Esther and the Great Reversal

The musical group Blood, Sweat, and Tears sang the song Spinning Wheel. It started with the well known line:

What goes up, must come down…

Well, that is what we see here this week in Esther.

Haman the madman had exalted himself (what goes up), and now God humbles him (must come down).

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For Such A Time As This

You know that phrase well. Old Uncle Mordecai challenged his beautiful niece, Esther, to take hold of the moment and stand for God and his people. And she did it.

She simply did it.

She simply obeyed.

And she was used.

Too often we think we need all sorts of supernatural manifestations, miracles, revelations, visions, etc. Sometimes, most times, we just need to treasure Christ in the normal stuff of life.

God loves to take our normal and use it for his glory in such a time as this.

God Sustains Us Through Adversity

God never tells us that the path of obedience is an easy one. In fact, the Bible seems to tell us the exact opposite.

“Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.” Matthew 10:16

“Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.” 2 Timothy 3:12

“For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” Matthew 7:14

“Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.” 2 Timothy 2:3

The promise we do have, though, is that God will always walk with us through that adversity.

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

“fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

“And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20

This week we focus on the God who was with the Israelites in their adversity and the God who is with us in ours.

God Brings His People Home

We are back!

After two weeks of holiday break, we are back up and running with our Sunday Bible studies. As we get back in gear, I want to encourage you in just a couple of things.

  1. We only missed one lesson in the scope of our normal lesson plan. While we were out for two weeks, one of those was a special Christmas lesson. The lesson within the sequence of our normal lessons was the one on Daniel in the lion’s den. You might want to just point your people to this fact and then get on with our lesson this week about God bringing his people back from Babylon to the Promised Land.
  2. Make it a goal this year to increase your dependence on the Scripture in your class time. We all have the tendency to lean on the lesson plan and even simply to read the extended plan in class as our means of teaching. I want to encourage you to use all the materials available to you in study, but in class get your people into the Bible as much as you can. One trick might be to only use the two-page summary of the lesson for your actual class time. Just a thought.
  3. Remember that your class time is a tremendous way for people to prepare for the worship gathering. We want to come together before the Lord with ears that are attentive to the Lord. Your time together in class can serve this purpose well. Praying together, studying together, encouraging each other…all of these things can ready our church for the larger gathering.

Thanks so much for serving the Lord Jesus by teaching the Bible. You are such an encouragement to me. Study well. Teach faithfully.