Today marks the true beginning of the NCAA Basketball Tournament. I know they tell us that those play-in games are the first round, but the round of 64 is the true beginning of the tournament. As a sports fan I love today and Friday. Today and Friday are my favorite two sporting days; I think they way surpass Super Bowl Sunday or anything barring the day when my Cubbies play in the World Series.
Today 64 teams are trying to become champion. So, I looked up the word 'champion' today for some inspiration for today's post.
1 Samuel 17:4-7 says, "A champion named Goliath, who was from Gath, came out of the Philistine camp. He was over nine feet tall. He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a coat of scale armor of bronze weighing five thousand shekels (roughly 125-194 lbs); on his legs he wore bronze greaves, and a bronze javelin was slung on his back. His spear shaft was like a weaver's rod, and its iron point weighed six hundred shekels (about 15 lbs). His shield bearer went ahead of him."
Goliath fits the mold of a one seed. He is big. He's undefeated and the prognosticators see no way of beating him.
Let's meet his opponent.
David was "only a boy, ruddy and handsome." He had, "his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd's bag and, with his sling in hand, approached the Philistine."
David clearly fits the mold of a sixteen seed. In fact he wouldn't have made it passed Selection Sunday. I wouldn't chose him to play in the NIT.
But we all know the story, David beats Goliath and cuts his head off after hitting him in the head with a stone. This story is so familiar. In fact, if you watch basketball today I can guarantee that an announcer will use the story of David and Goliath in his work.
I know this story is familiar and we all know that David beats Goliath. But don't miss this. David didn't know that he'd beat Goliath. He had all faith in his God, but no where in the story does God promise David that he will win. David said, "Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?" David believed that God was greater than Goliath, but he was never promised victory.
That is faith and courage. This sixteen seed was eager to fight to the death with the one seed who also happened to be a giant professional killer.
Where should you show this kind of faith and courage? Where is God asking you to step into a desperate situation where victory isn't promised? Do you believe, like David did, that our God is greater?
Think about this. Enjoy watching basketball. Have faith in our God and take courage today.