Tuesday, April 12, 2016

"God turns the tables on evil ..."

Day #104

Scripture Reading:  Esther 6 - 10 …

Evil will not win!  It looks like evil is winning sometimes, and it feels like evil is winning sometimes, but in the end GOD wins!!  In the end, those who know Jesus Christ have victory over evil in every way imaginable … and then beyond our imagination.  The true story of Esther is a reminder that God is powerful and wise enough to stop evil in its tracks.  We need to know this truth and remember this truth during those times when God DOESN'T stop evil in its tracks, because it's then that we need to live by faith, knowing that God is still at work and if He allows evil to run its course at times, there is a reason that will in some way serve to glorify Him and to advance His kingdom.  Faith to believe God and to trust God in spite of what we see, think and feel is what faith is all about.

Esther gives us a picture of God working behind the scenes without ever once mentioning God.  Esther had become queen in Persia by God's design and when the king's right-hand-man, Haman, plotted to kill Mordecai, Esther's uncle, because he would not bow down to him, and devised a plan to destroy all the Jews throughout the empire, Mordecai had convinced Esther that God had placed her in this position "for such a time as this" (4:14).  So Esther had risked her life to go to the king to make a request and the first part of her request was to have a banquet with just the King and Haman.  The king granted her request and the preparations were being made for the next day.

Chapter 6 describes the events leading up to the banquet, beginning with a seemingly insignificant point:  "That night the king could not sleep ...” (6:1). God was about to show Haman, and through this story generations to follow, that He is able to turn the tables on evil in a moment.  Because the king could not sleep, he ordered some of the chronicles of his reign to be brought to him and he began to read through some of the events of his reign thus far.  As he read he found the record of Mordecai warning the king of a plot on his life.  He had, quite literally, saved the king's life.  So the king asked what had been done for Mordecai and when he was told, "Nothing," he called for Haman.

This account would be humorous except for what hung in the balance … the lives of the Jews throughout the empire!!  The king asked Haman, "What should be done for the man the king delights to honor?" (6:6).  Of course, Haman thought the king was talking about him, so he designed this lavish display … the king's robe, the king's horse, a crown, being led through town in honor by one of the king's princes.  Then the king said, "Get the robe and the horse and do just as you have suggested for Mordecai the Jew, who sits at the king's gate" (6:10).  Picture it:  Mordecai, who had refused to bow before Haman … Mordecai, whom Haman hated so much that he had devised this plan to exterminate ALL the Jews because of his hatred for Mordecai … this Mordecai was now being led through the city by HAMAN, with the robe of the king, the horse of the king and a crown making him the man the king honored.

Haman was so ashamed and so distraught that when the whole spectacle was over he rushed home and covered his head in grief.  The king's servants came to escort Haman to the banquet with the king and Queen Esther.  Haman was having a bad day and it was about to get worse.  The king asked Esther what her request was and she said simply:  "Grant me my life - this is my petition.  And spare my people - this is my request.  For I and my people have been sold for destruction and slaughter and annihilation" (7:3-4).  The king was obviously disturbed and asked who had done this, so Esther turned toward Haman and said, "The adversary and enemy is this vile Haman!" (7:6).

Because of his anger and hatred for Mordecai, Haman had built a high gallows that many could see upon which to hang Mordecai.  When this was told to the king, he said, "Hang HIM on it!" (7:9).  And so it was done.  That same day King Xerxes gave Queen Esther the estate of Haman and Esther made Mordecai the overseer of all that had belonged to Haman.  God had turned the tables on the evil that Haman had attempted to do to Mordecai, and now He would also turn the tables on those who were enemies of the Jews throughout the entire empire.  The king gave Mordecai the authority to issue a decree that on the very day when Haman had ordered the Jews to be annihilated, on that day, the Jews were free to avenge themselves against their enemies.

"On this day the enemies of the Jews had hoped to overpower them, but now the tables were turned and the Jews got the upper hand over those who hated them" (9:1).  Pictured in all this is the battle between the kingdom of Satan and the kingdom of God that continues to this day.  Satan wanted to rid the earth of these people because he knew God's promise that the Savior would come from Judah, the One who would crush his head, destroying his power and his kingdom forever.  Even now the enemies of Israel attempt to exterminate the Jews, and we know who is behind it.  God will turn the tables once again and Satan and evil will be destroyed forever!!  Where is YOUR strength today?  Apathy and unbelief do not win over evil!  

With Paul we declare, "And we KNOW that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. … If God is for us, who can be against us?!" (Romans 8:28,31).  Live with faith in Christ, confident that God is able to turn the tables on evil, and if, at the present moment, He chooses not to do so, there is a good reason.  He will give you strength to endure and to persevere!!

"Heavenly Father, to You I come for wisdom and for strength, confessing that when the attacks of Satan come against me and evil appears to have the upper hand, I need You to strengthen me, that I may stand by faith.  By Your power at work within me, I trust in You, my God, my King, my Savior, my Redeemer and I commit myself to taking up the sword of the Spirit to defeat my enemies and to experience victory each day as I live with You and for You.  Use me, Father, to encourage others as we engage in the battles of this life, knowing that the kingdom and the power and the glory are YOURS!  In Jesus' name, Amen"

No comments:

Post a Comment