Everybody loves a good underdog story! In sports and in life, we often find ourselves rooting for the underdog. By all accounts the underdog should lose. The odds are stacked against them, but there is something in their spirit or the way they press on in the face of adversity that compels us to stand in their corner cheering them on… and when they actually prevail – well, it’s a beautiful thing to behold. When they win, we feel like we have won! It restores our hope and encourages us to press on in our own struggles. This week we will explore some underdogs in Scripture; people who had been counted out and should never have been able to succeed. But they had a secret play up their sleeves – faith. We will also explore a new way to read and pray through God’s Word.
Key Verses: Exodus 14:30-31 NIV
30 That day the Lord saved Israel from the hands of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians lying dead on the shore. 31 And when the Israelites saw the mighty hand of the Lord displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared the Lord and put their trust in him and in Moses his servant.
When we think about Moses most of our memories recall things like turning staffs into snakes, rivers into blood, frogs and hail, the 10 commandments, and parting the Red Sea – as we read about in today’s verses. That’s Moses’ highlight reel. But if we take Moses’ story back to the beginning we can see the makings of an underdog story.
Moses was born into an Israelite family in Egypt in the midst of conflict. The Egyptian Pharaoh felt so threatened by the Israelite people that he ordered all of the newborn baby boys to be killed. Moses’ mother was certain God had a plan for him so she hatched a plan of her own. Now, many of us would think placing your infant in a basket and sending him down the river would qualify as a visit to crazytown…a recipe for disaster. But, the Pharaoh’s daughter found Moses and had compassion for him, choosing to raise him as her son. It would seem that Moses began beating the odds even as a child. But the underdog story doesn’t stop there. As an adult, Moses flees Egypt after killing an Egyptian who was persecuting his people and he hides out in the desert. Moses becomes a wanderer of sorts. Someone who is not very good at public speaking and more comfortable around sheep than people. But that’s where the story gets good – because God steps in and shows Moses what he wants to do through him. And so begins the highlight reel!
It could be easy for us to sit back and be in awe of Moses and all that he accomplished. But the real story is who was standing in Moses’ corner. God. God had a plan for Moses’ life. It was God’s magnificent power working through Moses’ willing heart and hands that produced the highlight reel. The reality is that God wants to display that same power in all of our lives. Can you look back and see where God’s power has been at work in your life? What in your life seemed impossible but was made possible through God? How is God asking you to step out in faith right now so that His power and His love can be displayed in your life? How is God writing your underdog story?