The story of Esther is rich because of its built-in neutralizer. One cannot be too proud and focus on the royal part or only Esther’s ascension. As well, one cannot be too happy about an enemy’s fall. After witnessing God’s prevailing providence, the best and appropriate response is greater fear of the Lord…that, and a good memory.
In the spirit of reflection and meditation then, I offer you Paul’s instruction to Titus (3:1-7) for the saints in Crete.
THE REMINDER (vv.1-2)
Titus was to remind the saints:
- to be subject to governmental and delegated authorities
- to be obedient
- to be prepared for every good work
- to speak evil of no man
- to be peaceable and not brawlers, but gentle in a show of humility
THE REASON (vv.3-7)
Why do the saints need a reminder on occasion? According to Paul it’s a good thing to keep a reference point. Because we were:
- Foolish (unintelligent, senseless)
- Disobedient (the word here is rebellion)
- Slaves to all kinds of lusts and pleasures
- Living in malice and envy
- Hateful, and hating one another
But, after God’s kindness and love appeared through salvation we were justified by grace and made heirs. By His mercy he saved us, by the regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost…in abundance.
I won’t bury us in a word study, but there are three words that bear a closer look.Kindness: to furnish what is needed Love: fondness of man Appeared: to become visible (light)
The finished work of Christ for us was and is God’s mercy. What is God’s mercy? It is greater than being spared of what we deserve. This is mercy: God was so fond of us that He furnished what we needed to be with Him. He did us a courtesy in anticipating our need and then providing that need (pause–every administrator should give God a praise right here!).
The way He extended mercy yields some beautiful testimonies…where did you see the light? That is, where did His mercy appear to you? From a base of abundance (endless reserve) He acted in mercy when He bathed us all in the renovating and renewing power of the Holy Ghost!
What blesses me is the light this Truth brings to my mind (as in renewing) and my soul. God’s love is not questioned. His ability is not questioned. He is a source in Himself, so His provision of salvation and deliverance is not questioned. And, if we receive it each time we face the temptation to condemn ourselves, His compassion and mercy to us is no longer questioned.
The circumstance for many of us was the vehicle to see the light. The experiences vary on what happened when mercy appeared (when we saw it, not when it showed up). But God’s method was the same for each of us–all bathed. all saved. all recipients of compassion. all renovated. all heirs.
Now, consider this Truth in light of Esther’s story. Selah…and AMEN.
Prayer: Father, thank you for a better covenant! Thank you for furnishing what we needed–a bath in the Holy Ghost! Thank you for sanctifying and building us again into new creations, vessels of honor. Thank you for your abundant mercy. We receive and we remember, in Jesus’ name. Amen.