The Bible Uses Racing to Illustrate Great Lessons (Psalm 19:1-6)
1. Because racing is receiving so much attention, perhaps this is a good time to study how "the Bible uses racing to illustrate great lessons." 2. Let us first consider . . . Discussion: I. PSALM 19:1-6
A. In these verses David presented a powerful argument for the existence of God. B. By observing the objects in the heavens and the order that exists, we can know that there is a Creator. C. In vs.4b-6 David dealt specifically with the sun. 1. (vs.4b) God has set the sun in a certain place -- it has its own tabernacle. 2. (vs.5) To illustrate the power of the sun, it is compared to a bridegroom coming out of his chamber and a strong man running a race. 3. (vs.6) The sun is so powerful that it influences everything on the earth. D. David's comparison of the sun's power to a strong man running a race illustrates an important lesson. 1. If the sun is so powerful, we know something about its Creator. 2. The lesson is summed up in Psalm 147:5. II. ECCLESIASTES 9:11-15
A. Solomon showed how things do not always work out the way we think they will. B. (vs.11) One way that Solomon made this point was by showing how battles are not always won by the strongest [illustrated in vs.14-15]. C. Before mentioning this he said, "the race is not to the swift." 1. In horse racing, the horse that leads most of the race does not always win. 2. In the Daytona 500, the car in the pole position does not always win. 3. In the Olympics, the first runner out the starting block does not always win. D. Solomon's statement about the race not being to the swift illustrates an important lesson. 1. Man's knowledge is limited -- we simply do not know how things will turn out. 2. Some good advice for us to follow is given in James 4:13-15. III. 1 CORINTHIANS 9:24-27
A. In these verses Paul was making a point from athletic competition. 1. An athlete competes in a race to win "a corruptible crown." 2. He practices temperance so he can be successful. 3. Only the athlete who wins the race will receive a prize. B. Paul's comparison illustrates an important lesson. 1. Christians look forward to receiving an incorruptible crown. 2. In order to receive it we must practice temperance while running our race. 3. A home in heaven will be given to all who finish the race (Revelation 2:10). IV. HEBREWS 12:1-3
A. These verses provide additional instructions for running the Christian race. 1. First, we must eliminate certain things -- every weight and sin that beset us. 2. Second, we must run our race "with patience." B. We have 2 sources of encouragement, including: 1. a great cloud of witnesses [the men and women listed in ch.11] 2. the Lord who completed His race. C. Keeping our eyes focused on the Lord will prevent us from giving up. D. To receive an incorruptible crown we must finish the race that is set before us. Conclusion:
1. We have examined 4 passages in the Bible that mention a race. 2. From the reference to a race in: a. Psalm 19:5, let us be assured that God exists (Hebrews 11:6) b. Ecclesiastes 9:11, let us look to God for wisdom and direction c. 1 Corinthians 9:25, let us look forward to receiving an incorruptible crown d. Hebrews 12:1-3, let us run the Christian race with patience, keeping our eyes focused on Jesus.