DayBreaks for 09/18/13 – How the Victory Was Won
Dan Miller tells a delightful story about a farmer many years ago in a village in India who had the misfortune of owing a large sum of money to the village moneylender. The old and ugly moneylender fancied the farmer’s beautiful daughter, so he proposed a bargain. He would forgive the farmer’s debt if he could marry the farmer’s daughter.
Both the farmer and his daughter were horrified by the proposal, but the cunning moneylender suggested that they let providence decide the matter. He told them that he would put a black pebble and a white pebble into an empty money bag. The girl would have to reach in and pick one pebble from the bag. If she picked the black pebble, she would become his wife and her father’s debt would be forgiven. If she picked the white pebble, she need not marry him and her father’s debt would still be forgiven. If she refused to pick a pebble, her father would be thrown into jail until the debt was paid.
They were standing on a pebble-strewn path in the farmer’s field. As they talked, the moneylender bent over to pick up two pebbles. The sharp-eyed girl noticed that he had picked up two black pebbles and put them into the bag. He then asked the girl to pick a pebble. Now, imagine that you were the girl standing in the field. What would you have done? If you had to advise her, what would you have told her?
Careful analysis would produce three possibilities: (1) the girl could refuse to take a pebble–but her father would then be thrown in jail. (2) The girl could pick a black pebble and sacrifice herself in order to save her father from debt and imprisonment. Or (3) the girl could pull out both black pebbles in the bag, expose the moneylender as a cheat, and likely incite his immediate revenge.
Here is what the girl did:
She put her hand into the money bag and drew out a pebble. Without looking at it, she fumbled and let it fall onto the pebble-strewn path, where it immediately became lost among all the other pebbles. “Oh, how clumsy of me,” she said. “But never mind, if you look into the bag for the one that is left, you will be able to tell which pebble I picked.” Since the remaining pebble was black, it would have to be assumed that she had picked the white one. And since the moneylender dared not admit his dishonesty, the girl would have changed what seemed an impossible situation into an extremely advantageous one.
There is something in all of us that loves to see the villain defeated by a good and wise person. From the fall in the garden until Jesus’ resurrection (and especially during the time of the crucifixion), Satan believed he had us all right where he wanted us to be – in the palm of his ugly hand. With Jesus’ death, I’m sure Satan was partying and celebrating his certain and sure victory. God was dead! There was only one problem: he’d not reckoned with a God who could raise Himself from the dead..and who did precisely that, cleverly using the ultimate weapon of Satan himself (death) to be the means of atonement and salvation.
How I wish I could have seen Satan’s face on the Resurrection morning!
PRAYER: God, you are all wise and all knowing and we glorify You for defeating our enemy! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.
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