Psalms 35, 36     (May 4)

                                              Scholar’s Mate

            “…whom I did not know…”


            If you have played chess at anytime in your life, then you know that when you hear this word, you have been defeated. The opponent has cornered your “king,” who does not have a way out, and consequently this is the end of the game.

           To checkmate an opponent, it usually takes between thirty to forty moves. At times it can take longer than that. The game of chess requires much concentration and creativity; each play must be carefully analyzed before it is carried out.

           Nevertheless, chess can be played in different ways. There is “Blitz chess” and there are simultaneous exhibitions (a master plays against many at the same time). Both of these are very fast-paced. But the fastest known checkmate is the Scholar’s mate. You can win in just four or five moves, that is; if the opponent is not an expert, or is not paying much attention.

           No human being is an expert at the game of life. Not even the great scholars, scientists, or theologians, can decipher all the inexplicable mysteries that surround us.

           I can still remember when I began to play chess. I lost all my games, one right after the other. I could not understand how I was being beaten every time by the (same) Scholar’s mate and always with the same moves. I did not understand, because I did not know. As I learned to play, I was able to understand and never again did I lose in this way.

          Today, we do not understand many things, but in the future we will understand them a little bit more, and when we go to heaven we will understand (almost) everything, because we will see Jesus face to face.

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