Joseph Herrin (02-29-2012)
Number 17 Winning the Daytona 500
There are certain events that the Spirit reveals to be spiritually symbolic, serving as a sign and a message for His people. The 2012 Daytona 500 race was such an event. It was extraordinary in many ways. More than one person contacted me to share that the Spirit was revealing to them the significance of this spectacle.
This was the 54th Daytona 500, and it was unique in a number of significant ways. It was the first Daytona 500 to be postponed. The race was initially scheduled to be run on Sunday, February 26th, but due to persistent rain the event was re-scheduled to be run on Monday February 27th. There have been rain delays in previous races, but the race has never been postponed and moved to another date until this year. It is very difficult to re-schedule a race due to television broadcast commitments, and the tens of thousands of fans who travel long distances to attend the event. (There were an estimated 140,000 in attendance.) In previous years the race has been shortened due to rain, but never has it been postponed. Unusual events serve as flags denoting some important message to those who have eyes to see what the Spirit is revealing.
There were actually two rain delays. The first was on February 26th, leading to a postponement of the race until the next day. The race was then slated to begin at noon Monday, but rain once more prompted a delay. The race did not start until 7:00 P.M.. This resulted in another first for the Daytona 500. It was the only Daytona 500 to be broadcast during prime time. This assured it of a large audience, and served to put the race center stage where many people would take note of it who would otherwise not have done so. It seemed apparent that Yahweh desired to draw attention to this event.
The race was further delayed when with forty laps to go, Juan Pablo (John Paul) Montoya’s car (# 42) spun out of control under a caution flag and struck a jet dryer truck. These trucks are used to dry the track surface and to blow debris off of the tracks. The truck carried 200 gallons of jet fuel. The impact caused an explosion and jet fuel poured across the track after igniting.
Jet Dryer Truck on Fire
The resulting fire and fuel spill caused a further delay of 2 hours and 5 minutes. Race officials decided to run the full race nonetheless. The Daytona 500 race did not end until shortly after 1:00 A.M.. The television network broadcasting the race did not cut to any other programming, but continued to broadcast the race in its entirety. Though the Daytona 500 is part of the Sprint Cup championship series, this race was a Marathon. Not only did the race go the entire distance, but it went into overtime, running 202 laps instead of the normal 200. This brought the total miles raced to 505 instead of 500.
An aspect of this particular running of the Daytona 500 emphasized by Yahweh is its prolonged nature. Kevin Harvick – who had said just after finishing seventh, “It seems like we have been here for a month, but I’m happy to get in the plane and head home” tweeted from the Daytona Beach runway after the departing drivers’ planes were delayed by fog: “It is like the week that won’t ever end.”
The Spirit has been testifying that the path immediately ahead for His sons and daughters will require much endurance. It will not be a sprint, but a marathon. We are entering a time when great dedication and steadfastness will be required by all those who would finish the race that must be run by the overcomers in Christ. When some have been expecting a quick finish, they will be met with a prolongation of trials and adversity. The words of Christ must be embraced at this time.
Matthew 24:9, 13
“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation… But he who endures to the end shall be saved.”
This sentiment is echoed by the apostle Paul.
For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end…
I am writing this post from the library. I rode here on my bicycle which is outfitted with Marathon Cross tires.
Marathon Cross Tires
The Father has been speaking much about the need of endurance in days ahead. I have written of this subject often, and the Spirit continues to emphasize this aspect of that afflicted path that leads to life. I recommend the series of posts on Shackleton’s voyage to Antarctica aboard the ship Endurance for a further testimony.
There are many details from this race that are spiritually significant. The race was won by Matt Kenseth. It was his 22nd Nascar victory. The number 22 is one I have written about often. It stands for flesh cutting, and the work of the cross in the lives of the saints. Kenseth was driving car number 17. This is also a very profound number that is inseparable from the theme coming forth.
