Lawrence Peter “Yogi” Berra, hall-of-fame catcher for the New York Yankees from 1946-1963, was known for his malapropisms and pithy, paradoxical statements like “It ain’t over ‘till it’s over!” Boy, did that ever apply to the recent baseball college world series (CWS) in Omaha, Nebraska. As one sports writer put it, “The Oregon State Beavers baseball team overcame more obstacles than Indiana Jones in ‘Temple of Doom.’” Because they lost their first game, they ended up playing 8 games in 13 days, including a 14-5 victory over the University of Washington in a game that included a 4 1/2 hour rain delay. They won 6 elimination games. Their top two starting pitchers struggled with neither having a quality start. Their leadoff hitter Steven Kwan, who batted .355 over the season, suffered a hamstring strain in the second game against the University of Washington and was limited to spot duty. Second baseman Nick Madrigal, the number 4 pick in this year’s MLB draft, went 0 for 13 in the three games against Arkansas in the CWS finals. Arkansas’ fans flooded Omaha for the finals, filling the stadium with a sea of red and were very vocal in their support of the Razorbacks. OSU lost the first game of the best-of-three finals and in game two trailed 3-2 with two out in the ninth with shortstop Cadyn Grenier down to his last strike. He hit a foul pop up down the right field line which three Arkansas players managed to get to, but let drop. Had any one of them caught it, the championship would have gone to Arkansas. Grenier ended up getting a hit and driving in the tying run that was on third base. The next batter hit a two-run homer and the final score was 5-3 OSU. Beavers’ freshman Kevin Abel threw a nine-inning, two-hit shutout against Arkansas to wrap up the 2018 CWS title in the third and final game for OSU, who had been within one catch of a pop foul of being eliminating. “It ain’t over ‘till it’s over!”
The Bible is also full of illustrations of Yogi’s pithy statement. On numerous occasions, our adversary, Satan, appeared on the verge of victory, but God always had—and will have—the last word, the final move to end up victorious. After the temptation in the Garden of Eden, when Satan, through the serpent, got Eve to doubt God’s goodness and God’s Word, resulting in Adam and Eve disobeying God and eating of the forbidden tree, God addressed the serpent (and Satan), giving the first promise of a coming Redeemer, the “seed of a woman” that would defeat Satan, but would suffer in doing so. He spoke, of course, of how God the Son, Jesus Christ, would come to earth and give His life to defeat our adversary, the devil, and provide freedom from the penalty of sin for all who believe on Him for eternal life (Gen. 3:15; Jn. 3:16).
From that time on Satan did all in his power to prevent the coming of this Redeemer. Satan, I’m sure, thought Joseph might be the one chosen through whom this seed might come, so attempted, through the jealousy of Joseph’s brothers, to have him killed, but instead, Joseph ended up in leadership in Egypt, where God used him to spare the chosen people, Israel, from the famine that was upon the earth. It wasn’t Joseph, but Judah, however, through whom the Redeemer would come, and then through the descendants of David, whom King Saul, prompted by Satan, attempted to kill. But, again, God had the final say, although at times, the royal line was down to just one person, such as when wicked Athaliah, mother of King Ahaziah, attempted to destroy all the royal offspring when her son died, so that she could rule. But, one of Ahaziah’s sons, baby Joash, was hidden for six years while Athaliah reigned. When Joash was seven years old, Athaliah was put to death and Joash was installed as king.
When Jesus was born in Bethlehem, “the son of David, the son of Abraham” (Mt. 1:1), Satan motivated King Herod to have all the boy babies two and under in Bethlehem killed (v. 16). But an angel had warned Joseph to take Mary and baby Jesus and flee to Egypt (vv. 13,14). Again, Satan, in his attempt to destroy the One who came to defeat him, was thwarted and God had the last word. He always does.
When you follow the history of God’s chosen people through whom the Messiah and the Scriptures would come, the Jews and the nation of Israel, you find similar stories of the many attempts to destroy that people. Satan continues to try to destroy Israel and presently there are numerous Arab nations surrounding Israel that have vowed to push Israel into the Mediterranean and to annihilate the Jewish people. There is coming in the near future a final battle in which the nations will gather against Israel to destroy her and to do war against God. It will appear that Satan may finally have his way, and the chosen people will finally be destroyed, but then Christ will return from heaven and save His people, and will set up the earthly kingdom He promised to them, for “It ain’t over ‘till it’s over!”