Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Is There A Conflict Between God And Football?

Dr Yengi,
After the children of Israel finished serving God, they ate, drank and then rose up to do sports (Ex 32:6). Physical exercise was the culmination of life to confirm the old adage that “all work and no play, makes Jack a dull boy”. It was always the custom of the Israelites to end their day’s activities with sports (2 Sam 2:14). That is probably the more reason why they lived longer than the present age. God did not condemn its inclusion in their lifestyle.
Job asked if God would play with man as if he was playing with a bird (Job 41:5)? In other words just as the bird is captured and a rope put on their leg will you then make man like that where he thinks he is free but he is not. You let him go to places then draw him back? The usage of the word play as an illustration connotes God’s endorsement of physical exercise. Isaiah describes what heaven will be like when he says that a child will even play with a wasp (Is 11:8). A child will play in front of a wasp and the sheep will sleep with a lion. This is a peaceful setting and sports should be for peaceful reasons. But as you know until that time reaches when there will be a new earth and a new heaven, in our present world though a sheep and the lion may lie together the sheep wouldn’t get much sleep.
In the New Testament only Paul cautions Timothy to add spiritual exercise unto his physical exercise because physical exercise is good for the body alone while spiritual exercise affects the body, soul and spirit leading unto salvation (I Tim 4:8). The fact that Paul does not condemn physical exercise rather advises that it should be complimented with spiritual exercise shows that physical exercise is not bad. Thus the Christian could engage in it.
Therefore, since God does not condemn sports or physical exercise and football is a type of sports then there is no conflict between God and football. If God allows people to play then he will not condemn watching either. As you know, there is a principle that should guide us all “there is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labour. This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God” (Eccl 2:24).
Sports become evil only when they are used as a replacement to God because God does not share his glory with people. Anything that is going to put God in second place is idolatry and thus sinful. God should always be number one in our lives at all times.
Until then, please, enjoy your life for where you go you will have to wait till heaven or hell accepts you.

Prince & PA Hamilton Ayuk

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