Never tell me the odds!



1 Kings 19:13 Then a certain prophet came up to King Ahab of Israel and said, “Thus says the LORD, Have you seen all this great multitude? Look, I will give it into your hand today; and you shall know that I am the LORD.” 14 Ahab said, “By whom?” He said, “Thus says the LORD, By the young men who serve the district governors.” Then he said, “Who shall begin the battle?” He answered, “You.” 15 Then he mustered the young men who served the district governors, two hundred thirty-two; after them he mustered all the people of Israel, seven thousand… 20 Each (of the young men) killed his man; the Arameans fled and Israel pursued them, but King Ben-hadad of Aram escaped on a horse with the cavalry. 21 The king of Israel went out, attacked the horses and chariots, and defeated the Arameans with a great slaughter.

We’re told that the Aramean army under King Ben-hadad was enormous. They were sent to battle a relatively small army of a few thousand Israelites. The odds were not good at all, but God was on Israel’s side. The Arameans were routed and Israel given a great victory by God. There are multiple stories of this kind in scripture. God’s people are desperately outnumbered and yet God gives them victory.

If you’re a Star Wars movie fan you may remember a line from “The Empire Strikes Back” in which Hans Solo, flying through an asteroid field, says to C3PO “Never tell me the odds!”. When I read this story in 1 Kings, it’s as if God is saying something similar.

When God calls us to do something, the normal odds of success are irrelevant.

As I reflect on my life and ministry, it’s been a while since I felt called to do something, or lead the church I serve to do something, that appears impossible. Have I participated in difficult things? Yes. Impossible things? No. Yet ours is the God of the impossible. And it’s in those times when we step out in faith, attempting the impossible at God’s direction, that our God most powerfully meets us. And our faith is elevated. Lord, open my eyes to that which appears impossible. Amen.

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