Sports Spectrum Daily Devotional: Wednesday, July 10, 2019

“When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, ‘The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.'” — Judges 6:12

Worst to First

Powder-blue uniforms? Lackluster attendance? Annual losses to division rivals and sub-.500 records? All this seems foreign to Atlanta Braves’ fans who jumped on the bandwagon through the 1990s and early 2000s, when the franchise won 14 straight division titles.

However, each of these characteristics defined the team in the 1970s and 1980s as they toiled at old Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium. For things to change in 1991, it took the expertise of manager Bobby Cox, as well as the discovery of some talented young pitching and scrappy veteran players. The Braves went from last place to first place in the National League West, narrowly losing to the Minnesota Twins in a classic World Series showdown. 

Thousands of years ago, another “worst-to-first” tale occurred in the nation of Israel. In His providence, God allowed the nation of Midian to take over the Israelites because of their disobedience to His commands. However, in His infinite love, the Lord made a way for the chosen people to be delivered from oppression.

In Judges 6, He called on Gideon, who no one would have imagined could lead in that capacity. “When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, ‘The Lord is with you, mighty warrior'” (Judges 6:12). The timid man went on to tell God that he was the least in the tribe of Manasseh and there must be a mistake.

In spite of all the doubt and disbelief, Gideon (in Judges 7) went from “worst to first” in Israel by following the Lord’s lead, rallying His people, and ending the Midianites’ reign. 

— Allen Kent, Kathleen, Ga.

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