Friday, December 22, 2017

Wait on the LORD.

Everything seemed to be going from bad to worse for the Israelites living in Babylonian captivity.  They only good thing was that one of their own, Esther, became queen.  That won’t do any good, though, when they are all put to death under the king’s proclamation.  Haman, the king’s right hand man, is winning.  Now, he thinks the king wants to honor him above all others in the kingdom.

So he replied, "If the king wishes to honor someone, he should bring out one of the king's own royal robes, as well as a horse that the king himself has ridden--one with a royal emblem on its head. Let the robes and the horse be handed over to one of the king's most noble officials. And let him see that the man whom the king wishes to honor is dressed in the king's robes and led through the city square on the king's horse. Have the official shout as they go, 'This is what the king does for someone he wishes to honor!'" (Esther 6:7-9 NLT)

Little did he know that the king wanted to honor Mordecai, the Israelite, instead.  Mordecai got the royal treatment and Haman had to lead him around town proclaiming Mordecai’s greatness.  The Israelites won a victory that day.  God worked through the king’s dreams.

Queen Esther replied, "If I have found favor with the king, and if it pleases the king to grant my request, I ask that my life and the lives of my people will be spared. For my people and I have been sold to those who would kill, slaughter, and annihilate us. If we had merely been sold as slaves, I could remain quiet, for that would be too trivial a matter to warrant disturbing the king." "Who would do such a thing?" King Xerxes demanded. "Who would be so presumptuous as to touch you?" Esther replied, "This wicked Haman is our adversary and our enemy." Haman grew pale with fright before the king and queen. (Esther 7:3-6 NLT)

Haman thought that dinner with the king and queen was something good.  Little did he know that queen Esther was going to do her part of the LORD’s plan.  She would stand up for her people to the king.  God worked through the king’s wife.

On that same day King Xerxes gave the property of Haman, the enemy of the Jews, to Queen Esther. Then Mordecai was brought before the king, for Esther had told the king how they were related. The king took off his signet ring--which he had taken back from Haman--and gave it to Mordecai. And Esther appointed Mordecai to be in charge of Haman's property. (Esther 8:1-2 NLT)

Perhaps they would have never known the blessings of God without seeing the very real curses that were befalling them.  Maybe they needed the stress of the problems so they would experience the relief of the solutions.  Or, it could have just been the timing of God’s plan unfolding with a very real enemy fighting desperately with one last ditch effort.  Whatever the reason, God worked things out through God’s plan in God’s timing.  They simply needed to trust and wait on the LORD.

Mordecai the Jew became the prime minister, with authority next to that of King Xerxes himself. He was very great among the Jews, who held him in high esteem, because he continued to work for the good of his people and to speak up for the welfare of all their descendants. (Esther 10:3 NLT)

They didn’t realize it while they were going through it, but God was setting up His next several moves.  Esther as queen and Mordecai as prime minister would start to set the tone for the Babylonian empire treating the Jewish nation differently.  Ezra would soon be allowed to return and rebuild the temple of the LORD.  Nehemiah would then be allowed to return and rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.  The Israelites would then be allowed to go home and live as a remnant-nation again.  God was setting the stage for the next move: Jesus.

How about you?  Do you trust God to work things out through God’s plan in God’s timing?  Do you do your part and trust God to do His part?  Do you wait on the LORD?