I cannot help but think of the race horse, Seabiscuit, when I read verse 17. Seabiscuit is one of the most celebrated racehorses of all time, but it wasn't always so. In his first two years of racing, Seabiscuit lost a lot. This undersized horse was traded time and time again, forced to lose while being used as a training horse for larger, more able horses.
As the story unfolds, this broken horse, ridden by a broken jockey, in the middle of the depression, brought hope to the masses. The most famous race for Seabiscuit was a match race in 1938 against War Admiral, a Triple Crown winner.
This small horse and his oversized jockey entered as underdogs, in the shadow of War Admiral, but left as heroes, having accomplished the unimaginable: victory! How much more does God save us in a surprising way in the most unlikely of places, on a cross.
Almighty God, we give you thanks for the unimaginable strength and grace that you show us through the audacious place of the cross. You not only show us grace and strength, but you use even us as a means of proclaiming your grace. Into Christ we pray. Amen.
Psalm 33:12-22 (NRSV)
12 Happy is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people whom he has chosen as his heritage.
13 The Lord looks down from heaven; he sees all humankind.
14 From where he sits enthroned he watches all the inhabitants of the earth—
15 he who fashions the hearts of them all, and observes all their deeds.
16 A king is not saved by his great army; a warrior is not delivered by his great strength.
17 The war horse is a vain hope for victory, and by its great might it cannot save.
18 Truly the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love,
19 to deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine.
20 Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and shield.
21 Our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name.
22 Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you.