Ezekiel 31

Day 1574

The Thrill of Victory!

Ezekiel 31


Good morning! This is Pastor Jerry Ingalls from New Castle First Baptist Church and today is Monday, July 8.


There is nothing quite like competing on the biggest stage of national sport. As I’ve been watching the drama of the USA Olympic Team Trials unfold, I am reminded of the famous opening line in The Wide World of Sports, “The thrill of victory, and the agony of defeat.” I watched the heartbreak of a reigning world champion who did not make the team, and the pure joy of an athlete who did. It’s great drama to watch, but it’s a different matter to live through such highs and lows yourself. I know because I got fourth place in the hammer throw at the 2000 USA Track and Field Olympic Team Trials, narrowly missing the team by one spot. Sports are a great metaphor for life, because through them we learn how to navigate the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat!


Imagine what Pharaoh must have experienced when the prophet illustrated Egypt’s coming fall from the heights of power and prestige by describing the former world power, Assyria, as a mighty cedar in Ezekiel 31:2-3, 10-11:


“Son of man, say to Pharaoh king of Egypt and to his hordes, ‘Whom are you like in your greatness? ‘Behold, Assyria was a cedar in Lebanon with beautiful branches and forest shade, and very high, and its top was among the clouds. … Because it is high in stature and has set its top among the clouds, and its heart is haughty in its loftiness, therefore I will give it into the hand of a despot of the nations; he will thoroughly deal with it. According to its wickedness I have driven it away.’”


Seize the moment and find the thrill of victory in something greater than the transitory podiums of prestige and perishable awards of success – “Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, … for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:20-21).


God bless you!


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