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"Conflict and Crisis: The Judges" | January 23, 2016 | Order Info

 Judges 4, Judges 6, Judges 14, Hebrews 11:32, 1 Samuel 2:12–25; 8:1–7

Impossible odds. That’s what doctors told the parents of a four-year-old boy who was found face down in his family’s pond one year ago. Remington Davis of Rolla, Missouri was discovered by his father who noticed an open gate on their property. He immediately pulled the boy from the water and began CPR while calling for help.

At a local hospital, doctors tried for three hours to sustain a heartbeat. The chances were extremely slim, but the medical team wouldn’t give up. Very slowly, the boy came back to life. Over a period of time, and with a lot of rehabilitation, Davis beat the odds. It’s an amazing comeback story! We love stories about impossible odds.1

This week’s Sabbath school lesson on the judges of Israel is about impossible odds. It begins with the story of the children of Israel being oppressed by Jabin, king of Canaan. His army, commanded by Sisera, was fortified with 900 chariots of iron. For 20 years he caused God’s people grief.

But through the amazing ministry of a prophetess named Deborah, God led Barak to conquer Sisera. Through this woman’s inspiring guidance, Barak’s troops overtook the enemy. In the end, as Deborah predicted, the glory for destroying Sisera did not come to Barak, but to a woman named Jael who dispatched the enemy leader while he slept in her tent.

Gideon’s small but mighty army is another example of impossible odds. Thousands of soldiers were sent home and only 300 remained to conquer, without swords or spears, the massive Midianite army. Then there is Samson, the weakest man in Scripture. He was physically strong but had little moral stamina. Yet God used this mighty man’s mistakes to punish the Philistines.

What do we learn about impossible odds from these stories? It is not the astounding statistics (large numbers of enemies) that should capture our attention. The most unbelievable comeback in these narratives is found in the imperfect people used by God. This is especially true in the case of Samson, a man who repeatedly was led by his own selfish desires. The Bible lists this weak man in the hall of faith alongside David, Samuel, and the prophets (Hebrews 11:32).

In conflict and crisis, when faced with impossible situations, the odds are in your favor when you are on the Lord’s side.

~ cr

1. wfmynews2.com

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