1 Kings 18:17-19 – “17 Then it happened, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said to him,”Is that you, O troubler of Israel?” 18 And he answered, “I have not troubled Israel, but you and your father’s house have, in that you have forsaken the commandments of the LORD and have followed the Baals. 19 Now therefore, send and gather all Israel to me on Mount Carmel, the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal, and the four hundred prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table.” NKJV
I’ve noticed that He has a propensity to not do things the easy way, at least from our perspective. In this situation, Elijah was being set up against 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of Asherah. If my mathematical calculations are correct that is 850 to 1 odds. Truthfully, that is no worse than some of God’s warriors had to face. Remember Gideon? He had 32,000 warriors with him as he went to face the Midianites. God said, “Hold on fella, you’ve got too many with you.” WHAT? I’m sure that Gideon wondered what God was up to because even with 32,000 he was outmanned and outgunned by the Midianites but God said, ‘TOO MANY.’ The instruction found in Judges 7:2 was whoever, is fearful and afraid send him home and 22,000 hit the road. WOW! So much for those who said, as did Peter, “I will go with you to death, Lord.” Nope, I’ll go home at the first chance if I can do so without incredible shame. Gideon and God gave them an out and he was left with 10,000. You’d think that would be okay for they were still heavily outnumbered but God said, “Sorry, Gideon still TOO MANY.” I can imagine what Gideon and the 10,000 must have been thinking. God had Gideon take them to the brook and said, “everyone, who laps from the water with his tongue, as a dog drinks, set him apart and everyone who gets down on his knees and drinks.” Hang on to your hats, “THREE HUNDRED lapped like a dog.” God said, “Send the rest home, you don’t need them.” I don’t what? I needed the 32,000 so what am I going to do with 300? We know from a later reference that there were about 120,000 Midianite warriors. At the first Gideon’s band was outnumbered about 4:1. After the 22,000 went home leaving 10,000 it was about 12:1 and with 300 it was a paltry 400:1. How do you like those odds? Signing up for God’s Army will play havoc with your human reason and will demand you operate in faith or fail.
Although they did not face the same imposing odds of man against man the Three Hebrew Children in Babylon faced impossible odds. They refused to bow before the king knowing they were faced with the fiery furnace. That was more than an imposing problem it was an Impossible problem. They could not survive this ordeal, at least not from a natural perspective. The King, upon their refusal and declaring to him that the God of Heaven was going to protect them, became infuriated and commanded the furnace to be heated 7 times hotter than normal. It was so hot that the men who threw them in the fire were killed by the heat. How do you like their odds of survival? In each case, God won victory through his people. Elijah defeated the false prophets. Gideon defeated the Midianites and the Three Hebrew Children had the fourth man in the fire and were saved.
We are told in several places in Scripture that One Man united with God can put the enemy to flight, namely one can chase a thousand and two ten thousand. With that in mind, 400:1 is no step for a stepper, hill for a climber, or jump for a jumper. What about Jehoshaphat in 2 Chronicles 20 when the armies of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir were set in battle array against him. He was outnumbered, outgunned, and facing certain defeat. He and the people went to God and prayed and God sent forth a prophet with incredible instructions. He said, “Listen, all you of Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and you, King Jehoshaphat! Thus, says the Lord to you: ‘Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.” Jehoshaphat did an amazing thing and no military strategist would concur with his actions. He took the Choir and set them in front of the Army and they began to sing praises. They sang, “Praise the Lord, For His mercy endures forever.” Imagine those enemies hearing that and the wonder that would be in their hearts. God took the praises of His people and confused the enemy causing them to turn on each other. Israel did not have to fight the battle God did and He used Praise to launch His power against them. Remember what we are told in the New Testament, “The weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds.”
God delights in insurmountable odds, impossible conditions, and situations because when He moves in those, NO MAN can take credit or glory for it. It is unmistakably God. He has promised to never leave or forsake us. He has promised that we can do all things through Him. He has promised that the works He has done we will do and even greater works. He has commissioned us saying, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel” and then told us that we would have POWER and AUTHORITY over all the Power of the enemy. We are MORE THAN CONQUERORS through Jesus. So, if God is on our side who can be against us or what difference does it make who is. WE ARE A MAJORITY with Him.
If you are facing the impossible or seemingly insurmountable odds take a deep breath and allow the peace of God to flood your heart, mind, soul, and spirit and rest easy because that is exactly the situation God enjoys working in. He has never failed and He is not going to fail now!
God, bless you as you enjoy this wonderful day in Him!