Summary: The replacement refs are catching heat about the officiating. Sometimes God does too.

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A horrible travesty took place this week, an injustice beyond words. It has been discussed on every major news outlet. It has dominated water-cooler discussion. Everyone seems to have taken a side, even those who know nothing about the facts. It has been debated, argued and fought over to the point that it has almost divided our great nation and almost destroyed a major finical giant in our economy. This horrible injustice took place on Monday night, Sept 24th when the replacement officials made an incorrect decision on the last play of Monday Night Football that robbed the beloved Packers of an interception and gave the lowly Seahawks the winning touchdown thus throwing the audience, the NFL and indeed the nation into chaos.

Some will argue that it was clearly an interception after an obvious foul. Others argue that the receiver had control of the ball as they went to the ground thus being indeed a touchdown. Still others argue that neither actually had complete control of the ball but the rules state that when questionable the call always goes to the offense. Even top politicians are giving their viewpoint on this horrendous news-dominating story. We must pray that it does tear at the very foundations of our church.

Clearly, I am joking. However, it is amazing how passionate we get about football. We cheer or jeer our players. We are upset when the game does not go in our favor. Some even support more than one team, which I must admit seems wrong to me. I relate that to having a wife that you are dedicated to until your girlfriend comes to town. It is just not right. I am a Carolina Panthers fan no matter how ugly they get.

Today I want us to look at Job with our sports glasses on. Job was a Super Bowl winner. He owned 500 yoke of oxen, 500 donkeys, 7000 sheep, and 3000 camels. He was blessed with 10 children. In addition, he was a man in good health.

However, one day he became a player in the game between God and satan. The adversary, satan, challenged God to remove his protection, his offensive line, from in front of Job and he could cause a calamity in Job’s life so great that he would abandon his worship and never trust in God again. God agreed and left Job on the playing field alone and unprotected.

In one day, Job lost his possessions, his wealth, and all his children. He was soon covered from head to toe in boils that itched and hurt so bad that all he could do was sit in the ashes and scrape them with pottery shards.

Soon the sports analyst showed up in the form of three friends, Eliphaz, Bildad, Zophar, and Elihue. They set with him for 7 days and 7 nights not saying anything. I wonder if they were analyzing the situation in their own minds, drawing conclusions, asking themselves “Where did Job go wrong? Where did he fumble?”

Finally after these 7 days Job speaks. “Let the day of my birth be erased, and the night I was conceived. Let that day be turned to darkness. Let it be lost even to God on high,

and let no light shine on it. Let the darkness and utter gloom claim that day for its own. Let a black cloud overshadow it,

and let the darkness terrify it. Let that night be blotted off the calendar, never again to be counted among the days of the year,

never again to appear among the months. Let that night be childless. Let it have no joy. Let those who are experts at cursing—whose cursing could rouse Leviathan —

curse that day. Let its morning stars remain dark.

Let it hope for light, but in vain; may it never see the morning light. Curse that day for failing to shut my mother’s womb,

for letting me be born to see all this trouble. “Why wasn’t I born dead? Why didn’t I die as I came from the womb?” (Job 3:3-11)

Job is not taking this loss very well. When his team was winning, things were great but now tragedy has struck and he is in the cursing mode. Some one has to be blamed for this so he attacks the day of his birth. How can you curse something that has already happened? He is born. He cannot take it back. The call was made and it stands. Moreover, nothing Job could do or say would change that. The only choice he has is to rely on God to comfort him.

So now, the first analyst, Eliphaz, takes a shot of describing the play as he saw it. His speech went along these lines; “This truth was given to me in secret, as though whispered in my ear.

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