OBEDIENCE NOT JUST TO THE LETTER OF THE LAW BUT TO THE SPIRIT OF THE LAW Duke Jeyaraj

Ravichandran-Ashwin-1

185 required for a win. Pink-attired Rajasthan Royals’ chase was in pink of health when they were 105/1 after 12 overs. Jos Buttler and Sanju Samson were batting well. That’s when Kings XI Punjab captain Ashwin came to bowl his last over. Upon finding Butler backing up too far, he whipped the bails before releasing the ball. Buttler was furious. But he had to leave the crease. He was out. He was gone. And thereafter, the Royals collapsed in their chase. Kings XI eventually scored a 14 run win, their first over Royals in Jaipur.

Espncricinfo reports: “Buttler was looking in control of the chase of 185 at that time, having scored 69 off 43. His wicket, though, triggered a collapse as hosts Rajasthan Royals lost seven wickets for 16 runs to lose by 14 runs. Every wicket brought about loud boos from the Sawai Mansingh Stadium crowd.”

“At the end of the match, Buttler shook Ashwin’s hand, but refused to look his way. Just behind Buttler, Uption seemed to have said something to Ashwin while shaking his hand, which made Ashwin stop in his tracks and give them a bemused look.”

Though I am not able to say for sure that Ashwin did not play the game in the spirit of the game in this match, I am reminded of a Bible story where the moral is: obey the law of God not just in letter but in the spirit of the same. Leviticus 23:22 the Bible has a law that was geared to help the poor of the land. That law goes this way: “And when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap your field right up to its edge, nor shall you gather the gleanings after your harvest. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the LORD your God.” Duet. 24:19 also repeats that law. Ruth 2:15-16 talks about how Boaz followed this law – he did so, not just in letter but in the spirit. This is what the Bible says: “When she rose to glean, Boaz instructed his young men, saying, “Let her glean even among the sheaves, and do not reproach her. And also pull out some from the bundles for her and leave it for her to glean, and do not rebuke her.” I love the phrase, ‘pull out some from bundles’. The law of God did not talk about ‘pulling out from the bundles’, but nevertheless, Boaz wanted that to be done. He was not asking, “What is the bare minimum I should do to keep the law”? Instead, he was following the law in the spirit, wholeheartedly. Would you do the same? Don’t ask, “What is the bare minimum I need to do to scrape through to heaven? Can I watch this show and still go to heaven?” The question itself is wrong. Obey God’s law in the spirit of the law. Do it wholeheartedly!

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