May 20, 2016
For those of you who weren’t with me last year, or those of you who forgot (a very common condition in these days of the “mainstream media memory hole”), I’m re-posting – exactly – a blog I posted on August 22, 2015.
Yes – I know the Phillies didn’t win in 2015… although they actually could have until late in the season. I trace that to the fact that the Phillies foolishly fired their Jewish General Manager, Ruben Amaro, Jr., on September 10. I mention that as a reason I believed they were blessed. My point is: maybe, in this Jubilee Year, WHEN the Cubs go all the way for the first time in ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHT YEARS, the Phillies will also be blessed and go a lot further than anyone could imagine.
Ya never know… anyway – here’s what I wrote last August 22nd…
Why the Phillies will win it all THIS season! (5th Elul 5775, August 22, 2015)
The Philadelphia Phillies will win the World Series Championship this year – 2015. They just won their third game out of the last four, coming from behind to beat the Miami Marlins, 4 – 2.
OK – I know what you’re thinking: “What are you – NUTS?” No – I am perfectly sane. This is as straightforward as I can be – no satire… no parody… no humor of any kind… but there is a GREAT deal of joy – this is going to be a BLAST!
Yeah – I hear you: “But the Phillies have the worst record in baseball!” And you would be correct – for the moment. They are very close to Miami and Colorado, but they are still worse than them. “So” I hear you continue, “how can you think they’re gonna win it all – THIS SEASON – when they have the worst record in baseball on August 22?”
Well, that’s the point of it, don’t you see? What kind of miracle would it be if they were expected to win? I’ve mentioned it before – when Elohim wants to demonstrate the fact that it is HE who is in charge of controlling the universe, He piles up the circumstances against the ones He will help. There was a REASON He led the Israelites into a desert – they needed to know that they ALWAYS depended on Him for EVERYTHING. They needed to learn to TRUST Him and show their FAITH in Him. How much faith does it take to believe a sure thing? But to do the seemingly impossible? It means He must be the source of everything for US.
It’s not a coincidence that this is happening in a Shemitah – not just ANY Shemitah, but a seventh Shemitah before a Jubilee year. For those who don’t know: a Shemitah occurs every seven years on the Hebrew calendar. It means “release” and it was supposed to be the equivalent in years of the Sabbath of every week. That’s kind of it – a Shemitah is a Sabbath year. The Israelites were not supposed to plant crops or tend vines – they were supposed to let the land rest for a year. They were also supposed to release property – letting it go back to its original owner – and slaves. Slavery was not supposed to be a perpetual condition of one Israelite to another – there were strict limits on how long this situation was to last. The Jubilee year – once every fifty years – was kind of a super-Shemitah. It meant two things: that the economy of Israel got “recycled” every seven years; and to, once again, let the people know that Yahweh was ALWAYS supplying ALL their needs ALL the time, but He wanted the outside world to see how much He loved them and how much He cared for them.
The Shemitah, as it was originally set forth in Leviticus and repeated amplified in Deuteronomy, was meant to be a blessing to the chosen people of Yahweh. They were expected to take a YEAR off, similar to the way they took one DAY off every week by observing the Sabbath. But, if Israel was not faithful and turned to worshipping other gods, the Shemitah could be a curse. That’s what (unfortunately) happened. The People of Yahweh drifted away from Him, into sin, and eventually into the worst kinds of immorality possible. They apparently stopped observing Shemitahs at about the time the people showed their lack of trust in Elohim by demanding an earthly king. At about the time of King Saul, they forgot about the Shemitah.
How do we know? Because at the end of the book of Second Chronicles, we are told that the reason the Jews were going to be out of their land and in exile for 70 years was to let the land catch up on the rest it had not gotten. So – if the Jewish people “owed” Yahweh 70 years of rest, they must have been ignoring it for 490 years.
The fact that most people don’t know anything about this is because of the blinding of their eyes by Satan and his forces, but it’s also because of the abysmal lack of Biblical knowledge, not just by the world, but especially by Christians. It’s because we have such a lack of faith in our Abba Father to take care of us that we end up failing to demonstrate what it really means to be a believer. We don’t trust Elohim to control the universe; we Christians live lives as if “God and Jesus” are just things we talk about on Sunday, but not to actually place our genuine trust in. Jesus said, “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.” Even if we sing that, and say we believe that, so many times we don’t put that into action. We need to “rest in Him” – trust Him to take care of us. He will not abandon us, no matter how circumstances look.
So – what does all this have to do with the Phillies winning this year? Well, this is a Shemitah year, and the next year (starting on September 13, 2015 – Yom Teruah this year, also known as Rosh Hashanah) is a Jubilee year. I have spent a good bit of time in the last few months showing that the Lord – Elohim – has been in providential control of baseball in the United States since it began.
“What does Yahweh care about sports?” I hear from my detractors.
Baseball is a part of our national life; the Lord is involved in all aspects of our lives. I have found a large amount of data in my research into baseball history – and baseball in 2015 – to show that Yahweh is as sovereign over the things that happen in sports as He is over every other part of life. Last year, I wrote a baseball devotional based on that premise: that the Lord shows us truths about Himself through our understanding of baseball. But this connection goes far deeper than I ever realized!
One example (out of so many): Do you know that “The Curse of the Bambino” was not just imaginary; it was REAL? It was a genuine curse on the Boston Red Sox. It lasted from the day early in 1920 when Boston sold Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees, until it was lifted in 2004 – not coincidentally, 84 years later. Do you know that 7 times 12 is 84? That’s just the beginning of what I’ve discovered.
So – what about the Phillies? The Phillies are a team under blessing, right now. They were cursed in 1897 (wait’ll I explain why! It’s an amazing story!) The curse wasn’t lifted until 1979 (either because of Mike Schmidt’s seventh season OR because of the momentous 23 – 22 game with the Cubs – I’m still working on that). They won the next year – a Shemitah season – in 1980. They won the NL pennant, against all odds – in 1993, playing in the memorable Shemitah World Series of that year. They won their second World Championship in 2008 – a Shemitah season. And – we are now in the next Shemitah season (2015). Is this connected to the fact that, in 2008 and 2015, they have had a Jewish General Manager (Ruben Amaro, Jr.)?
We Christians pray, and we believe the Lord not only hears our prayers, but answers them. I know, many times in my life, that the Lord has answered my prayers – and the prayers of many other believers in our Lord Jesus. But, we’re often afraid to really show this to the world. We don’t expect Yahweh to answer our prayers in the same way He answered prayers in the Bible. He delivers His people, time and time again, in the Scriptures, but we don’t trust Him to act that way today. Well, ya know what – for reasons I will get into in other essays, I believe that Elohim, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob – the One who split the Red Sea and brought His people through on dry land… the One who fed over two million people every day for 40 years with manna… the One who gave David victory over the massive warrior, Goliath… the One who wiped out the entire Assyrian army in one night because Hezekiah prayed… the One who raised Jesus the Messiah from the dead – that God – He can lead the Phillies to victory against all odds! Why? Not because I know so much – I know it will be a true miracle if they win – but because – He is still today, just as powerful. If He does this miracle – taking the lowest of the low teams and raising them up to Champions – no one can legitimately doubt His Providence. It can only be a miracle!
I’m just the messenger. He gets the glory – praise His holy name!