Also, have you ever wondered “Where is God?” Why doesn’t He seem to be answering my prayers? Why is he allowing this?
Esther 5 & 6
Are We to Forget When Others Sin Against Us?
Remembering Our Sins No More
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 imitate 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.
Today’s Other Readings:
Esther 5 & 6:
Where is God?
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.
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!
In the next few days, we’ll look at what we mean when we talk about the fear of God, and what it means to be an uncommon friend. We’ll also look at the question, “Why bother living right if God forgives us for every sin?” Be sure to sign up so you won’t miss any of these upcoming posts.
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