I’m watching the replay of New Zealand and Argentina’s World Cup Quarterfinal match at Eden Park, New Zealand. The first half and half-time just finished. Argentina’s taking the field. The All Blacks have already been on the pitch for a minute. The kickoff is about to happen. Sixty thousand plus fans anticipate the whistle. What they don’t know – because at the time they were watching it the game was live – is what the outcome is. I do. I know New Zealand wins it.
That’s the beauty of watching a match like this. This round of match play had the top eight teams in the world competing for the opportunity to make history in the final four of a twenty team tournament. This particular match would decide who moved forward – All Blacks or Pumas – for a chance to compete for the Ellis Cup – the coveted World Cup Trophy – and international bragging rights for the next four years.
The game has been played for almost 60 minutes and the All Blacks’ only points have come from six penalty kicks … yet they lead the match. They’ve led the entire game except for a few minutes midway through the first half. The Pumas have played an incredible defensive game. They have not allowed the home team to bust through their line and score any tries.
As I’ve been watching this, I’ve been thinking a lot about how God’s Word and this rugby match are very similar: it’s a battle between two sides, people are on both sides, people in the game are giving everything they’ve got to win the game. But the main similarity is that like God’s Word, in this match I already know who wins! I knew the score before I watched the match. I knew that Argentina would give everything they had within them to prevent the All Blacks’ pursuit of the win. I knew … yet I still watched the match, I still enjoyed watching the underdog Puma’s play a great match, and I still savored the legendary All Blacks win! (By the way, the All Blacks scored their first try of the match at 66:19 by Kieran Read).
At the 79:00 mark – All Black’s Brad Thorn has just scored New Zealand’s second try of the match – the announcers start talking about the score differential: Argentina 10 and All Blacks 33. Like the rest of us who have watched the match understand, the match was much closer than the score indicates. Again, isn’t that true of God’s Word. It always seems like that despite what God does; Satan’s always getting in the mix and jacking things up. Despite God’s efforts to reconcile his creation to himself, Satan’s defense is strong. Yet, God’s offense is better than any defense Satan puts on the field. In this match, ultimately, the All Blacks conditioning, steady drive, and resiliency carried them beyond the defense of the Pumas.
God’s Word is clear: Satan is defeated, death is defeated, and we have overcome the world because He that is in us is greater than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4). Read his Word and then go out and live the life He’s already won for you – the victorious life!!!