Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Learn from the great reversals

If you have been following my columns about the book of Esther, you know that a great reversal occurred when the king signed the second edict, which gave the Jews permission to take up arms and defend themselves against their aggressors. Before this, the enemies of the Jews were licking their chops to go into every “weapon free zone” in the kingdom and kill the innocent and the unarmed.

I love the first verse of Esther 9, which says, “...on the very day when the enemies of the Jews hoped to gain mastery over them, the reverse occurred: the Jews gained mastery over those who hated them.” You could make the case that this is a statement for all of Scripture, and for all times. When all looked hopeless for the people of God, over and over in the Scriptures, that was when the reverse occurred. On the day when the serpent thought he had gained mastery over Adam and Eve, and indeed all of mankind, the reverse occurred. God made a promise that the heel of Eve’s offspring would be bruised, but the head of the serpent would be crushed.

When it looked like curtains for Moses and all of the people of Israel, backed up against the Red Sea as the Egyptian chariots and soldiers were thundering down on them, the reverse occurred. The sea opened, the Jews walked through on dry ground, and when the Egyptian army was in the middle of the sea, God brought the waters back together. On the day when all looked hopeless for Daniel, and his enemies rubbed their hands together with glee that he would be destroyed, the reverse occurred. The mouths of the lions were shut until Daniel was pulled out of the pit and the enemies of Daniel and Daniel’s God were thrown in. Meat was back on the menu. Don’t forget Daniel’s three buddies, Shadrach, Meschach and Abednego, who were supposed to be turned to ashes within seconds in the fiery furnace. The reverse occurred, and the only thing burned on those boys was the rope that bound them.

Over and over we see the pattern in Scripture until the greatest reversal of all time, when the Son of Man hung on a bloody cross and cried out, “It is finished.” The enemy of our souls, that same old serpent from the garden, must have thought he had won the battle and gained mastery over Jesus and all who follow Him. But the reverse occurred as God, in the death of Jesus, canceled “the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This He set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame by triumphing over them in Him.”

Don’t get me wrong. There have been millions of followers of God who have been murdered for their faith. There was no last second rescue for those who said, “I am a Christian,” in Roseburg, Ore. last week. There was no miraculous rescue for the thousands of Christians who have been beheaded or burned alive by ISIS. Or was there?

Yes, there was, for one thing we know for sure. God always rescues His people from, or through, death.

Because of the greatest reversal at Calvary, those who know Jesus understand that death is not the worst that can happen. It is merely a door into His presence.

1 comment:

Diwakar said...

Hello Pastor Mark Fox. So good to know you through your profile on the blogger and the blog post. I AM SO PRIVILEGED AND BLESSED TO KNOW YOU AND GO THROUGH YOUR BLOG POST on " Learn from the great Reversal". Very encouraging, strengthening and moral lifting post. Thank you so much for sharing it. I am blessed to know you as a Pastor who is interested in missions too. I am from Mumbai, India and have been in the Pastoral ministry for last 37yrs in the great city of Mumbai, India a city with great contrast where richest of rich and the pooret of poor live. we reach out to the poorest of poor with the love of Christ to bring healing to the broken hearted. We also encourage young and the adults from the west to come to Mumbai to work with during their vacation time. We would love to have your young people as well as adults from your church come to work with us during their vacation time. I am sure they will have a life changing esperience. My email id is: dhwankhede(at)gmail(dot)com and my name is Diwakar Wankhede. Looking forward to hear from you very soon. Recently I was in the United States and would have so happy to visit you and know you personally. I love to get connected with people of God globally. God's richest blessings on you, your family and Pastoral ministry.