The number 17 is related to those Christians called to salvation in Christ who must pass through the fiery trials Christ has prepared for them. Yahshua said, “I have come to cast fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled.” At the last appearance of Christ after His resurrection, just prior to His ascension, we find Yahshua on the beach with a fire kindled as His disciples are in a boat fishing. The disciples had caught nothing, but at Christ’s direction they let the nets down on the right side of the boat and encompassed a catch of 153 large fish. (Adding every number between 1 and 17 together produces the sum of 153.)
Christ directed the disciples to bring the fish to Him so that He could lay some on the fire. Fish represent the disciples of Christ, and He must subject them to the fire.
I Peter 4:12-13
Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation.
For a fuller explanation of this Scriptural parable, see the following post:
During this marathon race, there was a fiery explosion with 40 laps remaining. The number 40 relates to trials and testing, and wilderness experiences. The Spirit is indicating that fiery trials are ahead for those saints who will compete for the prize. Some of the experiences they will encounter are described by the apostle Paul in a list of 17 things, echoing car number 17 driven by the winner of the Daytona 500.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall
As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither
(13)nor things present
(14)nor things to come,
(17)nor any other created thing,
shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Yahshua our Lord.
Symbolically, Matt Kenseth passed through rain and fire to win the race and receive the victor’s crown. The race was filled with images that were related to cleansing. The path ahead of the sons and daughters of God is appointed unto them for their cleansing.
Many will be purged, purified and refined, but the wicked will act wickedly; and none of the wicked will understand, but those who have insight will understand.
Christ must have a purified people, a remnant who will be qualified to rule and reign with Him in the coming age. These ones must be cleansed of everything that defiles. The Daytona 500 is held in the month of February. It is the first race of the season, kicking off what is a long series of races. February was named after the Latin term februum, which means “purification.”
The race began with rain. The race also included fire. These two elements of fire and water are used by God to signify the cleansing of His holy vessels, His people.
“Only the gold, the silver, the bronze, the iron, the tin, and the lead, everything that can endure fire, you shall put through the fire, and it shall be clean; and it shall be purified with the water of purification. But all that cannot endure fire you shall put through water.”
The words above were given as instructions for cleansing the holy things used in the service of the Tabernacle of Moses. These vessels are symbolic of the sons and daughters of God who are appointed to be vessels of honor in His house.
II Timothy 2:20-21
But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.
There is a path ahead of those saints of God who would be accorded honor in the house of God that will be one of purging, purifying and refining. Many things must be experienced to remove all that defiles from their lives.
In addition to the fire and the rain, the association with this race and cleansing was further emphasized when after the fiery crash with the Jet Dryer, the fuel had to be removed from the track by applying Tide Detergent to the surface.
Cleansing the Track with Tide Detergent
Tide detergent is used for cleaning clothes. The Bible employs the imagery of the garments of the saints to signify their standing and worthiness before God. Those with soiled garments are unworthy. Those with clean and white garments are holy and approved of the Lord.
You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”‘
Hear indeed what the Spirit is speaking to the churches. The hour of the church’s cleansing is at hand.
Tide Advertisement from the 1950s
(No soap – no other “suds” – no other washing product known – will get your family wash as CLEAN as Tide! THE WORLD’S CLEANEST, BRIGHTEST, WHITEST WASH)
People of God, Christ’s apostles compared the Christian life to a race to be run.
Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Yahshua, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
I Corinthians 9:24
Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.
There was only one victor in the winner’s circle following the Daytona 500. Even so, there will be few Christians who attain to the prize that alone will go to the overcomers in Christ. There is a path before us to be taken. It is an afflicted way. It will bring great cleansing to those who will follow Christ down this way. There is reward to be gained, and Christ will be the judge to award His saints.
And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.
Yahweh is speaking through this imagery today. Matt Kenseth endured. He passed through fire and water. He endured the night. He stayed the course. In the end he was rewarded. There is a race that God is calling His sons and daughters to in this hour. Will you accept the invitation? Will your exercise the discipline needed? Will you keep your eye on the prize? The hour of the church’s trial is at hand.
May you be blessed with peace and understanding in these days.
See the following article for detail confirmations from this race:
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