Foreshadow- Esther 4

Coming off the back of learning that his people are to be systematically killed (3.13), Mordecai responds somewhat understandably and seeks out help. Perhaps he feels responsible(3.5-6), perhaps he knows this cannot be changed (1.9), perhaps he is just overcome with sadness, but he makes enough of a scene to attract the attention of Esther (v.4). 

Mordecai wants Esther to boldly approach the King to stop this coming atrocity (v.8). Esther is in a difficult situation wherein she wants to help, but circumstances seem to be very much against her (v.11). 

After laying some harsh truth on Esther (v.13), Mordecai then says,

And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?

Esther 4.14b 

Could this be a reason behind the providence shown to her?

Could this be why Esther has been taken from relative obscurity to this privileged and powerful position?

Could it be that Esther was put in this role for this very moment, to be the representative for her people against a seemingly undefeatable enemy?

The courageous actions of one from humble beginnings allowing God’s people to be saved?

Esther gathers collective support (v.16), and commits boldly to being the representative that God’s people need (v.16b). 

Reading this chapter, we cannot escape the foreshadowing of our Lord and Saviour Jesus. One from humble beginnings, called to take on the task of snatching God’s people from impending death through a situation that looks like it will claim the life of the redeemer.

It would be easy to read this chapter and think of ourselves as Esther; you are here, you need to be bold, you need to save some people…the problem with that is that it leaves Jesus out of the story completely, the One whom all the Scriptures point to. 

He defeated a seemingly undefeatable situation.

He entered into the battle even though it seemed like it would claim His life.

He saved God’s people.

He saved you from impending death.

Friends, you don’t need to be Esther in this story because you are the redeemed, you are the saved, you are the people snatched from death to life through the person and work of Jesus.

The Gospel in Nahum

Where is the Gospel in Nahum?

In chapter 1 we see redemption, we see a time when there is – 

An end to God’s discipline in 1.12

Though I have afflicted you,

I will afflict you no more.

No more oppression in 1.13

And now I will break his yoke from off you

and will burst your bonds apart.”

and promises of Good News and peace in 1.15

Behold, upon the mountains, the feet of him

who brings good news,

who publishes peace!

Michael J. Glodo, Theology Professor said this,

“as God’s excellencies are proclaimed in judgment (Nah. 1:2–7), the repentant hear and receive grace.”

Part of that grace is the redemption that comes too. The coming Good News and peace will redeem us from every bond, yoke, chain, and oppression that the world, the flesh, and the devil will try to get us with.

In His death and resurrection, Jesus brings an end to empires and puts to shame the powers who oppress. 

He who sits in the heavens laughs;

the Lord holds them in derision.

5 Then he will speak to them in his wrath,

and terrify them in his fury, saying,

6 “As for me, I have set my King

on Zion, my holy hill.”

Psalm 2.4  

He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.

Colossians 2.15

Ultimately, the message of Nahum shows the cup of God’s wrath that those who oppose Him will eventually have to drink, and, we’ve said this before, that as believers in Jesus, our future judgement has already been taken care of in the past. He drunk it for us.

If Jesus had not taken our place, the message of Nineveh here would be the message for you and for me. 

Without faith in Jesus, the message of Nineveh would be the message for you and for me. 

Without faith in Jesus, God is not for us, and if God is not for us, we see what happens, but, He is a God of steadfast mercy and love, slow to anger, desiring that none may perish, so we have examples to look back on, to adjust our lives now in light of, and with faith in Jesus God is for us.

Reading Nahum, we see the judgment that comes upon the wicked, and undeserved grace and redemption that is on offer to believers.

God has redeemed us from the consequences of our sins, and in the person and work of Jesus God struck that balance between wrath and love. 

If we wait until the final judgement, if we go it alone, if we think we don’t need a Saviour, we will face it alone. 

If we are in Christ, He faced the judgement for us. 

He redeemed us, redemption is on offer.

Take the burden off yourselves, now and ultimately, 

Jesus said  

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Matthew 11.28-30

The only way to escape God’s judgment is to repent of your sins and believe in your heart and confess with your mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior, believe in what He did, believe in what He does, believe in what He will do again, believe in what He says, believe in who He is, simply, believe in and on Him.

Come to Him, redemption is in Him. That is the Gospel in Nahum.

Below My Feet – Thursday Music

This week for Thursday music Below My Feet by Mumford and Sons.

Have you ever heard a song that is not overtly Christian but has so much Christianity in it that you have to listen again? This was one of those songs for me.

You were cold as the blood through your bones

And the light which led us from our chosen homes

Well I was lost

And now I sleep

Sleep the hours and that I can’t weep

When all I knew was steeped in blackened holes

I was lost

God’s Word to us tells us that Jesus died a physical death and was buried (John 19.28-30, 38-42). The Light of the world (John 8.12), sent to redeem mankind (Colossians 1.13-14), who called men and women away from jobs, homes, old lives (Matthew 4.19). 

Depending on what you read, some say this is a song about the band’s search for truth and personal faith, some say this was written in response to the death of a family member. Either way, when life gets heavy for whatever reason, be it personal understanding or bereavement, it can feel like we are in a daze, not seeing things clearly, under some kind of spell. The same Jesus that died and was buried three days later rose again and brought us out of darkness into His wonderful light (1 Peter 2.9). We will never see things as clearly as when we are walking with the Lord. 

And I was still

I was under your spell

When I was told by Jesus all was well

So all must be well

The chorus of the song is where we come in; what do we do now? Now we have been redeemed, now we have been bought with such a high price, now we have have been brought from darkness into light, what do we do?

Keep the earth below my feet

For all my sweat, my blood runs weak

Let me learn from where I have been

So keep my eyes to serve, my hands to learn

Well keep my eyes to serve, my hands to learn

We are to walk humbly with our God, keeping our feet on the ground (Micah 6.8), because we know that we are weak, but He is strong (2 Corinthians 12.9-11), we are to see just how much God has done for us and look back on the wonderful things He has done in our lives (Joshua 4), and we are to serve, to do, to learn, and to love one another (John 13.34-35, Hebrews 6.9-12).

Let us then keep our eyes to serve, and our hands to learn.