by Tammy Phillips
October 9, 2020
I was raised in Athens, Georgia, meaning there is only one college football team, the University of Georgia Bulldogs! I have cheered for them since I was five. I was trained to raise both arms high above my shoulders towards heaven, signifying touch down or victory. It meant our team had overcome the enemy, scored or won. I think we taught our boys the same sign from the crib. Sadly, it was not for the red team of God, nor for the ‘dawgs, but for the orange team.
I regret that I did not know until recently that this action was first, mentioned in the Bible. It is a sign of reverence to God. We can find two interesting definitions of praise In Psalm 111:1, “Praise ye the LORD. I will praise the LORD with [my] whole heart, in the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation.”
The first “praise” in Psalm 111:1 is the Hebrew word, “hallel,” which means to shine; to make a show, to boast; to be clamorously foolish; to rave; to celebrate; glory, to act mad.
The second “praise” in this verse is the Hebrew word, “yadah,” meaning to hold out the hand; throw at; to revere with extended hands. When we raise our hands in praise, I see it as we are raising our arms with the overcoming victory sign towards heaven.
How many of us act crazy and throw our hands in “praise” when out team scores, but have never dared raise our hands in the congregation to offer God praise? We will not miss a game of our favorite team. We fill stadiums in proud, praise of our idols, but what about God? As for me, I am mad at baseball! I still like football, but I love God. He gets my praise first, now. You know, Satan stole this idea from God’s playbook.
The same thing happened with the “V” sign, a sign made by pointing the first two fingers up in a V-shape, with palm of the hand facing outward. It is used as a symbol of victory or peace. The enemy used a simple twist of hand with palm facing inward to turn a positive symbol negative.
“The use of ‘V’ as a symbolic message and rallying emblem of defiant resistance to tyranny was first proposed by Victor de Laveleye. De Laveleye worked for the BBC during the war. In his broadcast on January 14, 1941, he proposed what became the ‘V’ campaign. And seven months later, Winston Churchill followed. In a speech, Churchill announced an effort to actively promote the V campaign throughout Europe. ‘The V sign is the symbol of the unconquerable will of the occupied territories and a portent of the fate awaiting Nazi tyranny,’ he said. ‘So long as the people continue to refuse all collaboration with the invader, it is sure his cause will perish, and that Europe will be liberated.’ The V campaign was heavily publicized by the BBC and was popular throughout Europe. And it soon became a symbol for all Western European resistance during the conflict, with Vs painted on walls and over Nazi posters. It was an unlikely stroke of genius that united and inspired.” (https://www.sundaypost.com/fp/on-this-day-in-1941-v-for-victory-sent-a-clear-message-to-the-nazis/)
In. WWII, the enemy, Germany, could not remove all the occupied campaign signs so they copied, stole and adopted the V sign as a German symbol.
A retrofit and reconstruction of Churchills words to accommodate our current Christian stance:
The V sign or peace sign is the symbol of the unconquerable spirit of the territories that we occupy as children of the Almighty God and a portent of the fate awaiting the enemies of God. As long as we refuse all collaboration with Satan and his cohorts, it is sure his cause will perish! Prison doors will be opened to the bound, the brokenhearted will be healed, and the captives will be liberated! The Prince of Peace reigns and overcame, delivering healing, wholeness, and completeness! He said: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”(John 14:27 KJV)
I enCOURAGE you that when new terrors arise, when death and disease threaten, victoriously, say Jesus! When troubles come and we are inwardly tossed by temptation and obstacles, choose our Father’s loving arms. When Satan attempts to disturb, distract, divert, disquiet, disconcert, disorder, delude and discombobulate our souls, remember, Christ is the Prince of Peace! Be resolute! Throw up your arms in victory! Raise the V!
But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ…my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord. (1 Corinthians 15:57-58 NKJV)