Do you think the New England Patriots regret deflate-gate?
It’s widely accepted by sports outlets that the team intentionally deflated their footballs 2 lbs. less than NFL regulations for the AFC championship game last Sunday. This gave them an advantage of greater ball control in the cold, wet conditions.
The Pats ended up destroying the Colts 45-7, and many claim that the indiscretion was insignificant to the outcome of the contest. Maybe so. Or . . . maybe not. Who can tell how many fumbles or incomplete passes were averted? And if it didn’t make much of a difference, why did they do it?
I’m less than a fan of the Patriots so my opinion is biased. They are consistently in the playoffs, and they have been consistently caught being unscrupulous. I know there’s a lot of moolah involved, but what about honor? What about winning without an asterisk next to your accomplishment?
For those reasons, I’m convinced that somebody in that organization must regret deflate-gate. At the very least it shows that they believe their team needed some help matching up against the Colts. At best, if they end up raising the Lombardi Trophy after the Super Bowl, far fewer people will celebrate with them because it will be seen as illegitimate. Champions are real if they defeat everyone on an even playing field.
So in this way, no matter what happens on Super Bowl Sunday, the Patriots cannot win. And after such a convincing win against the Colts, it’s easy to imagine that they could have won without cheating.
John Piper has a devotional thought that caught my attention. It’s on the app called YouVersion that I’ve been using from Lifechurch.tv. Of course, I can’t find it now that I want to write about how awesome it was. Anyway, here’s the gist of it. Whatever you are going through in life, God doesn’t look back over your years and wish he had done something differently. This may sound harsh, but it gets worse.
Isaiah 53:10a (ESV), speaking of God’s perspective on the death of Jesus Christ, reads, “Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush [Jesus] . . .” Literally, the word in Hebrew translated will means pleasure. God was pleased to crush his own son! Sounds pretty rough.
The word for pleasure is “. . . the term used of sovereigns. Their pleasure is equivalent to their will in a matter. (WBC, J. Watts, 232)” It isn’t that God was thrilled at Jesus’ pain. God had decided on a plan for the redemption of the world – the only plan that would work. And as far as he’s concerned, he made the right choice.
Other passages say that God regretted making Saul king (1 Samuel 15) or making man at all (Genesis 6:6), but these words are in line with his grief about how man had reacted to his divine acts. God did the right thing, we didn’t respond well.
Don’t forget, God knows the future and isn’t caught off guard by our silliness. He knows the suffering we will go through that is for his purposes and for our good.
I take great comfort in knowing that God doesn’t have regrets about how he intervenes in my life. He is pleased with any suffering that I, or my friends and family, may be going through if we are living out our lives by faith in Jesus Christ. So I will be pleased, too.