Tuesday, August 20, 2013

A Matter of Luck

One Year Bible
Old Testament passage for Tuesday, August 20, 2013:  Esther 8:1-10:3

23 So the Jews accepted the custom which they had begun, as Mordecai had written to them, 24 because Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the enemy of all the Jews, had plotted against the Jews to annihilate them, and had cast Pur (that is, the lot), to consume them and destroy them; 25 but when Esther came before the king, he commanded by letter that this wicked plot which Haman had devised against the Jews should return on his own head, and that he and his sons should be hanged on the gallows.  26 So they called these days Purim, after the name Pur. Esther 9:23-26 (NKJV)

In mid-March of every year, Jews worldwide celebrate Purim.  This holiday comes from the Book of Esther and refers to the practice of casting lots to determine a course of action.  In Esther, the wicked man Haman cast lots (pur) to determine the date to exterminate the Jews (Esther 3:7).

Casting lots is throwing dice.  It is a game of CHANCE based on luck.  The Book of Esther, however, is anything but a picture of luck.  It is a story about the hidden hand of God working behind the scenes.  

No where in the Book of Esther is the name of God mentioned.  For this reason, some Jewish scholars questioned its inclusion in the Bible.  But, even though the Name is never mentioned, the presence and purpose of God pervades the narrative.  What to one man appears to be chance or luck, to another is the PROVIDENCE of God.

Esther is a book about REVERSALS.  One minute all is lost.  Then, God shows up and the tables are completely turned.

That's the story of Jesus.  Crucifixion turns into resurrection.  Death turns into life.  

It's also the story of you and me in Christ.  Everything was against us.  But, God turned it into victory.  

For the Christian, there is no such thing as LUCK.  That's why the very name Purim is so mind-bending.  Purim stands for luck that really was not luck at all.  It was the hidden hand of God working to bring about His plan.  

In that you are IN CHRIST, no weapon formed against you can prosper (Is. 54:17).  Even though it seems all is random and chaos, there is a plan that proceeds under your life.  He will prevail.  Just as Esther saw deliverance for her people, so you shall see the salvation of the Lord.  

It's not a matter of luck.  It is a display of the glory of our great God!

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