During our COVID-19 shutdown, Pastor Zekveld plans to provide a personal reflection each weekday.
Remember Esther? Though God’s name is not mentioned in this book of the Bible, the true story of Esther is full of God’s power and love for His Church.
Esther is a book of reversals. An evil man named Haman was plotting against the Church, but every wicked scheme he dreamed up came back on his own head.
Haman was the Vice-President of the Persian empire. Haman hated the Jewish people, the Church in Old Testament times.
As Vice-President, everyone had to bow before him. And he expected his enemy, Mordecai the Jew, to lead him on the King’s horse down Main Street and have everyone bow before Haman. But in the end Haman led the horse while Mordecai sat on it and received the honor.
Haman had the Emperor make a law that declared that on a certain day the Persian people could assault and kill as many Jews as they wanted. In the end that law was reversed, and the Jews were permitted to kill anybody who lifted a finger against them.
Haman built a gallows in his back yard, 75 feet high, for Mordecai to be hanged on. But in a shocking reversal, the tables were turned against Haman, and the King commanded his officials:
“Hang Haman on that!” So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai.Esther 7:10
Though it looked like Mordecai would hang and Haman reign, in the end, Haman hangs and Mordecai reigns.
This is the reversal God promises His people. The Enemy will hang on the gallows he has prepared for God’s people. Satan’s schemes will come back on his own head.
In Psalm 7 we read:
The wicked man makes a pit, digging it out, and falls into the hole he has made. His mischief returns upon his own head, and his violence descends on his own head.Psalm 7:15-16; 57:6
David makes God’s promise his prayer:
And let the net that he hid ensnare him; let him fall into it—to his destruction!Psalm 35:8
Let’s pray this same prayer in our times. There’s no doubt that Satan, the enemy of our souls and the adversary of the Church, is making every effort to use the COVID-19 shutdown to weaken the church of Jesus around the world. The devil is working hard to get the church out of his way.
There are huge personal dangers to not meeting together for such a long period of time.
We can easily become disconnected and lose our way. Our faith in God, our commitment to assembling for worship, and our love for His people can grow cold. The fires of heavenly desire, fuelled in the communion of the saints, can burn low. Spiritual laziness finds more opportunity to settle in among us.
And there are huge public dangers to not meeting together because of the shutdown.
Local and national governments around the world can use the emergency measures to limit the church’s freedoms in the long term. Opponents of the church see this as an open door to lash out against the people of God and increase surveillance on the church’s ministry. For some reason drive-thru beer is considered essential while drive-in worship is declared illegal.
So let us pray against Satan’s schemes against the people of God. Let’s resist him, standing firm in our faith. Pray that he will fall into the pit that he has dug for us. Pray that he will hang on the gallows he has built for us.
In spite of the personal and public dangers of shutdown, God is able to make His Church flourish. He is able to make His people cherish more than before the communion of the saints. He is able to extend the reach of the Gospel through the worldwide web. He is able to promote the Christian faith through the love and compassion that people show to their neighbors. He is able to expose and bring down governments and officials who persecute His people.
Pray that God will do this.
Pray for yourself. Pray that your faith will not hang on the gallows Satan has built for your soul. Pray that God will increase your faith in Him and your love for all the saints.
Pray that the virus crisis will weaken and even topple governments that persecute Christians.
Pray that God will use the fear of millions who are lost to bring them to saving faith in Jesus Christ, and add them to His church.
Pray that Satan will hang in the gallows he has built for us!
Haman hangs and Mordecai reigns. What encouragement and motivation for the people of God! Jesus promised:
I will build my Church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.Matthew 16:18
It’s not just a promise. Jesus did it! He was hanged on a cross and killed, and it looked like Satan reigned: Jesus hangs while Satan reigns. But then Jesus rose, proving Satan is the big Loser. Now Jesus reigns and Satan hangs.
Satan is chained and is headed for the eternal gallows.