Moses – His Birth

Exodus 2.1-10 introduces us to the birth and early life of Moses. Born amid turbulent times of tribulation and persecution (Exodus 1.22), the parents of Moses see that he was special (2.2, cf. Hebrews 11.23), and take extraordinary measure to keep him safe.

Miraculously the basket, the current of the river, the bathing location of Pharaoh’s daughter, and her emotional response upon seeing the crying child were all under the providential care of the Lord (vv.3-6). 

Moses’ parents’ act of faith in trusting him to the Lord are rewarded, and his Mother is actually then paid to raise her own son (vv.7-9). As a young man, Moses is adopted into the royal family and given all the privileges thereof (v.10). 

The parallels between the births of Moses and Jesus are inescapable:

Providential circumstances and intervention allowed the young boy to live amid a context of persecution and in the face of a royal death sentence – Matthew 2.13-18

The privileges of royalty were accorded to him although, as we will see, they were cast aside for God’s purposes and plans – Philippians 2.6

The birth of this child heralded a new beginning for God’s people; a man born to deliver them out of slavery and into a glorious new and renewed relationship with God, a man born to guide God’s people into a new chapter in their life of faith.

Moses, or Jesus?

Circumstances and events surrounding the birth of Moses all combined to showcase the glory and providence of God, and they give us a wonderful preview of Jesus.

Today, what is going on in your life that does the same? Pause, look…really look, and make a note of it. Start today to plot a course of how God is moving in your life. Write it down, journal it, bullet point it, just do something that you can look back on!

What is aligning and combining to show you, and those around you, just how good and glorious God is?

More Providence- Esther 6

In chapter 5 we saw another strong foreshadowing of Jesus, and today more providential circumstances are on show. If you haven’t read Esther 6 recently, you can do so here

The providential circumstances are on show in vv.1-6, and we see that nothing happens by accident. Of all the books to be brought, of all the pages to be opened, of all the accounts to be read, the King hears about Mordecai. There are no happy accidents when we trust our lives to the Lord. 

Providentially, Haman is in the court at the right time (v.5) and he lays out a wonderful proposed gesture for the man whom the king delights to honour. Sadly, for Haman at least, this plan backfires spectacularly and the King ends up saying “…as you have said, and do so to Mordecai the Jew…”.

Haman then has to eat a huge slice of humble pie and personally and physically dresses Mordecai in the royal robes and parades him around as an example of what happens to those the King favours (v.11).

This is really the beginning of the end for Haman, and he finally receives some sensible counsel when he is told “If Mordecai…is of the Jewish people, you will not overcome him but will surely fall before him.”

The arranging of circumstances, people, places, timings, books, pages, comings, and goings by the Lord to facilitate His good and perfect will is just amazing, isn’t it. Reading this passage, I couldn’t help but think of this, from Proverbs

Image result for many are the plans of a man's heart

I would encourage you today just to pause. 

Pause and look around at what is happening in your life. Who is happening in your life. 

Pause and look at what the Lord is doing and allowing in your life. 

We have many plans that, if we are honest, are often self-exalting. We have seen here in Esther that when we plan our own climb, we are often unknowingly plotting our own fall. Rather than seek to prosper ourselves, let us trust in a good, loving God who has promised to work all things for our good.

Pause, pray, and look for His providence.

Providence – Esther 2

Yesterday we saw the terrible decisions made by King Ahasuerus (aka Xerxes), and today the providence of God shines through in the midst of what is going on.

If you haven’t read Esther 2 recently, you can do so here.

There is a time gap of around 4 years between the end of chapter 1 and the start of chapter 2 (Esther 1.3 cf. 2.16), in which time Xerxes led a failed invasion of Greece. Depending on where you read about it, you may come across a battle that was widely popularized in the movie ‘300’, “This. Is. Sparta.”  ¹ .

Coming back from this failure, it seems that Xerxes wanted to cheer himself up, so organizes what is essentially a ‘Miss Persia’ contest (vv.1-4). Considering this was the world’s biggest Empire at the time, the chances of one girl winning were astronomical, but we know that when the Lord has purposed to do something, it happens. History says 400 were chosen to go through to the next stage, so to speak, this intense beauty regime (vv.12-14). Partly to accentuate what is natural, partly to ensure nobody was already pregnant, Esther found herself among this 400 (vv.5-11).

As the King took poor counsel and made poor decisions in chapter 1, here Esther listens to those who know better than her (v.15), and from the 400 she is chosen to be Queen (vv.16-18).

Esther has gone from an orphan being raised by her cousin (vv.5-7), to being the Queen of the world’s largest Empire. If God has a plan for someone so seemingly insignificant as Esther, we can take a great deal of comfort from knowing that He has a plan for us too.

Chapter 2 ends with Esther’s coursing/guardian Mordecai foiling an assassination attempt on the King’s life (vv.19-23), and this again speaks to the providence of God; Mordecai and Esther found themselves in the right place at the right time, and in the right roles, to be used of God to stand up for what is right and report what is wrong. 

Friends, God has a plan for you. It may look different to what you imagined for yourself, but trust Him, His plans are always better than anything we could imagine anyway! Being where you are in the world right now is no accident, being in the job you are in now is no accident, and being surrounded by the people you are now is no accident. We serve a God who is all knowing, all loving, all powerful, and all wise, and either through His declarations or permissions, His good and perfect will is always going to come to fruition. Remember today when things look confusing – God has a plan for you!