their medium term future.

The second objective was to increase His honor through the complexity of the defeat of the Egyptians and the sophistication of His game of brinkmanship.

Most Christians don’t have much appreciation for God’s love of brinkmanship.  We feel the anguish on the playing field of potentially losing something of immense value to us.  We can’t see the confidence and control that the Writer of the Movie Script has over the outcome.

This is a time for confession of our fear based approach to editing God, and a celebration of His nature and purposes.

32. Hebrew Worship: Brinkmanship

Copyright December 2015 by Arthur Burk A Hard Life

On the road


  1. Maggie says

    Yes!! God gave me a revelation that He was the script writer , and He the Director 40 years ago when I was saved while studying method acting with an ex- Hollywood director at College . He has never given up on me and I have been in the training ground of many Biblical characters while He works on MY character. Yes Arhtur !!! Yes, yes, yes …no more pat answers and clichés ..He is so much Bigger than Our intellectual interpretations….


  2. Janis says

    “This is a time for confession of our fear based approach to editing God, and a celebration of His nature and purposes.” I confess. The game and the battle have been long, and too long in my limited-perception-based opinion. But God… and the brink.

    “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord…. The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.” (Exodus 14:13-14)

    Oh, Lord, You are faithful. You are all-knowing and the Spirit of wisdom. You are the Mighty One, the King, the Conqueror. You are love. Thank You that you are good, that Your steadfast love endures forever, and that you have and always will bring the victory. And what a victory!

    “I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in His word I hope….” (Ps. 130:5)
    “Glad songs of salvation are in the tents of the righteous: ‘The right hand of the Lord does valiantly, the right hand of the Lord exalts, the right hand of the Lord does valiantly!’” (Ps. 118:15-16)


  3. Juliane says

    Again, the right post on the right time to encourage a spirit and soul on the battlefield like mine.
    I celebrate God’s perfect timing and your partnering with Him.


  4. Louisa says

    This is such a beautiful sound, expressing and celebrating the beauty of His nature. He is such an awesome God! Thank you!


  5. Samantha says

    Honestly, my spirit says YES, my flesh wants to run a mile. Someone once told me “be careful what you pray for, you may just get it” (in the context of teaching how to count the cost).
    Well I did it!
    There is no greater place to be than in the hands of Almighty God our Father.
    Here’s to being brave and courageous and dangerous for my King this year.

    Liked by 1 person