Also, what does it mean that God “remembers our sins no more”? Does it means He forgets? Do we have to forget in order to forgive others of sins against us?
Esther 5 & 6
Where is God?
The God Who is Always at Work on Behalf of His People
God is always at work, on behalf of His people, even when we can’t see what He is doing. In the book of Esther, there is no prophet, no direct words from God. God’s activities are not, at first, apparent.
But He causes a pagan king to suffer a sleepless night and to ask his servant to read to him—from a government record. What an unlikely “bedtime story.” Then God has the reader go to something that happened five years previously, concerning one of His servants, Mordecai, and his loyalty to the King! As you will remember from yesterday’s reading, Mordecai is in wicked Haman’s crosshairs.
When the king realized Mordecai had never been rewarded for his actions, he decided to reward him (better late than never) and used his enemy, Haman, to do it. Haman was mortified and, probably, terrified about this turn of events!
Even his wife, who had encouraged him to build a gallows on which to hang Mordecai, said, “If Mordecai, before whom you have begun to fall, is of Jewish descent, you will not prevail against him but will surely fall before him.”
To be continued in tomorrow’s reading …
As you read today’s and tomorrow’s readings in Esther, ask God to show you how He’s working behind the scenes in your life, even in those things which are painful and difficult, when you’re tempted to ask, “Where is God?” Meditate on Romans 8.28-29 and ask yourself:
“How might He be conforming me to the image of His Son through my present circumstances?”
And “What fruit of the Spirit is He developing in me as I wait on Him and His answers?”
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Gal. 5.22-23a).
Tests and trials are not pleasant, but if we get to know God, His attributes (His love, His mercy, His goodness, etc.), and begin to understand that He has a purpose in what He allows, it makes it easier to trust Him and wait patiently in the difficulties.
Today’s Other Readings:
The God Who Chooses to “Not Remember” Our Sins
Did you notice the title of this Psalm? “A Prayer of Moses the Man of God.” I love the way God remembers the good and not the bad. A few days ago in Nehemiah, David was called “the man of God.” Did God forget about David’s adultery? Did He forget that Moses struck the rock when he was told to speak to it?
He didn’t “forget,” He chose to “not remember”!
Lori Wilhite and Brandi Wilson, in their book Leading and Loving It, have this to say about “not remembering”:
We love this anecdote that author Linda Dillow shares [in her book Calm My Anxious Heart], about Clara Barton, founder of the Red Cross. Clara was reminded of a vicious deed someone had done to her years before.
“Don’t you remember it?” her friend asked. “No,” came Clara’s reply, “I distinctly remember forgetting it.” She had made a conscious choice to forgive a vicious deed, a conscious choice to continue forgiving when reminded of the deed. By replying, “I distinctly remember forgetting it,” Clara Barton was saying, “I remember choosing to forgive, and I still choose to forgive.”
Forgiveness is both a decision and a process. The decision is choosing to “not remember” and the process includes reminding ourselves of that and leaving the situation in God’s hands.
As believers, all our sins are covered by the blood of Jesus Christ. God chooses to “not remember” them against us(Is. 43.25) and He asks us to be imitators of Him (Eph. 5.1) and to choose to forgive just as He has forgiven us (Eph. 4.32).
In reality, “not remembering” is different from “forgetting.” God doesn’t have amnesia and neither do we. When we sin, that sin is a debt we owe to God and others (Matt. 18.21-35). God chooses to not charge that debt to our account, but to charge it to Jesus’ account and that account was paid in full on the cross.
God’s Care for the Poor
God is always concerned about the poor and He blesses those who bless them.
But He is even more concerned about those who are poor spiritually and when we recognize our poverty of spirit, He gives us “the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 5.3).
In this passage, Paul makes it very clear that it has always been about faith both in the Old Testament and in the New. Good works cannot save us. We can never be good enough to justify ourselves before a Holy God. Only through the blood of Jesus can any of us stand before Him. We appropriate that blood by putting our faith and trust in that truth—“sola fide”—by faith alone!
Have a blessed day in the Lord,
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Being a woman in ministry, whether you are partnering with your husband in his calling or serving in your own leadership role, is challenging. While serving as mentors, counselors, advisors, and even cheerleaders, women carry numerous responsibilities. Lori Wilhite and Brandi Wilson know about this first-hand as the wives of two well-known pastors in America.
Everyone has an image in their mind of what they think a pastor’s wife should be. The trouble with this picture is that it has never been and never will be accurate. Ministry wives and female ministry leaders face the same real-life struggles as their church members, but have the added stress of sharing in everyone’s burdens as well. They are held to impossible standards by those they serve, and the more this ideal of women in leadership is expected, the more we turn up the intensity in the pressure cooker that is life in ministry.
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Even though we want to be content and trust God, we can still feel overwhelmed by worry. Filled with encouragement and practical help for overcoming anxiety, this 12-session Bible study for women explains what God says about contentment and offers ways to apply it to daily life.
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