More Than Conquerors
James C. Denison
This week a dear friend told me a story which immediately became my Easter sermon introduction. It seems that a Middle Eastern sheik grew old and temperamental. One day, on an angry whim, he condemned his longtime personal servant to death. The man was led to the execution platform, bound to the post, the hatchet raised. The sheik asked his onetime friend if he had anything to say.
The man quickly replied: “If you will spare my life for one year, I will teach your white stallion to talk. If at the end of that year I fail, you may boil me in oil.” The sheik considered the offer. He loved his white stallion above all his other possessions, wives, family, friends. So he said, “I have always wanted to talk to that horse. You seem sincere. I cannot see what I have to lose.” So he granted the man his request.
As the man walked away, a friend came up to him and said, “Are you crazy? Being boiled in oil is much worse than beheading. Do you realize what you’ve done?” The condemned man replied, “Let’s think about this for a moment. A year is a long time. The sheik once loved me–he may love me again. War may come and the sheik will forget about me. In a year the sheik may die. I may die. The horse may die. And who knows? The horse may learn to talk.”