Links Daily Devotional

Badly Played

Unlike their fathers, they quickly turned from the way in which their fathers had walked, the way of obedience to the LORD’s commands. (Judges 2:17, NIV 1984)

What a pleasant Sunday of golf on the tours, great for a lazy afternoon of viewing.

In New Orleans, at the PGA Tour’s Zurich Classic, vibrant Billy Horschel kept piling on birdies to ward off D.A. Points’ own barrage. The two each birdied the last, allowing Horschel to win by one.

Ditto on the LPGA Tour, where the showdown featured Spanish upstart Carlota Ciganda and world number one Inbee Park, recently off her major win at the Kraft Nabisco Championship. They too both birdied the last, with Park notching her third win of the season, also by a shot, at the North Texas LPGA Shootout.

On the European Tour, playing in Korea at the Ballantine’s Championship, Brett Rumford went out in 30 with six birdies then eagled the first playoff hole to win.

Good golf is great to watch.

But while we’re here, we have to say this too: bad golf is painful to watch. A late double bogey to lose. A back nine meltdown. These are the stuff of nightmares.

Perhaps that is why it is so disturbing to read the opening chapters of the Old Testament book of Judges. Moses is gone, now Joshua has died. The people are left to heed the warnings of these two great leaders. They don’t.

So much of the Bible is a warning, actually. If we say that we believe God is the completely wise and completely loving, then every instructive he gives, whether it is stated in a positive direction (“do this”) or a negative one (“don’t do this), must be regarded as perfect in its design. Implicit, then, is the understanding that going another way is ill in idea, ill in practice, and ill in result.

Watch someone go down a different path, a godless one, and those eyes you’re watching with fill with tears. There is only difficulty then tragedy awaiting those who walk apart from the Lord.

You may think, That seems so black and white. But either a man is king or he is not. Either God is Lord of all or he is not. The Bible is clear about which political system is finest: a benevolent ruler. And as far as the universe goes, that ruler is God. Heed his words, live in the righteousness that comes by faith, and thrive. Turn from “the way of obedience to the LORD’s commands” and walk in peril. If it helps you choose, I can tell you right now which one of those lives is wonderful to watch. So can you.

Jeff Hopper

May 1, 2013

Copyright 2013 Links Players International

The Links Daily Devotional appears Monday-Friday at