When the Odds Are Against You

  • October 19, 2020
Monday 19

Judges 7:1-7

Have you ever felt backed up against a wall with no way out? Although a situation like that is truly beyond what you can manage, it is not too big for God. In fact, if you could competently handle every difficulty that arose, then the credit would go to you and not to the Lord.  Impossible circumstances teach us an important lesson: to depend on Him and not on ourselves.  

Gideon was a reluctant warrior who felt inadequate for the task God called him to do: to deliver Israel from Midianite oppression (Judg. 6:14-16). But in obedience, he had rallied 32,000 men to fight against the enemy. However, the Lord then whittled the army down to just three hundred men. Humanly speaking, it would be impossible to defeat the enemy forces with so few. But that was precisely God’s point: He alone would achieve the victory and receive the glory.

When the odds are not in your favor, that doesn’t mean God has abandoned you. Stand your ground and keep your eyes on Him. Trust your heavenly Father, and you’ll be amazed at what He will achieve. Then glorify Him, giving thanks for His faithfulness.

Bible in One Year: Mark 15-16

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1 Then Jerubbaal (that is, Gideon) and all the people who were with him, rose early and camped beside the spring of Harod; and the camp of Midian was on the north side of them by the hill of Moreh in the valley.

2 The LORD said to Gideon, The people who are with you are too many for Me to give Midian into their hands, for Israel would become boastful, saying, `My own power has delivered me.'

3 Now therefore come, proclaim in the hearing of the people, saying, `Whoever is afraid and trembling, let him return and depart from Mount Gilead.'" So 22,000 people returned, but 10,000 remained.

4 Then the LORD said to Gideon, The people are still too many; bring them down to the water and I will test them for you there. Therefore it shall be that he of whom I say to you, `This one shall go with you,' he shall go with you; but everyone of whom I say to you, `This one shall not go with you,' he shall not go."

5 So he brought the people down to the water. And the LORD said to Gideon, You shall separate everyone who laps the water with his tongue as a dog laps, as well as everyone who kneels to drink."

6 Now the number of those who lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, was 300 men; but all the rest of the people kneeled to drink water.

7 The LORD said to Gideon, I will deliver you with the 300 men who lapped and will give the Midianites into your hands; so let all the other people go, each man to his home."

14 The LORD looked at him and said, Go in this your strength and deliver Israel from the hand of Midian. Have I not sent you?"

15 He said to Him, O Lord, how shall I deliver Israel? Behold, my family is the least in Manasseh, and I am the youngest in my father's house."

16 But the LORD said to him, Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat Midian as one man."

1 Early in the morning the chief priests with the elders and scribes and the whole Council, immediately held a consultation; and binding Jesus, they led Him away and delivered Him to Pilate.

2 Pilate questioned Him, Are You the King of the Jews?" And He answered him, It is as you say."

3 The chief priests began to accuse Him harshly.

4 Then Pilate questioned Him again, saying, Do You not answer? See how many charges they bring against You!"

5 But Jesus made no further answer; so Pilate was amazed.

6 Now at the feast he used to release for them any one prisoner whom they requested.

7 The man named Barabbas had been imprisoned with the insurrectionists who had committed murder in the insurrection.

8 The crowd went up and began asking him to do as he had been accustomed to do for them.

9 Pilate answered them, saying, Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?"

10 For he was aware that the chief priests had handed Him over because of envy.

11 But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to ask him to release Barabbas for them instead.

12 Answering again, Pilate said to them, Then what shall I do with Him whom you call the King of the Jews?"

13 They shouted back, Crucify Him!"

14 But Pilate said to them, Why, what evil has He done?" But they shouted all the more, Crucify Him!"

15 Wishing to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas for them, and after having Jesus scourged, he handed Him over to be crucified.

16 The soldiers took Him away into the palace (that is, the Praetorium), and they called together the whole Roman cohort.

17 They dressed Him up in purple, and after twisting a crown of thorns, they put it on Him;

18 and they began to acclaim Him, Hail, King of the Jews!"

