Tower

When devouring hearts evil intend

When all our efforts fail to defend

There is still a place of sanctuary

Prepared to accept all and any

Who call on His name – the fortress strong

For God will protect those which to Him belong


Padre

The name of the Lord is a fortified tower;
the righteous run to it and are safe. Proverbs 18:10

Be Not Troubled

With a heart not troubled

With a spirit relieved

Assured in the promise

Of blessings to receive

For a place is prepared

To which to go home

As a child of God

Before the throne


Padre

Thank you pastor Vince for the message from John 14

Such A Time As This

FreeBibleimages

Many people have looked down on the book of Esther, or even questioned its place in the canon of scripture. This rests on the fact that God is not directly named or even referenced in the text. But many rabbis over time have come to the book’s defence saying that “the fingerprints of God” are all over it.

Today’s piece will not be an exhaustive study of the book, but will focus on one of those finger prints.

In Chapter we find that Esther’s kinsman,  Mordecai, has discovered the minister Haman’s plan to have the Jews killed. He covers himself in sackcloth and ashes, and fasts and mourns the arrival of the edict’s enforcement. Esther, who has recently been elevated to the status of a Persian queen hears of Mordecai’s actions and sends to enquire about what it all means.

Her servant is told of the edict, and of a request from Mordecai for her to use her status to plead for mercy for the Jews of the land. In response Esther notes (verse 11) “All the king’s officials and the people of the royal provinces know that for any man or woman who approaches the king in the inner court without being summoned the king has but one law: that they be put to death . . . .”

Mordecai replies in verse 13, “Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. 14 For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”

The abbreviate the rest of the narrative, Esther after fasting and prayer takes the risk, and approaches the king. She is spared and indeed uses her influence, and some clever manoeuvring to achieve deliverance of the Jews, and to bring about the downfall of Haman.

You might have noticed that I have highlighted the “such a time as this” passage. It is an interesting parallel to a passage in the New Testament. The Jewish people are condemned to perish. There is little, if any hope for their rescue by any ordinary means. Yet, Mordecai calls into question the nature of Esther’s elevation. Is it a coincidence that Queen Vashti falls from Xerxe’s favour, and that Esther is selected to succeed her, just as this crisis arises for God’s people? Is not God’s fingerprint there?

The wording is also important: “such a time as this.” May I suggest that Esther is a type or parallel to the Messiah. All humanity was facing condemnation because of sin. We are condemned to perish. There is little, if any hope of rescue by any ordinary means. “But, when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons (Galatians 4: 4-5).” We “in the fullness of time” (Such a time as this) were sent a deliverer, Jesus.

Esther’s deliverance of her people was a foreshadowing of humanities deliverance by Jesus. The book that bears her name is an important testimony of how God works. Sending salvation at an appointed time. Let’s not question this book, but marvel at God’s fingerprints instead.


Padre

Space to Fill

Altar to an unknown god: FreeBibleimages

We seek to find that which we are missing

And all to often the true God dismissing

We seek fulfilment with money or fame

All to relieve our longing and pain

Yet, living for fashion, some celebrity, or cause

Still lacks something if we take time to pause

For that vacuum which we do feel

Has only one source, that the space can fill


Padre

King of Life

It is Easter-time again

With chocolate bunnies and marshmallow hens

But forgotten by many and remembered by few

Is the greatest miracle – God did do

For with the sacrifice of His Son

And following resurrection eternal life was won

For the grave – it could not hold

The King of Life – risen – as it was foretold


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From Mountain Tops

Spencer Davis at Pexels

Sing praises from the mountain tops

Give no heed to those that rage below

For the Lord Almighty has all in hand

And this He will surely show

Keep your mind on higher things

Do not descend to dark canyons low

But walk with head up as a beloved child

Of the King of Glory all aglow


Padre

To Be Heard

Pastor Larry reminded us today that despite all of the turmoil of the world, the Lord is not only with us, but hears our calls and petitions. Larry cited the 40th Psalm in his introduction: “I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.”

What firmer place to stand than with the One who created dry land, and who calmed chaotic seas (Genesis 1)? Jesus told us that it is the epitome of wisdom to build upon the firm foundation of God (Matthew 7). That wisdom we can see manifested in our Psalm: “He turned to me and heard my cry.”

So why are so many of us silent? When we hear of pandemics, we scramble to buy toilet paper rather than appeal to the Great Healer Himself to aid us. When some see injustice in the world, they scribble placards and take to the streets, rather than asking for the assistance of the Judge of the World.

There is at present not only the rumours of wars, but actual fighting in the streets. Yes, we should be like the early church of Acts (chapter 2) and send aid, but how much more should we send our prayers! Look at Acts 6. The needs were there, and the Apostles had priorities! They appointed the seven so that they could dedicate themselves to “to prayer and the ministry of the word.”

Maybe we live in a time when we feel devalued and unlistened to. We get vague acknowledgements of our voices from our peers. We ask, “How are you?,” meaning little more than “Hello.” We are quick to think that our fears, problems, and concerns are not worthy of consideration, because that is how this world treats our appeals. But when we are patient. There is One who is faithful, and will turn to us and listen. And He promises to give us exceedingly, abundantly more than we even ask for. It is the time to not be silent. It is time to be heard.


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Reaching Our Limit

Unsplash

Reaching the limit as to how far you can go

Meeting that margin and coming to know

That for all of our bluster and confidence bold

That we are all to often by circumstance controlled

If left to our own strength and devices

We would soon be overcome in crisis

But we have a helper to lift us and guide

If we turn to Him and surrender our pride


Padre

Proverbs 18:24