Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Day 89/90: Esther 1-5, Zech 10-14, Rev 15-18

Today's key reading highlights:
  • The story of Esther is such a good reminder that God orchestrates all things for His purposes. While we may not understand His ways all the time (or maybe much of the time), Scriptures shows us so clearly that God knows what He is doing. God says that He holds the hearts of kings and queens in His hands and moves them any direction He wants to. Obviously, this raises all kinds of historical questions, but it does not change the teachings of the Bible. The sovereignty of God is a major theme of Esther - He leads Esther exactly where He wants her to be in order to have the influence that He wants her to have. Incredible thought as we meditate on the directions that our own lives have taken.
  • The end of Zechariah continues the pattern I touched on yesterday, combining Messianic prophecies (about the betrayal of the Messiah and about His crucifixion) with end-times declarations about the Day of the Lord. In this way, I think Zechariah teaches us that Jesus' first coming is a promise that His second coming is sure. I love the powerful imagery at the end of Zechariah, especially the image of Christ as the true Shepherd and those false messiahs as harmful shepherds. Bottom-line: we need to be careful who we follow.
  • Rev 15-18 gives every believer in Christ great hope that one day Jesus Himself will provide His justice and His wrath on the whole world. The message for all those suffering and dying for the gospel all over the world is powerful - don't lose hope. Keep the faith, despite what everyone would tell you and every circumstance would have you feel. God has not left you - He loves you and still fights for you. But, most of all, have faith that leads to hope, because one day, everything that has been wrong will be made right. And we press on, trusting that this day is near.

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