By Stephen Leonard

“Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him; but I will argue my case before Him.” Job 13:15

The football season is fully upon us. In NFL and Collegiate football there are seven (yes, seven!) officials refereeing each and every play; seven officials for just twenty-two players on the field at any one time! Is this overkill? Apparently not.

Any of the twenty-two players are not only capable of committing a foul, but, if not watched, will. In fact, they often try to get away with fouling, maybe not always intentionally, but they are never averse to fouling when they think the “success” of the play depends on it.

It is truly said a referee can call “holding” on any play, suggesting referees can control a game if they choose to call “holding” whenever they want to, even if somewhat arbitrarily. So you have to trust the fairness of referees; but many fans become regularly enraged at the refs for their calls, which fans often consider “arbitrary” or mistaken.

Referees are human, which is to say they can make bad calls. And it has been proven that referees have made game-deciding mistakes. But then this is the nature of the game. You get mad at referees as a committed fan of your team whom you fiercely want to win. But what then about the “referee” of “the game of life?”

Is life a game? Some think so, in a comparative sense. Life appears to resemble the vagaries of a very competitive game. If so, this “game of life” is by far the most serious “game” of all. For your life is regularly a matter of success or failure, satisfaction or ruin, life or death, and everything in-between. Very few, if any, are fully satisfied with all they face day-in and day-out.

You can get angry with others, as you frequently do, with yourself, which you never do enough, or you can get angry with God, the Referee of all. Whether you acknowledge Him or not, or whether you are a denier of God, or whether you believe God is, it is nevertheless God with whom you have to do. Always. He is the Sovereign God of His universe and He is the Judge of all. This makes Him the Referee of the game of life. One Referee for billions of human beings.

But, then, God is fully capable of it. The difference between God and human referees is that while He is holy, right, and true, they are not. If God is not, then, there is no measure at all of holy, right, and true. But all the evidence of life points to the existence of moral standards, of right and wrong. Man’s humanity in his innate conscience points to the concrete existence of right and wrong. These moral standards, proceed from and rest in the character of God.

Many, even most people, do not agree with how God referees their life. For, as the Bible says, “His ways are far above our ways, and His thoughts far above our thoughts.” You do not always agree or understand how things work out for you, especially at first blush.

It comes down simply to a “trust factor.” You either trust God or you do not. There is a huge difference in choosing to trust God in the ruling of your life. “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him,” declared Job, with great confidence! “Will not the God of the whole world do right?”

God is your Referee, and His decisions are always perfect. You can trust Him, with confidence. For your life now and throughout eternity depends wholly on Him. Trust Him! And show such trust by how you receive His judgments, without grumbling and complaining; rather, receive them with joy, showing you know He has you in the palm of His hand.


“Father, I know that all my life is portioned out for me; the changes that are sure to come, I do not fear to see; I ask thee for a present mind , intent on pleasing thee.”

(1st verse of Anna Waring’s hymn, “Father, I Know That All My Life,” 1850)

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