Summary: We may believe the world is in chaos today....but it has been ever since the fall of Adam and Eve. But here's the Good News, neither you nor I nor our govt leaders are in control---God IS.
Esther #1 The Providence of God 11 Oct 2020
Hello I'm Pastor Greg of Calvary Reformed
Church in the Texas Corners area of Michigan.
I am so excited we're going to be starting a new
series on the Old Testament book of Esther. A book that is about a beauty pageant. It's about a king who
is swayed by his advisors. It's about a nation that's
struggling and yet it's ultimately about the sovereignty and the providence of God.
Before we get into the beginning of this I’d like to have a word of prayer. Father God as we come before You we give You thanks and praise for
Your word. In scripture, Your word written through
Esther, the story of Esther, 2400 years ago Lord… which still is relevant today. We give you thanks for
that Lord. We ask all this in Your name, amen.
Well sometimes people wonder why we need to look back at history. Why can't we just simply take the New Testament. But that's history, too. Why can't we have the Bible and just what does it mean right now for us today?
I always chuckle at myself when I hear people say they don't want to hear about history. If that was the case, why does any NFL football team, baseball team, soccer team, or hockey team watch their opponents to see how they play? They're looking at history. They're looking at to see how the team played against somebody else and they learned from that. I don't know who said it and I’m sure
lots of people have said it, but unless we study history we are bound to make the same mistakes that our four parents did. So we study history.
The book of Esther is a story of history that is set
in the land of Persia. It's set during the time of the Jewish people in 200 and 605 BC. The last two tribes of Israel were taken into captivity by Nebuchadnezzar. After that there were two more times that an exile took place to Babylon. We know about 70 years later Babylon was overthrown by the Medes and the Persians…Cyrus the Great. Out of the Medes and the Persians the one country that rose to the top was Persia.
It's interesting that within the book of Esther it is the grandson who has the story that's going on. He becomes king around 486 until 464. Persia at that time was the largest then known country in the world
from India all the way over to Greece and down into Africa. A lot of us have seen the fabled movie ‘300’.
During this time the Persians were going in and facing the 300 soldiers. This is a story about God's
providence and it's also a story we're going to get
into it in a couple weeks. Esther's uncle asked her
a question…overall it's the story of God's providence.
Many of us have that question today…what's going on in our society? What's going on within the political world? Lord, what's happening with churches? What's happening with churches being
able to worship, not able to worship… all of the issues that are pulling Christians apart. We as
Christians should be bonded together. I'm not talking about all the different laws that are going on. What I'm talking about is bonded together as the Body of Christ.
We ask that simple question when we say, ‘God, what is going on? Are you in control with all of this God? It sure doesn't seem like it. Haven't you ever felt like that in your own life? Where are you God? Why did you allow this accident to take place to a loved one that I thoroughly loved? They have passed away Lord. Why did you allow this other event to take place and now somebody is maimed
Lord? Why have you allowed my business to go bankrupt and now I don't know what I’m doing Lord. Why after these years of working have I been fired from my position and what am I going to do now
Lord? Are you really in control?
Friends, the book of Esther says emphatically: yes, God is in control and as the seasons we are so
blessed here in Michigan. The seasons change from winter to spring to summer to the beautiful colors of fall.
We know God is in control. Let’s look at Esther chapter one today. In the next weeks as we do the series on Esther we're going to look at five figures. One, Yerxis, who is the king who follows the not too wise suggestions from his wise leaders. Vasti, his first queen gets deposed…but we're told in other non-biblical writings even after she's deposed
she still has an influence within the country Medes