I preached once about Moses and the Exodus. My message focused on Moses as the underdog of the story. He didn’t see how he could follow through with God’s command. How could he stand against Pharaoh? How could he get the people to follow his lead? There was so much running against him it seemed an impossible task.
Again, he was the underdog. So, I built a message about being confident when things are tough. How God can raise anyone to do anything God wills.
Then it hit me.
Moses wasn’t the underdog in the story. Pharaoh was. Pharaoh only had himself and his army to count on. Moses had God. This wasn’t an underdog story about Moses. It was a victory speech about the power of God.
It’s tempting to paint Gideon as an underdog as well. He’s the least of the least among his people. When we meet him, he’s beating out wheat in hiding. It’s a humiliating position for him and his people that Gideon blames God for.
When the angel of the Lord greeted Gideon, he called him a mighty warrior (Judges 6:12). That must’ve been the craziest and most disrespectful thing Gideon could’ve imagined. The only other thing that would trigger Gideon was to say, “The Lord is with you.” That’s what the angel of the Lord said and that’s what got to Gideon.
In Gideon’s mind, God had turned away from the people and handed them over to their enemies. The angel of the Lord isn’t deterred by such an accusation. Instead, he delivers Gideon’s commission to deliver Israel. Gideon will receive proof of the deliverance to come.
So, it becomes another story about what God can do through even the weakest of the weak. That’s not a bad reminder for us.
We don’t need to be a hero. We don’t even need to be a giant slayer. What we learn to do is trust God’s power in our life. And whatever comes from that will be our testimony.
I had to change that sermon I was ready to preach. Maybe we need to change our story, too. We’re never underdogs when we trust in God’s power.