Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Sunday, 5 August 18:
1. Esther 9:2 – “The Jews gathered in their cities throughout all the provinces of King Ahasuerus to lay hands on those who sought their harm. And no one could stand against them, for the fear of them had fallen on all peoples.” When God’s people are united and committed to God’s purposes, nothing can stop them. When a church is divided or disoriented to its mission, it is weak and ineffective, defenseless against the power of the world.
2. Esther 9:3 – “All the officials of the provinces and the satraps and the governors and the royal agents also helped the Jews, for the fear of Mordecai had fallen on them.” When God’s people are established as leaders in society, even the ungodly will obey them and support them for their own self-interest. Christians should strive to be the leaders in society to bring glory to God and to preserve order, peace, and justice.
3. Esther 9:4 – “For Mordecai was great in the king’s house, and his fame spread throughout all the provinces, for the man Mordecai grew more and more powerful.” Mordechai did not seek fame or fortune, but his quiet, humble, faithful work behind the scenes eventually brought him power, popularity, and position.
4. Esther 9:5 – “The Jews struck all their enemies with the sword, killing and destroying them, and did as they pleased to those who hated them.” The Jews knew how to fight and were prepared to defend themselves. They did not seek a battle but remained ready to win one. Self-defense is more than a right, it is a responsibility.
5. Esther 9:22 – “…as the days on which the Jews got relief from their enemies, and as the month that had been turned for them from sorrow into gladness and from mourning into a holiday; that they should make them days of feasting and gladness, days for sending gifts of food to one another and gifts to the poor.” The Jews celebrated what God had done for them by giving to others. We love God when we love others in His Name.
6. Esther 9:27-32 – Regular festivals of worship help generations remember all that God has done for them.
7. Esther 10:3 – “For Mordecai the Jew was second in rank to King Ahasuerus, and he was great among the Jews and popular with the multitude of his brothers, for he sought the welfare of his people and spoke peace to all his people.” Mordechai’s goal was for his people, not for himself.
8. Esther 10 — Throughout the Bible, God places His people in prominent positions of influence without them having to compromise their obedience to God. In fact, it is because they refused to compromise that they were so useable by God.
9. Proverbs 5:12, 23 — “…and you say, “How I hated discipline, and my heart despised reproof!”… He dies for lack of discipline, and because of his great folly he is led astray.” If you aren’t willing to endure the daily pain of discipline, you will suffer the pain of life regret.
10. Psalm 89:1 — “I will sing of the steadfast love of the Lord, forever; with my mouth I will make known your faithfulness to all generations.” We were created to glorify God on earth. We were not created simply for heaven, and eternal life is not something we experience after we die, eternal life is something we experience now, on earth (see John 17:3 and read Jesus’ prayer for us). We were specifically made as both physical and spiritual entities that we could translate God’s spiritual qualities into the physical world for His glory. Only sin separates us from our earthly calling. If Adam and Eve had not sinned, they conceptually would have remained in this physical world for eternity, walking with God in the here and now. In fact, the ultimate hope for all Christians is a new heaven and the new earth, where everyone will see God as King over all, both a physical realm and a spiritual realm. While we wait for the final fulfillment of redemption and Christ’s triumphant return, we are to live out the truth of our redemption on earth on a mission of reconciliation. We have been given the wonderful calling to proclaim Christ and to display his love “that the world may believe!” We are Ambassadors for Christ, “God making his appeal through us (2 Corinthians 5:20).” Live boldly and victoriously, rejoicing in all circumstances, not rejoicing because of the circumstances but because of the grace of God! The more you appreciate the love and faithfulness of Jesus, the more you will be compelled to sing out His praises uncontrollably. If singing the praises of Jesus is not your natural reaction, pray for a deeper revelation of Him. In the meantime, sing anyway and see if that doesn’t help increase your joy.
11. Psalm 89:1-13 — Nature reveals the glory of God.
12. Psalm 89:14 – “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; steadfast love and faithfulness go before you.” Righteousness, justice, love, and faithfulness go together. You can’t have one without the others.
13. Psalm 89:15-16 – “Blessed are the people who know the festal shout, who walk, O Lord, in the light of your face, who exult in your name all the day and in your righteousness are exalted.”
– God brings joy and blessing to those who obey Him.
– Acclaiming God and walking with God is a learned thing. Those who have learned it are known for their joyfulness.
14. Psalm 89:38-51 – Circumstances may cause you to question whether God will be true to His promises, and God gives you the freedom to talk to Him about your doubts.
15. Psalm 90:4 – “For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night.” God is not bound by time, space, and distance, though we are. The Creator is not controlled or limited by His creation like we are. We cannot comprehend what that means to our concepts of “science,” but our greatest wisdom is foolishness to Him.
16. Psalm 90:10 – “The years of our life are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty; yet their span is but toil and trouble; they are soon gone, and we fly away.” Most people will live 70-80 years, not much time in the grand scheme of things. What will you do with it?
17. Psalm 90:12 – “So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” Make the most of the days you have left to serve God.
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 5 August 18: Number your days today – Consider deeply how limited your time on earth is and recommit yourself to serving God wholeheartedly in the days you have left. Start with today and seek to unconditionally love God and others in a tangible way. (Psalm 90:12)