O. T. #601 "Against All Odds"
September 24, 2015
1 Samuel 13-Part 4
And Saul numbered the people that were present with him, about six hundred. 1 Samuel 13:15
LET IT GLOW
What do we do when the odds are against us? When few recover from our disease, get the job we want, get the certificate, are chosen for whatever is your challenge today? What do we do? Press on or turn back? The odds were against us when we went to college, with only enough money to move, no jobs, and with two preschoolers. Yet, it was God's will. He broke the odds and gave the victory. We made it through all the 4 year struggles and challenges that we encountered during that time. What a joy the day my husband and I both walked across the stage to receive our diplomas from a university! Glory to our God! All things are possible when we trust in Him.
It only took one act, doing one thing that was against God's commands, and Saul's kingdom was taken away from him. His impatience cost one man his kingship. God wanted the man who ran His nation to be a man after God's own heart. Obviously, Saul was not the man. This meant Saul's descendants would not be Israel's king either. We reap the consequences of our sins, too.
God knows our true motives, even when we try to justify or spiritualize our actions, or make excuses.
He forgives, restores, and blesses only when we are honest about our sins. Trying to hide his sins behind excuses, Saul lost his kingship. (Life Application Study Bible)
Samuel left Gilgal. Saul's army was down to 600 men, facing the huge Philistine army, which were as numerous as the grains of sand, and divided into 3 companies at various locations. The odds were against Israel.
What would happen to God's people?
Do we question what will happen to us next? How can it get any worse when the odds are stacked against us? Don't leave out the fact that our Sovereign God is still in control. Where is that faith of ours, which is only the size of a tiny grain of mustard seed? Is it still there, hidden down inside of us?
All things are possible with God. Nothing is too difficult for Him. He can deliver us from our enemies which outnumber us. I think He likes to go against the odds, so He gets the glory.
LET IT GROW
There was no smith in the land of Israel. The Philistines did not allow them. After all, smiths could make weapons of swords and spears that could be used against the Philistines. So what were the Israelites going to do? They were at a disadvantage since they had no use of iron for weapons in Israel as the Philistines had.
What appeared innocently enough, the Israelis took their tools to be sharpened. Tools like plowshares, mattocks, axes, and sickles. They even paid the price for such a service. (verses 20-21)
On the day of battle not one soldier, except Saul and Jonathan, had a sword or spear in his hand. (verse 22)
Sounds like doom is inevitable. Why not give up, get out while the getting is good? Save yourselves guys. It could be a blood slaughter.
Except, their God likes to do the unexpected for His children. In our weakness, He makes us strong. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.
I'm going to leave the story there, folks. Chapter 14 is the climax of this battle, so return tomorrow as we find out the outcome. Except for one thing...
Jonathan tells his armor bearer man, "Let's go." Isn't that what we need to hear from our Lord Jesus, "Come on Linda, let's go." That includes you and Jesus. Now that is good odds I'd say, for any challenge, situation, problem, battle. Jesus and me/Jesus and you. Are you ready? Got your tools sharpened for the battle? It is a spiritual battle, you know. Get your armor on today, friends. You will need it all-helmet of salvation, breastplate of righteousness, belt of truth, shoes of peace, sword of the Spirit, and the shield of faith.
While you are getting dressed with all that armor, don't forget the fruit of the Spirit-love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, faithfulness, self control. Now we are ready to face the day and what it holds for us-a spiritual battle against evil. Come on...
Keep the faith, follow Jesus, surrender to Him, then watch the King of kings and Lord of lords bring victory to my battle.
You lead, Jesus; I'll go where this country road of faith takes me today, for Your will and Your glory!