Immediately after Game One of the World Series, Giants outfielder Hunter Pence was interviewed by Fox commentator Erin Andrews, and during the brief interview, he told her what he said to his teammates before the game. He said, “Make your peace with the King of kings and enjoy.” Though it seems like a throw-away line, there are four points to make about this word.
It is a word of worth. Contrary to what you and I usually hear from athletes empty rhetoric about focusing on one game at a time, having great respect for their opponent, winning for the great fans they have, etc., Mr. Pence shares a word with his teammates (and us) about something of supreme importance. Hundreds of years ago, Moses also similarly spoke of what was also supremely important. It was on the brink of the Promised Land, that he reiterated God’s words to the Israelites and encouraged them to obey. In his conclusion, Moses exhorted the people to “take to heart all the words I have solemnly declared to you this day, so that you may command your children to obey carefully all the words of this law. They are not just idle words for you—they are your life. By them you will live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess” (Deuteronomy 32:46-47, New International Version). God and His word that tells us how to make peace with Him are certainly not just idle words, for they are indeed life. Nothing is as important to talk about than the one true God for it is “in him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28 English Standard Version).
It is a word of wisdom. Psalm 111:10 says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise” (NIV). Mr. Pence’s words were indeed wise because they implied this fear of the Lord, and since he boldly proclaimed his faith to others, he illustrates what it is to follow the Lord He fears and His precepts. While others might call his words foolish and dismiss them as from a religious fanatic, the Bible describes such words as wise. It says, “Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. (1 Corinthians 1:20-24, NIV).
It is a word of war. The words “make your peace with the King of kings” implies that the men in that locker room needed peace, and that is exactly right. No matter who you are, whether you are a multi-million-dollar baseball player, the president of the United States, or anybody else; you and I need peace with our Creator. Because of Adam’s disobedience in the Garden of Eden, man’s perfect oneness with his Creator has been broken; and from that point forward, man has had a sin nature and has been at war with God. The apostle Paul said, “…sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned” (Romans 5:12, ESV). This sin nature that affects us all causes war between each of us and God, the King of kings. Paul wrote personally of this war later in his letter to the Romans, writing, “So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me” (Romans 7: 21-24, NIV). While you and I can do nothing by ourselves to give us peace with the King of kings, God has provided a way for us to make that peace. Paul continued, saying, “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (7:24-25, NIV). It is through understanding and receiving this Jesus Christ, who by His perfect life, sacrificial death, and triumphant resurrection delivers people from this war that you and I can “make (our) peace with the King of kings.”
It is a word of warning. Paul says, “…since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1, ESV). And about this name of Jesus, the apostle Peter declared, “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12, ESV). There is a dreadful consequence for any of us who fail to believe in this Jesus because the choice to refuse Christ is to forfeit one’s only hope to make his/her peace with the King of kings. Jesus Himself said, “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God” (John 3:18, ESV). This is why the Hunter Pence’s words after the San Francisco Giants win are so important and worthy of focus for an article. In Romans 10:14 (ESV), Paul says, “How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?” Though he may or not have thought he was “preaching,” Hunter Pence’s words echoed the words of the apostle Paul’s, when he said, “We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God” (2 Corinthians 5:20, English Standard Version).