Week 48 Monday

Outnumbered

Today’s scripture selection: Deuteronomy 20-22

Key verse: Deuteronomy 20:1

“When you go to war against your enemies and see horses and chariots and an army that is greater than yours, do not be afraid of them, because the LORD your God, who brought you up out of Egypt, will be with you.”

It’s a classic story; almost a formula for success used the world over by moviemakers and storytellers of all types: the good guys are outnumbered and there is little chance they are going to make it.  But they always do.

Look at the old Westerns on T.V.; the “Die Hard” blockbuster movies; or any number of other sagas – we love to see the good guy (or gal) win against impossible odds.

But it’s more than the stuff of Hollywood – it’s the story of a people chosen for a special purpose by God.

Time and again, the message is the same.  When God is “on your side” – or better put, when you are on God’s side – no enemy; no matter how formidable, can prevail.

Now, we might not like all the bloody battle described in the Old Testament.  But there is an important spiritual lesson to be found there.

Relying on our own resources alone – especially when we are overwhelmed by opposition – is a prescription for disaster.

But relying on the God who once sent a nomadic fugitive shepherd named Moses to go tell the powerful Pharaoh of Egypt to “let my people go” – that’s the way to overcome.

What has you feeling “outnumbered” or “outgunned” in life?

What voices are incessantly murmuring to you that you have no chance of accomplishing your goals?

What illness has you down for the count?

What addictions or temptations seem to have the upper hand?

Then put your faith in God and ask for the strength to overcome.

Thousands of years of Biblical history tell the same story.

In the end…

God wins.

Prayer: Almighty, ever present Lord, help me to trust in your ability – and desire – to help me overcome all that threatens to undo me.  AMEN.

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. “Elpis” is the Greek word for “expectant hope.” He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors, and a member of Spiritual Directors International. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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