The Common Good
May-June 2001

The Lord is My Umpire?

by Doris J. Bates | May-June 2001

I'M NO BIBLICAL scholar, but I have read both Testaments and I
honestly can't recall any passages that invoke the power of the Almighty in
connection with games of ...

I'M NO BIBLICAL scholar, but I have read both Testaments and I honestly can't recall any passages that invoke the power of the Almighty in connection with games of any sort, or compare God's kingdom to a football field ("Is God a Rams Fan?") or gym or any other sports setting. I can't think of any passages of scripture that even imply that he pays attention to these things. I can invent some, but they all seem faintly blasphemous (Psalm 151: The Lord is my umpire, I shall not strike out? Lo, though I come up to bat with the bases loaded, I shall not foul, for Thou are with me? Jeremiah: For you do not know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you Super Bowl victories and lucrative celebrity endorsements?) It's hard to escape the impression that he had other things on his mind. Of course, the Romans were packing stadiums in New Testament times by feeding followers of the Way to wild animals. That might explain this odd silence on the part of our YHWH. Perhaps Jupiter was the sports fan then, or Mars?

Doris J. Bates
Rockville, Maryland

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