Faith Over Fear

Date

Jul 14, 2018

Sermon Series

A recurring theme appears in the Bible.  The odds are stacked against God’s people, yet He always pulls them through.  Such examples include:  David versus Goliath, Gideon’s 300 men versus 135,000 Midianites and Elisha surrounded by the Syrian army.  The disciples must have forgotten that God overcomes all odds when they cried out in the middle of the sea, “Rabbi, don’t you care if we drown?”  After quieting the storm, Jesus responds, “Do you still have no faith?”  Could it be that He is asking “What is God’s track record?”  “What has our history taught you?”  “Are there any odds that God cannot overcome?”

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Dear Downers Church Family: 

 In the 14th and 15th centuries, there was an intermittent struggle between England and France called the Hundred Years’ War. It was believed to be started, and continued to do, the ambiguity of the succession to the French crown.  After seemingly ending, the war would be resumed when a new English king would take power.  In 1396, the 30-year Truce of Paris was signed, which should have ended the war.  But France continued supporting enemies of England.  As a result, the war was resumed in 1413 under the newly crowned king of England, Henry V. 

With part of the French army neutralized in 1415, King Henry sailed with 12,000 men to Normandy.  After a six week battle, he lost more than half of his army to casualties and disease.  He marched for days and nights through thick woods and muddy ground.  This led King Henry to one of the most famous battles in British history: the Battle of Agincourt.

Being severely undermanned, compared to the over 30,000 French soldiers, the king set archers on both flanks of the narrow battlefield.  The French believed that this battle was in the bag, especially considering King Henry’s youthful enthusiasm and inexperience.  The French army charged forward on horses.  They seemed to be succeeding in reaching the English line of battle when suddenly thousands of arrows decimated the French chargers.  The French’s heavier armor, combined with the muddy battlefield, critically hindered their movements.  Then the English archers and other soldiers wielded axes and swords to decimate the front line of the French army. 

It is believed that the French army lost several thousand men in a few hours either by capture or death.  During the battle, peasants from behind started attacking the English army.  King Henry knew that he would lose the battle if he wasted manpower by guarding POWs, so he ordered all French prisoners to be killed.  As King Henry saw the tide turning his way, he sent his few mounted soldiers into the French line.  It was a rout.  The less than 6,000 English soldiers (some accounts say as few as 3,000) defeated the 30,000 troops of the French army, all by losing only 400 British lives.

A recurring theme appears in the Bible.  The odds are stacked against God’s people, yet He always pulls them through.  Such examples include:  David versus Goliath, Gideon’s 300 men versus 135,000 Midianites and Elisha surrounded by the Syrian army.  The disciples must have forgotten that God overcomes all odds when they cried out in the middle of the sea, “Rabbi, don’t you care if we drown?”  After quieting the storm, Jesus responds, “Do you still have no faith?”  Could it be that He is asking “What is God’s track record?”  “What has our history taught you?”  “Are there any odds that God cannot overcome?”

Pastor Kent

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