The One Year® Chronological Bible, NKJV (Tyndale, 2013), September 14
God works below the radar. Behind enemy lines. According to His time table. For His glory.
- He spoke to Adam and Eve regarding a Seed who would crush the head of the serpent. Who knew that Cain’s murder of his brother Abel would not prevent the advent of the promised Seed?
- He spoke to Noah and instructed him to build an ark for the saving of His household. Who knew that through Shem would come the promised Seed?
- He spoke to an idolator named Abram, a descendant of Shem, while he lived in the Ur of the Chaldeans, and moved him to Canaan. Who knew that God had a people, a land, a nation, and the Messiah on His mind when He approached Abram?
- He educated Moses to lead Israel out of Egypt in the palace halls of Pharaoh and spoke to him the wilderness pastures of Jethro. Who knew that God had a relocation of a people and the Messiah on His mind when Moses was born?
He warned Israel that continued disobedience would bring captivity, yet in the midst of captivity He would watch over them.
- He prepared David to be king as he ran from King Saul for thirteen years. Who knew that kings, including the Messiah King, would proceed from this shepherd boy’s lineage?
- He protected His people living in a foreign land when a young Jewish orphan was raised in the the home of her uncle and taken into the harem of the king of Persia. Who knew that one day every Jewish girl and boy would celebrate that deliverance during the annual festival of Purim?
The book of Esther highlights the LORD’s covert activity to protect His people. Though the Name of the Lord is noticeably absent from the story, His activity is clear throughout the story.
The narrative begins with a regal and ridiculous party (seven days of drinking). The King orders his queen to appear before all the leering, drunken men. She refuses and is fired! Who knew that God would use the party platform to bring a young Jewish orphan to the high position as Queen of Persia and intercessor for His people?
God’s covert activity reminds believers today of several truths:
- It is the mercy of God that He acts on behalf of those in captivity due to their disobedience.
- It is always too soon to assess your situation and to conclude that God isn’t at work in your life.
- He works from one generation to the next. You are not the center of God’s activity, therefore, but a participant in His story. God’s story continues beyond your particular situation and even beyond your lifetime.
- Though God’s activity isn’t discernible at the moment, that does not mean that He is inactive. Faith in His goodness will determine whether you continue to trust Him when you cannot discern His activity.
Questions from today’s chronological Bible reading (Ezra 4:6; 6:14-22; Esther 1:1-4:17):
Review Leviticus 26:44-45 and Deuteronomy 28:36-37, 64-66. What had God promised would occur as a result of Israel’s continual disobedience? What promise did He make to give them hope during captivity? How does He fulfill this promise to the exiles in Mordecai and Esther’s day?