Summary: When you’re against the odds... God is still able! Who will you trust, God or odds? 3 Keys to remember when against the odds!
Illustrate: On April 21st, in the year 1519, the Spanish explorer Hernando Cortez sailed into the harbor of Vera Cruz, Mexico. He brought with him only about 600 men, and yet over the next two years his vastly outnumbered forces were able to defeat Montezuma and all the warriors of the Aztec empire, making Cortez the conqueror of all Mexico. How was this incredible feat accomplished, when two prior expeditions had failed even to establish a colony on Mexican soil? Here’s the secret. Cortez knew from the very beginning that he and his men faced incredible odds. He knew that the road before them would be dangerous and difficult. He knew that his men would be tempted to abandon their quest and return to Spain. And so, as soon as Cortez and his men had come ashore and unloaded their provisions, he ordered their entire fleet of eleven ships destroyed. His men stood on the shore and watched as their only possibility of retreat burned and sank. And from that point on, they knew beyond any doubt there was no return, no turning back. Nothing lay behind them but empty ocean. Their only option was to go forward, to conquer or die.
Sermon #301 – GOD or ODDS Who will you trust?
See these odds:
• Gideon’s Army? -- 135,000 enemies vs. 35,000?… no 300 in Judges 7
• Jehoshaphat? - 2 Chr 20:15b ’Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.
• Hezekiah? - 2 Chr 32:7 "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria and the vast army with him, for there is a greater power with us than with him.
• David & Goliath?
• Samson? - Judg 15:16 Then Samson said, "With a donkey’s jawbone I have made donkeys of them. With a donkey’s jawbone I have killed a thousand men."
• Deut. 32:30-31 How could one man chase a thousand, or two put ten thousand to flight, unless their Rock had sold them, unless the Lord had given them up?  For their rock is not like our Rock, as even our enemies concede (forfeit).
Elijah? 1 prophet vs. 850 false prophets
Elijah went before the people and said, "How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him." But the people said nothing.
 Then Elijah said to them, "I am the only one of the Lord’s prophets left, but Baal has four hundred and fifty prophets.  Get two bulls for us. Let them choose one for themselves, and let them cut it into pieces and put it on the wood but not set fire to it. I will prepare the other bull and put it on the wood but not set fire to it.  Then you call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the Lord. The god who answers by fire--he is God." Then all the people said, "What you say is good."
 Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, "Choose one of the bulls and prepare it first, since there are so many of you. Call on the name of your god, but do not light the fire."  So they took the bull given them and prepared it.
Then they called on the name of Baal from morning till noon. "O Baal, answer us!" they shouted. But there was no response; no one answered. And they danced around the altar they had made.
 At noon Elijah began to taunt them. "Shout louder!" he said. "Surely he is a god! Perhaps he is deep in thought, or busy, or traveling. Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened."  So they shouted louder and slashed themselves with swords and spears, as was their custom, until their blood flowed.  Midday passed, and they continued their frantic prophesying until the time for the evening sacrifice. But there was no response, no one answered, no one paid attention.
 Then Elijah said to all the people, "Come here to me." They came to him, and he repaired the altar of the Lord, which was in ruins.  Elijah took twelve stones, one for each of the tribes descended from Jacob, to whom the word of the Lord had come, saying, "Your name shall be Israel."  With the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord, and he dug a trench around it large enough to hold two seahs of seed.  He arranged the wood, cut the bull into pieces and laid it on the wood. Then he said to them, "Fill four large jars with water and pour it on the offering and on the wood."