Monday, March 9, 2009

To The Victorious

What does it mean, the victorious will inherit the blessings? My dictionary defines victorious only as an adjective. Of course I know it's used as a noun, not just here, but other places, though it's perhaps somewhat dated. Interesting. That's two dictionaries now. Just a minute, I'll be right back.
Okay, having found dictionaries generally agree as to the adjective status, that leaves us with an implied noun modified. We could get creative, but "person" will do. Or simply "victor" rather than "victorious person."
So, the victor inherits blessings. Look at the verb! Inherit. Pass by intestacy, pass without a will. (If there's a will, property passes by bequest, it's not inherited.) And who gets the property that passes by intestacy? Family. Spouse, children, grandchildren, parents, siblings--it depends on the particular situation and the operative law. Those are the rules. But what's going on in this passage? God's saying all things are new. Who's the new family? It probably still includes the old family, but add in your OA family and, well, all God's kids.
So, the victorious inherit blessings. We talked about the part of speech but didn't really consider the meaning of this victorious victor. Winner. Is that like those phone calls that say I've won something, the ones I cut off because of anticipated strings? God, I hope not!
Winning, victory, takes something on my part fist -- entering a contest, running a race, producing a product -- action, commitment, participation. God could certainly make us all winners free-gratis, without the attached strings. But he doesn't because he's not a puppeteer, not a manipulator. He doesn't give us strings OR pull our strings.
Actually, victor comes closer to conqueror rather than winner when we look at the history of the word. Certainly winners have conquered -- the other racers, contestants, or competitors. Conquerors, though, need not have a human competitor. We think of conquest over Mt. Everest, or a personal goal or of an addiction. Conquerors may best fears, disease, or a tough music score.
So. To inherit from God the father, or from the children of God, we need to be victorious. Alas. We're powerless over food, our lives have become unmanageable. But it's okay. We've got an ace up our sleeve. Back about the time John was transcribing the Revelation, Epictetus over in Greece talked like we used to talk. He said, "You may be always victorious if you will never enter into any contest where the issue does not wholly depend upon yourself." But he was wrong. We can depend on a higher power!
So it's okay. We're already victorious. Paul said it in Romans 8:37:  In all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us!  

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