Against All Odds

“who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.”

Romans 4:18

I feel like a guy who visits the horse race track for the first time this morning trying to figure out the odds of the president of the United States being reelected. I keep watching the odds change from minute to minute as the odds makers continually adjust the odds based on probability which is nothing more than an educated guess. In the months and weeks and days leading up to the election yesterday you would have thought that one candidate was going to easily win the election based on the predictions of the so called experts. There is an old saying that goes like this, “if there is one thing we have learned from history it’s that we haven’t learned anything from history.” Or how about this one, “history not learned from tends to repeat itself.”
Like most people I like a sure thing. I am not into gambling as I hate to lose, especially money. I do like reading stories where someone accomplishes something against all odds as it were. My favorite ones have to do with the Lord Jesus Christ. Many years ago now a couple of guys, Peter W. Stoner and Robert C. Newman wrote a book, “Science Speaks”. Their book was based on the science of probability and confirmed by the American Scientific Affiliation. It calculated the odds of any one man in all of human history fulfilling just eight of the 60 major prophecies fulfilled by the life of Christ. The conclusion they reached was that the probability that Jesus Christ of Nazareth could have fulfilled even eight prophecies would be 1 in 1017. That's 1 in 100, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000. That’s a lot of zero’s!

To give visual learners like myself a better understanding Stoner writes that 1 in 1017 in silver dollars would be enough to cover the face of the entire state of Texas two feet deep. I’ve driven through Texas, and its a very big state. Stoner went on to say that the probability of one man fulfilling just eight prophecies then would be like covering the state of Texas two feet deep in sliver dollars then marking one of the silver dollar with an X and tossing it into the pile of coins then blindfolding a man and asking him to find the marked silver dollar on his very first attempt. Stoner said the chance of that blindfolded man finding the coin would be, you guessed it, 1 in 1017. One in ten to the seventeenth power!

And to think, Jesus Christ didnt fulfill 8 prophecies, He fulfilled more than 300 prophecies concerning the Messiah. I’d say the odds are pretty safe then that Jesus Christ is who He claimed to be, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. The point we do well to keep in mind today is that only God can predict the future with 100% accuracy. Don’t you love stats? Let me encourage you today to be one of the one in ten who read the Bible on a daily basis. Read the Bible and trust God’s Word as everything God says is true and everything God promises will come to pass. You can take that to the bank today!

“They cried to You, and were delivered; They trusted in You, and were not ashamed.”

Psalm 22:5


Michael Osthimer





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