19 They kept beating His head with a reed, and spitting on Him, and kneeling and bowing before Him.

20 After they had mocked Him, they took the purple robe off Him and put His own garments on Him. And they led Him out to crucify Him.

21 They pressed into service a passer-by coming from the country, Simon of Cyrene (the father of Alexander and Rufus), to bear His cross.

22 Then they brought Him to the place Golgotha, which is translated, Place of a Skull.

23 They tried to give Him wine mixed with myrrh; but He did not take it.

24 And they crucified Him, and divided up His garments among themselves, casting lots for them to decide what each man should take.

25 It was the third hour when they crucified Him.

26 The inscription of the charge against Him read, THE KING OF THE JEWS."

27 They crucified two robbers with Him, one on His right and one on His left.

28 [ And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, And He was numbered with transgressors."]

29 Those passing by were hurling abuse at Him, wagging their heads, and saying, Ha! You who are going to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days,

30 save Yourself, and come down from the cross!"

31 In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes, were mocking Him among themselves and saying, He saved others; He cannot save Himself.

32 Let this Christ, the King of Israel, now come down from the cross, so that we may see and believe!" Those who were crucified with Him were also insulting Him.

33 When the sixth hour came, darkness fell over the whole land until the ninth hour.

34 At the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, ELOI, ELOI, LAMA SABACHTHANI?" which is translated, MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?"

35 When some of the bystanders heard it, they began saying, Behold, He is calling for Elijah."

36 Someone ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a reed, and gave Him a drink, saying, Let us see whether Elijah will come to take Him down."

37 And Jesus uttered a loud cry, and breathed His last.

38 And the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.

39 When the centurion, who was standing right in front of Him, saw the way He breathed His last, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God!"

40 There were also some women looking on from a distance, among whom were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the Less and Joses, and Salome.

41 When He was in Galilee, they used to follow Him and minister to Him; and there were many other women who came up with Him to Jerusalem.

42 When evening had already come, because it was the preparation day, that is, the day before the Sabbath,

43 Joseph of Arimathea came, a prominent member of the Council, who himself was waiting for the kingdom of God; and he gathered up courage and went in before Pilate, and asked for the body of Jesus.

44 Pilate wondered if He was dead by this time, and summoning the centurion, he questioned him as to whether He was already dead.

45 And ascertaining this from the centurion, he granted the body to Joseph.

46 Joseph bought a linen cloth, took Him down, wrapped Him in the linen cloth and laid Him in a tomb which had been hewn out in the rock; and he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb.

47 Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses were looking on to see where He was laid.

1 When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices, so that they might come and anoint Him.

2 Very early on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen.

3 They were saying to one another, Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?"

4 Looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away, although it was extremely large.

5 Entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting at the right, wearing a white robe; and they were amazed.

6 And he said to them, Do not be amazed; you are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who has been crucified. He has risen; He is not here; behold, here is the place where they laid Him.

7 But go, tell His disciples and Peter, `He is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see Him, just as He told you.'"

8 They went out and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had gripped them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.

9 [ Now after He had risen early on the first day of the week, He first appeared to Mary Magdalene, from whom He had cast out seven demons.

10 She went and reported to those who had been with Him, while they were mourning and weeping.

11 When they heard that He was alive and had been seen by her, they refused to believe it.

12 After that, He appeared in a different form to two of them while they were walking along on their way to the country.

13 They went away and reported it to the others, but they did not believe them either.

14 Afterward He appeared to the eleven themselves as they were reclining at the table; and He reproached them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who had seen Him after He had risen.

15 And He said to them, Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.

16 He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.

17 These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues;

18 they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover."

19 So then, when the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God.

20 And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them, and confirmed the word by the signs that followed.] [ And they promptly reported all these instructions to Peter and his companions. And after that, Jesus Himself sent out through them from east to west the sacred and imperishable proclamation of eternal salvation.]

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Publish Date October 19, 2020
When the Odds Are Against You

Though discouraging at first, impossible circumstances are wonderful opportunities for God to get all the glory.

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