Chess is by far my favourite board game of all.
It isa two-player strategy board game played on a checkered board with 64 squares arranged in an eight-by-eight grid. Each player begins the game with 16 pieces: one king, one queen, two rooks, two knights, two bishops, and eight pawns. Each of the six piece types moves differently, but the King is the most important piece of all.
The main object of the game is to trap the opponent’s king so that its escape is not possible, because when he is trapped his whole army loses. If a player’s king is threatened with capture, it is said to be in check, and the player must remove the threat of capture on the next move. If this cannot be done, the king is said to be in checkmate, and the side that is checkmated loses.. Although the king is the most important piece, it is usually the weakest piece in the game until a later phase, the endgame.
An intriguing painting was once displayed at the Louvre art museum in France called “Checkmate”, painted by Friedrich Moritz August Retzsch. It is now said to be in private hands after being sold at Christie’s in 1999. This painting depicts 2 chess players, one is Satan whom appears arrogantly confident, and the other player is a man who looks forlorn. If Satan wins, he gets the man’s soul.
According to legend, a chess champion visited the museum once and after studying the painting, noticed that the arrangement of the chess pieces were incorrect. According to him, the devil who thought he was winning, was in fact not winning. The man, who thought he was losing, was winning, because according to the pieces left on the chessboard, his king had one more move left, which would make him the winner of the game!
He called the curator and they determined that the title didn’t fit the scene because the forlorn-looking player actually has the ability to defeat his opponent, though he obviously doesn’t realize it. The painting is a lie. His king can still make another move!
Isaiah assured the people of Judah that God always provides a way of escape. Although they would be deported to Babylon because of their sinfulness, Isaiah prophesied that a future day of release would come when they would have to leave hurriedly. But they wouldn’t have to worry. Just as God had provided water for the Israelites in the desert, He would also provide for them on their long trek homeward.
Many of us have experienced situations that appeared hopeless. We saw no way out, but we prayed and God opened a way. He made that “impossible” move. We can trust Him. He can never be checkmated. God is the only King who can never be defeated.
A little boy with two fishes and a few loafs of bread, sees that thousands of people needs food. It looks like checkmate, but it is a lie, our King has another move left! They collected twelve baskets of leftovers afterwards! (John 6:1-14) God is the only King who can never be defeated.
Daniel gets thrown into a lion’s den full of hungry lions. It looks like checkmate, but it is a lie, our King has another move left! (Daniel 6) God is the only King who can never be defeated.
The woman about to be killed by angry men with stones. It looks like checkmate, but it is a lie, our King has another move left! He tells her to go and not sin anymore. (John 8:1-11) God is the only King who can never be defeated.
The criminal next to Jesus on the cross thought it was the end, yet he still repented. It looks like checkmate, but it is a lie, because the King has a move left and says: Today you will be in Paradise with me. (Luke 23:39-43) God is the only King who can never be defeated.
On Good Friday the people were screaming: Crucify Him! They mocked and hit the Lord Jesus, spit and tortured Him and nailed Him to the cross. They said He could save others, but not Himself. It is over. Checkmate. Satan smiles as everybody leaves thinking God is dead. But the Lord Jesus still has a move left! Come Sunday and Jesus rose from the dead! Our King had another move left! God is the only King who can never be defeated.
So often in life, we consider everything in the world to be a mess, with countries at war, people being killed, violence surrounding us, people losing their jobs, marriages getting destroyed, moral values are non-existent. We can easily become disillusioned and feel lost. We look for direction but end up on the wrong path. It looks like checkmate, but it is a lie, do not fear, the game is not over.
Our Creator God still has one move left! Our lives and future are in His hands. You have been bought with His blood – a very expensive price, and received amazing grace. He will be coming back one day….He still has one move left!
“He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” For “you were like sheep going astray,”but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.” (1 Peter 2:24-25)
Our Creator God is the only King who can never be defeated.