I believe we all have a bit of compassion for the underdog… an inherent desire to see them succeed against overwhelming odds. Even the local NFL Kansas City Chiefs benefited by the unlikely victory of Cincinnati’s Bengal’s over San Diego’s Chargers late in the season allowing the Chiefs to win their conference division. I’ve long held the idea that on any given Sunday any team can beat any other team, if all the right things fall in place.
This is what I reflected on recently when I read in Genesis 14:9, “four kings against five”. This is not what any reasonable thinking individual would consider a “fair fight”. Yet as I continued to read, I saw that not only did they go up against superior numbers but that they soundly defeated them, putting them on the run and taking plunder from their conquered cities. It was unfortunate that they included in their spoils the family of Lot and all his flocks and goods. Had they known what lie ahead for them, they might have reconsidered that particular decision. In the fray, one individual was able to flee, found his way to Abram and let him know what had happened to his kinsman.
What began with one apparent upset is now followed by yet another. Abram, intent on rescuing his nephew, puts together a force of 318 men and immediately begins pursuit. When he catches up to them he divides his own forces and then under the cover of night, successfully liberates those taken captive, along with their goods. We see again, a seemingly smaller force taking on a larger force, overpowering them and pursuing them an additional forty miles before returning to their own homes.
In the case of the king of Elam and three other king’s victory we can only presume how it was possible, unlike the case of Abram. What kind of person was Abram with regard to his relationship with God? He believed God and it was considered to him as righteousness. (Galatians 3:6) His belief included a successful test of faith in which God called for Him to offer up his son, his only son. He has been called the “friend of God”. What a great compliment! For great insight to our relationship with God as defined by our relationship with the world see James 4:4. Earlier we read “if all the right things fall into place,” and I believe that can be summed up in one passage… meaning “If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8: 31) If God is ‘for you’, you’re no underdog!
Copyright © 2011, Nolan P. Rutter