No storm can prevail against a person or a nation whose King is Jesus!
An ordinary woman, strategically placed before an extraordinary time in the history of a nation, finds her life’s purpose in a small, courageous act. A nation is saved from extinction.
Selected to compete in a beauty contest, Esther was pampered and prepared for some time. Esther won! Her prize was to marry a King. Life, indeed, was good! Until it wasn’t.
Esther’s story has it all. Good guys. Bad guys. Heroes and Villains.
One of my favorite lines in this story is when this sheltered queen is told to risk her life to save her people.
“Do not think to yourself that in the king’s palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews. For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:13,14)
The celebration of the events in the Book of Esther begin at sundown March 6, 2023, The Feast of Purim.
Links to more about the Book of Esther and the Feast of Purim
Pastor Alistair Begg’s series on Esther “God is never mentioned by name in the book of Esther—but that doesn’t mean He isn’t present! The unlikely selection of a young Jewish woman to become Persia’s queen and gain influence with a powerful king is one of many improbable turns in a story that now, over two thousand years later, is still memorialized by the Jewish people. And behind that story’s every movement, if we look closely, we can discern the invisible God faithfully at work.
“In this series, Alistair Begg walks us through Esther’s engrossing narrative, introducing us to its vibrant cast of characters and moving step by step through its surprising and dramatic twists and turns. Along the way, we’re challenged to trust in God’s guiding hand over the details of our everyday lives and to rest safely in His providence. For the unseen God, no circumstance is too insignificant to go unnoticed, and no situation is beyond His sovereign power.” (from Truth for Life)
“Terror strikes again here in Israel, with a shooting attack yesterday in the center of Tel Aviv. It’s hard to continue our day to day life when such tragedies happen, but that’s exactly what the terrorist want- for the Jewish nation to give up on living in our homeland. This song- “Lo Tenatzchu Oti” by Naomi Shemer, means- you will not defeat me. We’ve been singing it to ourselves lately, inspired by a post by Sivan Rahav Meir about this song. She writes that the way to defeat terror is a nation is just by continuing to live life, to create, to build. They won’t defeat us. Blessing us with a peaceful and quiet Shabbat, and praying for the health of those who were wounded. Shabbat Shalom.
[Song Translation] From my window I can see a street like an over flowing river and people go for their day job . And young children go to school with their backpack on their backs ; And in their hands they hold some myrtle branches blooming. Suddenly it becomes clear, And I say to myself: You won’t beat me I am not being defeated so fast.”
A Psalm. A Song for the Sabbath. It is good to give thanks to the LORD, to sing praises to Your Name, O Most High; to declare Your steadfast love in the morning, and Your faithfulness by night, to the music of the lute and the harp, to the melody of the lyre.
Psalm 92:1-3 (ESV)
Giving thanks and praise “itself is appropriate, for there is much, under all circumstances, to be thankful for: life, health, food, raiment, air, water, friends, recollections, hopes – and, above all, the blessings of redemption, and the assurance that we may be happy forever. Many of these things may be found in the condition of all; but if all else fail, the hope of heaven – the assurance that the Redeemer died – the offer of salvation – cannot fail. That is ours, and cannot be taken away,” wrote Pastor Albert Barnes in his commentary to this Psalm.
When all else fails! Not if. May I remember that when all seems to collapse around me, there is Hope in YeshuaJesus. But most of all, may I remember to give thanks to our LORD and to praise His Name in the good times, when all seems right in my world.
The LORD reigns; he is robed in majesty; the LORD is robed; he has put on strength as his belt. Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved. Your throne is established from of old; you are from everlasting. The floods have lifted up, O LORD, the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up their roaring. Mightier than the thunders of many waters, mightier than the waves of the sea, the LORD on high is mighty! Your decrees are very trustworthy; holiness befits your house, O LORD, forevermore.
Psalm 93 (ESV)
I love how Pastor Albert Barnes comments: “The same commencement of a psalm occurs in Psa 97:1-12; Psa 99:1-9. The same idea is often found in the Scriptures. 1Ch 16:31; Psa 47:8; Isa 52:7; Rev 19:6. The thought seems abrupt here. It would appear as if the psalmist had been meditating on the dark things which occur in the world; the mysteries which abound; the things which seem irreconcilable with the idea that there is a just government over the world, and that suddenly the idea occurs, as a flash of lightning in a storm, that Yahweh reigns over all, and that all must be right. Amidst all these things God sits upon the throne; he orders all events; he sways his scepter over all; he orders all things according to his own will; he secures the accomplishment of his own purposes.”
This Week in AG History — January 24, 1948 By Darrin J. RodgersOriginally published on AG-News, 27 January 2022 Briggs P. Dingman (1900-1968) was a renaissance man — he served as a minister, musician, author, linguist, and educator. He spent the first half of his ministry in Methodist, Presbyterian, and Baptist churches and as an […]