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Summary: Taken down. Shoulders on the mat. No way of escape seems available. Could it be that God is setting up reverse instead?

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Reverse

Part 4 – Your Reverse?

I. Introduction

We have been talking about the idea of Reverse for the last three weeks based on my experience wrestling as young man.

So once again here is your crash course in wrestling. If you manage to take your opponent down to the ground from a standing position you have scored a “Takedown” and you are awarded 2 points. If you can then turn that opponent onto his back you are awarded back points of either 3 or 5 points depending on how long you can hold them in that position. If you can put both shoulder blades on the mat you have scored a pin and the match is over. There are 2 other main scoring options that take place once a person has been taken down. If a wrestler, after being taken down, gets away from his opponent and regains his feet then he has “Escaped” and gets 1 point. If a wrestler is taken down, but then turns the tables on the opponent and switches positions into a controlling position he has scored a “Reverse” and receives 2 points. So a reverse is worth more points.

So here are the lessons in a quick review:

1. Quit quitting

2. Don’t settle for an escape.

3. Don’t focus on the cant’s. Take care of the cans.

4. Timing is essential – you don’t have the right time if you have to break God’s rules to do what you want to do or if you cover up what you are doing.

5. Many of us need a reverse because we have failed to guard our strength.

6. Things grow back into our lives.

7. Your disappointment may just be His appointment.

To be honest with you I have really struggled with how to close this series. When you survey the pages of Scripture there is a reverse story on almost every page. I wanted to talk to you about Jonah because I wanted to tell someone that you won’t be spit up until you straighten up. I thought about the 3 Hebrew Children and realized than a lot of us are only satisfied with a reverse that takes place before the pain and they teach us that a reverse sometimes comes after the trial is over. I thought about the woman caught in adultery. Her reverse teaches us that sometimes it is good to get caught and that God’s grace can override man’s judgment.

However, after really thinking about it I have settled on a familiar story as the one which teaches us the final lessons that we need to know about a reverse.

II. Text

Esther 2:17

17The king fell in love with Esther far more than with any of his other women or any of the other virgins—he was totally smitten by her. He placed a royal crown on her head and made her queen in place of Vashti.

Esther 3:1-6, 13-14

1-2Some time later, King Xerxes promoted Haman son of Hammedatha the Agagite, making him the highest-ranking official in the government. All the king’s servants at the King’s Gate used to honor him by bowing down and kneeling before Haman—that’s what the king had commanded. 2-4Except Mordecai. Mordecai wouldn’t do it, wouldn’t bow down and kneel. The king’s servants at the King’s Gate asked Mordecai about it: "Why do you cross the king’s command?" Day after day they spoke to him about this but he wouldn’t listen, so they went to Haman to see whether something shouldn’t be done about it. Mordecai had told them that he was a Jew. 5-6 When Haman saw for himself that Mordecai didn’t bow down and kneel before him, he was outraged. Meanwhile, having learned that Mordecai was a Jew, Haman hated to waste his fury on just one Jew; he looked for a way to eliminate not just Mordecai but all Jews throughout the whole kingdom of Xerxes.

13-14 Bulletins were sent out by couriers to all the king’s provinces with orders to massacre, kill, and eliminate all the Jews—youngsters and old men, women and babies—on a single day, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month Adar, and to plunder their goods.

Esther 7:1-10

1-2 So the king and Haman went to dinner with Queen Esther. At this second dinner, while they were drinking wine the king again asked, "Queen Esther, what would you like? Half of my kingdom! Just ask and it’s yours." 3 Queen Esther answered, "If I have found favor in your eyes, O King, and if it please the king, give me my life, and give my people their lives. 4 "We’ve been sold, I and my people, to be destroyed—sold to be massacred, eliminated. If we had just been sold off into slavery, I wouldn’t even have brought it up; our troubles wouldn’t have been worth bothering the king over." (Timing) 5 King Xerxes exploded, "Who? Where is he? This is monstrous!" 6 "An enemy. An adversary. This evil Haman," said Esther. Haman was terror-stricken before the king and queen. 9 Harbona, one of the eunuchs attending the king, spoke up: "Look over there! There’s the gallows that Haman had built for Mordecai, who saved the king’s life. It’s right next to Haman’s house—seventy-five feet high!" The king said, "Hang him on it!" 10 So Haman was hanged on the very gallows that he had built for Mordecai. And the king’s hot anger cooled.

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