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  • Shawn Thornton

When an Underdog Isn't an Underdog

Friday - April 23rd

Scripture to Read Today: 1 Samuel 17:41-50

David said to the Philistine, "You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the LORD will deliver you into my hands...."

1 Samuel 17:45-46


Everyone loves a good underdog story. Americans particularly love to see the least likely to win or achieve, win and achieve. It is a part of our foundation. A bunch of colonists with little to no military background challenged the most well-equipped and well-trained armies in the world - the British. Surprising the world, the colonists won the hard-fought war. We love it when an underdog over-performs.


Whenever I watch a baseball, football, or basketball game on TV and don't know either team, I root for the underdog. Since I don't care who wins, I cheer for the team that few expect to win. If it is a tight game, I will get more and more wound up, especially if it goes into overtime.


Who doesn't want the poor, the lonely, the small, the weak, or the underestimated to prove everyone else wrong? Knowing the underdog can win gives us all hope. If they can make it, then so can we - even if the odds are against us.


There is perhaps no better underdog story than the Old Testament story of David and Goliath. The story told in First Samuel chapter seventeen has become emblematic of the underdog story in literature, music, poetry, advertising, education, sports, and even therapy and counseling.


What makes an underdog a winner? Some focus on what David did have to explain his victory. He was quick and agile. Goliath was slow and clumsy. They say David just used his skills and experiences better than Goliath. David, on the other hand, gave credit for his underdog victory to God.


In 1 Samuel 17:45-46, we read, "David said to the Philistine, "You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the LORD will deliver you into my hands...." David knew the source of His victory. It had nothing to do with size, experience, or weapons. It had everything to do with God.


You might feel like an underdog today. You might think you don't have what it takes to live a life pleasing to God or to serve Him. With God and pursuing His eternal purposes, you are not the underdog today. If God is in what you are doing, nothing can stop you from doing it. Ask God for the strength, wisdom, and faith you need to deal with the giants in your path today. Remember, you are not an underdog with the Lord!


When is an underdog not an underdog? When they rely on God's strength and might, not their own.

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