Skip to main content

Connect the Testaments

June 29: Behind the Scenes
Esther 3:1–7:10; 3 John 1:1–4; Psalm 117:1–118:16
Sometimes life can look so bleak that it seems as if all hope is gone. This was the situation for Esther and Mordecai: “Letters were sent by couriers to all the provinces of the king to destroy, to kill, and to annihilate all the Jews, both young and old, women and children” (Esth 3:13). Genocide was upon Esther, Mordecai, and their people, and it seemed that little could be done.
Yet God unexpectedly used Esther to do His work and made Mordecai a hero for thwarting the enemies’ plan to destroy God’s people (Esth 5–7). As a result, the people who wanted to kill Mordecai ended up dead (Esth 7:7–10). But these events depicted more than poetic justice; they provide an example of hope in the midst of adversity. This story shows that God is at work even when we don’t realize He is there—when even prayer feels like a waste of energy.
While God is not a “character” in the book of Esther, His presence is implicit in every scene of goodness coming out of chaos. We may not see Him talking in a burning bush, but we feel His concern in the tension; we note His love and compassion through His orchestration of events. These actions aren’t credited to God directly, but that, too, shows something about His character. He doesn’t need the praise that we so often do, so we need to acknowledge how praiseworthy He really is. Even when we don’t know how to pray, or don’t pray at all, God can still answer. And that’s goodness, above all else.
How is God at work in your life in ways you may not realize—even at this very moment?
John D. Barry


 Barry, John D., and Rebecca Kruyswijk. Connect the Testaments: A One-Year Daily Devotional with Bible Reading Plan. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012. Print.

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Connect the Testaments

March 29: Prayer and Hope for the Anxious Numbers 33:1–49; 1 Corinthians 15:12–34; Psalm 28:1–9 Anxiety, depression, and fear aren’t part of the Christian life—or the ideal Christian life, anyway. But for those who struggle with these emotions, this tidy concept isn’t helpful or true. What is helpful is hope and belief in the midst of tumultuous emotion. The writer of Psa 28 expresses deep anxiety, but even as he does this, he expresses trust in Yahweh: “To you, O Yahweh, I call. O my rock, do not be deaf to me. Or else, if you are silent to me, then I will become like those descending to the pit” (Psa 28:1). Though he feels like God is not listening, the psalmist doesn’t stop pursuing God. He worships and cries for help anyway. In contrast to the “workers of evil” who “do not regard the works of Yahweh, nor the work of his hands,” the psalmist puts all of his dependence and trust in Yahweh (Psa 28:3, 5). Halfway through the psalm, the petition turns to praise when Yahweh answers his pray…

Connect the Testaments

March 28: Risk: Oversold and Underplayed Numbers 32:1–42; 1 Corinthians 14:26–15:11; Psalm 27:1–14 The fears of the psalmist are not our fears today, and the fact that they aren’t should bother us. The psalmist remarks, “Do not give me over to the desire of my enemies, because false witnesses have arisen against me, and each breathing out violence. Surely I believe that I will see the goodness of Yahweh in the land of the living” (Psa 27:12–13). How many of us have legitimate enemies because of our faith? And how many of us experience violence because of the way we believe? There are many problems with Christianity today, but one of the most pervasive is the lack of willingness to take major risks for Jesus. Likewise, there is unbelief in God’s incredible ability to overcome all that we face. We may say that we affirm God’s power to beat all odds, but we don’t face the odds as if that were true. If we did, there would be far more world-changing Christians than there are. Instead, most Chr…

Morning and Evening

Morning, December 2Go To Evening Reading
“Thou art all fair, my love.” Song of Solomon 4:7
The Lord’s admiration of his Church is very wonderful, and his description of her beauty is very glowing. She is not merely fair, but “all fair.” He views her in himself, washed in his sin-atoning blood and clothed in his meritorious righteousness, and he considers her to be full of comeliness and beauty. No wonder that such is the case, since it is but his own perfect excellency that he admires; for the holiness, glory, and perfection of his Church are his own glorious garments on the back of his own well-beloved spouse. She is not simply pure, or well-proportioned; she is positively lovely and fair! She has actual merit! Her deformities of sin are removed; but more, she has through her Lord obtained a meritorious righteousness by which an actual beauty is conferred upon her. Believers have a positive righteousness given to them when they become “accepted in the beloved” (Eph. 1:6). Nor is the Ch…