Insurmountable Odds

There is something romantic and wistful about the days of sword and castle. Maybe that explains the popularity of movie series such as, “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” and TV series like “Game of Thrones.”

We live in different days than those we observe in these series. Yet, our desire for involvement in the battle of good versus evil; our love for the clearly defined roles of men and women, and our desire for the pageantry of hard fought victory interests us in this difficult, yet exciting life of steel and lace!

Not everything that draws us to this fanciful time has disappeared from life.

There is yet a battle to be won in good versus evil. Romance and gallantry still have a place in our world and in the heart of man and woman. And, the celebration of victories won in public and private are still important in our age.

As you read this, you understand my point.

You have experienced conflict, love, victory, disappointment and loss. A “real” sword is not needed to inflict pain – a broken relationship, a lost career, the death of a loved one – these can all “cut” deep as any weapon of war.

You may be on “top of the world” today. You may be in the throes of defeat. Wherever you are, I want you to know that there are more battles ahead, BUT victory is ahead, as well!!!

Some people feel that the odds are against them. When you come to a place like that, I want you to remember a story of sword and castle.

It is found in 2 Samuel 23:8-12.

This is the account of David and his men. They are running from King Saul, who wants to put them to the sword because he fears for his future. David has done nothing but help Saul, yet Saul is jealous – primarily because of his own indiscretions. He has sinned against God and God has rejected his house as sovereign authority over the land. Samuel, a prophet in the land has decreed that David will replace Saul and Saul is enraged. David, not wanting to be guilty of insurrection, leaves the royal city and roams the countryside. A “rag-tag” bunch comes to David while he is in the country. Indebted men, unhappy men – they gather to David to be free from sovereign oppression.

Although the men gathering to David are not what you would call “the cream of the crop,” they begin a transformation that can only occur by hanging out with a “man after God’s own heart.”

For the next few weeks, I want to share the story of three of these men. I believe that you will relate in some way; and, if not, you’ll need this knowledge in your pocket for later.

The first guy I want to tell you about is named Josheb-Basshebeth. What a long name! His name means, “one who sits in the seat.” Sounds more like a “couch potato” than a mighty man. But, the Bible tells us that he became a chief among David’s captains. Here’s the story – in a battle with enemy forces, Josheb-Basshebeth killed 800 men in one encounter!!

Not 10; not 20! 800!!!

Some of you feel as if you are facing insurmountable odds today. If that’s where you are – or when you get there, remember the account of this man. God is able to take the ordinary and make it extraordinary! You too can win the battle in the face of what seems to be overwhelming force.

One more note: the guy in this story – His name was changed after his victory over overwhelming odds. They no longer called him “coach potato” – they now called him “Adino” – which means “ornament” or “badge.” You might say that his new name was “medal” because of His valiant stand for God!

God is the God of technology, modern economy, and health care reform – just as He was the God of steel and castle! You stand firm in Him! Don’t allow what you see against you to cause you to forget Who is for you!!!

Let the fearlessness develop in you that was in this “unremarkable” warrior:

What are we waiting for? Let’s stand in Jesus!!


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