“On the day when the enemies of the Jews hoped to gain mastery over them, it was turned to the contrary so that the Jews themselves gained the mastery over those who hated them.”(9:1)
That’s the way it is. When the armies around Israel today are threatening, they just have no idea who they are dealing with. God has a profound way of demonstrating His power for His people. He still has the covenant with Abraham.
There are many back-story accounts concerning Israel’s 6-day war with Egypt, Syria, Jordan, and Iraq in 1967. Everybody knew that Israel demolished the air forces and demoralized these four nations in just 6 days. What many never knew was that the other forces saw lights in the sky and heard noises which weren’t there. They thought they were encountering greater numbers and a greater power than they actually were. Hmmm…
Back to Esther. After the day of turning – of “turning from sorrow into gladness and from mourning into a holiday” ( 9:22), the Jews were raised into high esteem among the people.
Mordecai was then elevated to second in position in Persia, second only to King Ahasuerus. What a turnaround!
Do you need a turnaround? God has a way of doing it for you too.
Acts 7: 1-22
As Stephen stands before the council, they see his face like the face of an angel. Shouldn’t that be enough to stop any harassment? Not for them.
Now Stephen displays the boldness of Peter as he begins to speak before the council. The boldness and the knowledge.
It seems that if you want to have the Old Testament in a nutshell, this chapter would suffice. Stephen tells in detail the story of Abraham’s call, the birth of Isaac, and Jacob. Then he recounts how they went into Egypt to survive a famine and stayed there four hundred years…until the time “of the promise was approaching.”(V. 17)
Stephen knows his history extremely well, as he even recounts some nuances of scripture.
This reminds me of a precious man who is a friend of my husband and mine. He is 91 years old and has been preaching for 72 years – since he was 19. There is lots of fruit in his life, as he has started and oversees several churches – reaching from Atlanta to Chicago. When we go to visit him, he starts telling us stories.
His favorite story is to tell us again how he came to know the Lord, recounting every detail of his experience. Somewhere in the account, he says, “I love to tell the stories.”
Do you have a history which is precious to you? Maybe you have been through some hard times – as this man of God has. But do you have the story of your encounter with Jesus locked in your memory? Do you tell it often?
You can see in this passage concerning Stephen that the story of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is very dear to him. He has a history with God – based on the experiences of God’s dealings with man.
There is no greater faith builder than to remind yourself of all of the good God has done for you in the past. Think of it and tell it often.