Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
September 26, 1963
NUMBER 21, PAGE 3,11d

The Battle Of Odds

Judson Woodbridge

We have a battle of odds described in the Bible.

"And it came to pass, when Jabin king of Razor heard thereof, that he sent to Jobab king of Madan, and to the king of Shimron, and the king of Achshaph, and to the kings that were in the north, in the hill-country, and in the Arabah south of Chinneroth, and in the lowland, and in the heights of Dor on the west, to the Canaanite on the east and on the west, and the Amortte, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, and the Jebusite in the hill-country, and Hivite under Hermon in the land of Mizpah. All they went out, they and all their hosts with them, much people, even as the sand upon the seashore in multitude, with horses and chariots very many: And all these kings met together; and they came and encamped together at the waters of Merom, to fight with Israel. And Jehovah said unto Joshua, Be not afraid because of them; for tomorrow at this time will I deliver them slain before Israel: thou shalt hock their horses, and burn their chariots with fire." (Josh. 11:1-6)

What a battle! What chance of success could there be? How could a wandering nation like Israel ever meet a league of nations with wealth and numbers? But the battle was fought, and divine history records it thus "And Joshua did unto them as Jehovah bade him: he hocked their horses and burned their chariots with fire."

As we look at things on the surface the odds have always been against God's people. The chances were many against Israel getting away from Egypt. When the march began around Jericho the city looked impregnable. The case was no different with Deborah, Jephthah, or Gideon. No one would have thought (leaving God out) that David would come back with the head of Goliath. Elijah knew that the odds were against him in his fight for truth' and he allowed that fact to discourage him. Who would have ever thought that Daniel and his three friends would succeed? Neither Ezra nor Nehemiah had anything approaching a level chance. When Jesus came he had all the vices and prejudices of the world against him. And the fight that Paul made was the same.

With this great record of odds against the Lord's people the child of God today should not be surprised if the going is not the easiest. It will not be easy to obey the gospel and become a Christian. The commands are simple — faith, repentance, confession of Christ's name and baptism. But there will be plenty of pressure from the outside to discourage one from doing it. There will be more to say you shouldn't than there will be to say you should. The attractions of the world will appear much greater than the attractions of spiritual blessings in Christ. Yes, the great league of so-called science, secularism, false doctrine without and within, preoccupation of men with their necessary cares, and the indifference of the human heart will meet together to fight against the follower of God. What chance can there be for success?

In addition to the above there are the "Big Deal" projects coming from the liberals with which to do battle. Money is given to the ones who have the most brilliant idea; and plaques distributed to the ones who do "outstanding work in the field of religious education on a congregational basis." Special attention is given to camps, youth revivals, colleges, clinics, hospitals, conferences, finance companies, ball tournaments, choruses choirs, ecumenical meetings, church sponsored boy and girl scouts, coke machines in church buildings, fellowship halls used for banquets and dressing rooms for swimming pools. Yes, these "Big Deal" projects are promotions of churches which have "Church of Christ" on their buildings. "Intuitionalism" and "Sponsorism" have brought these churches a long way. The world is in the church and the Devil has taken over. The battle is a battle of right against wrong. The army of the Lord is on one side and the forces of the Devil on the other.

The armor of the Christian is the strongest, sturdiest armor under heaven. The world-rulers of darkness have nothing to compare with faith, truth, righteousness, the gospel of peace, and hope. The appearances may be on the side of the world, but the preponderant weight of reality is on side of the child of God. "If God be for us, who can be against us?" The Christian must "stand" and he has someone and something to stand with.

Having these facts the Christian should never say, "I can't" in regard to the Lord's work. He should say, "With the help of God I can."

— 320 Hackberry, McAllen, Texas