Monday, November 14, 2011

Tebow, Israel, and when God "humbly lifts us up"

Yesterday was a crazy football day. Not because the Bucs lost, again, which I think I should be getting used to by now (false hope is terrible!), but because Tim Tebow and his Bronco's won again. He's now 3-1 as a starter. The guy who most analysts pull against because he is not a "traditional" quarterback, is now 3-1 and his team is still in a play-off race. But only because of the weak division that is the AFC West.

He actually completed 2 passes yesterday. He was 0-4 in the first half and eventually finished 2 for 8. Yet his team one again. 

I really don't think God cares that much about football. We see certain places in the scriptures that seem to suggest God does have a "special place in his heart" for widows, orphans, and the oppressed (Psalm 68:5). But it is also true he has a special place in His heart for His children the way any good father does. And he cares about their sanctification even more than their "success" (Romans 8:28). So that includes Tebow, as it does any Christian in the world or in the NFL for that matter.

And isn't it funny how God shows love, how he both lifts up and humbles at the same time? You can't get much worse than 2 for 8. Yet his team won. God lifted Tebow up, but he did it in such a way as he couldn't rest upon his individual stats. God lifted him up in such a way that Tebow would know it wasn't his efforts. And I think today Tebow is just fine with it. 

God has been doing this for some time. He lifted up Israel, and made sure they knew that they were chosen not because of anything IN them, but simply because, well, He chose to love them (Deuteronomy 7:5-7).

So he lifted up Israel, but not in the "traditional" way that He did for opposing nations-by sheer might and power. Remember, he had them shout down the walls of Jericho after marching around it 6 times. How untraditional? Frankly it would have been a quite humbling victory if they were thinking about "individual stats." Shouting? A battering ram would have been much cooler to me. 

God lifted them up in victory and at the same time humbled them.

From what we can tell, Israel actually rose to power because there was a power vacuum in the Ancient Near East-similar to the AFC West division. It wasn't Israel's might and power that did it. And I would argue that was by design

The goal of God lifting us up is never simply so that we can be lifted up. It's always His glory. And so when you are lifted up, keep looking in that same direction. There's a reason that God lifts people up, and doesn't allow them to have great "stats." You can then freely bask in God's glory instead of your own. 

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