Bible Study for May 20: Stand Up and Speak

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John Yarbrough, director of Alumni Affairs and Public Policy
Truett McConnell University

Have you ever had someone doing you wrong? I am not talking about someone beating you to a parking spot at Walmart. I mean has anyone ever really done you, your family, your career, or your reputation wrong?

How did you respond? Did you prepare dinner for them? Not just once, but at least twice?

Haman is the man that caused the decree for the holocaust against the Jews. This put Esther and Mordecai in danger and in dilemma of annihilation or intervention. Following three days of fasting and seeking God, Esther has the King and Haman come to two banquets.

Esther could have never conceived what God was going to do. While Esther was preparing the banquets, God was preparing the King to honor Mordecai and even make Haman honor him. Esther was doing what she knew to do, but God was doing what only He could do. The king’s restless night and the reading of the events that led him to, at just the right time, honor Mordecai was more than a coincidence.

What if she had taken her own revenge? Perhaps she would have poisoned Haman or requested that the King kill him. By waiting for the right time and trusting God, she received the response she desired.

What do you think the King’s response would have been if she had made her request at the first banquet, before the King’s restless night and honoring of Mordecai?

Revenge belongs to the Lord. Romans 12:19 is one of the reminders that vengeance is His. “Friends, do not avenge yourselves; instead, leave room for God’s wrath, because it is written, Vengeance belongs to me; I will repay, says the Lord”.

Why is this? His vengeance is always just and perfectly timed.

How do you feel when you see the unrighteous prospering and your enemies not receiving what you would consider just recompense for their actions? Hold on, “pay day is coming.” Sooner or later they will reap what they have sown.

In the day that Haman was hanged on the gallows which he had intended for Mordecai, justice was done. Could Esther have ever imagined Haman’s end? Her request in verse 3 of our passage was not to kill Haman. Her request was “grant me my life – this is my petition. And spare my people …”

Esther was a lady who not only was beautiful physically, but had that inner beauty of spirit, wisdom, and grace. Her trust in God to deliver her people was also a trust that her just and holy God would do that which was right in handling her adversaries.

Jesus had numerous opportunities for revenge of wrongs that had been done to Him, but He demonstrated a better way for us to live and relate. On the cross He sought forgiveness for those who were causing Him the greatest pain: “Father, forgive them for they know not what they are doing.”

I am constantly reminded of the grace and mercy I receive from the Lord. His grace is the love I do not deserve, and His mercy is His withholding of the judgement I do deserve. In receiving His love, we must also trust His holiness. The righteous judge, creator of heaven and earth, will do that which is right in the end.

We are often guilty of taking matters into our own hands rather than placing them in the hand of God. I often hear some people say, “If I were God I wouldn’t let that happen or let them get away with that.”

My response is generally, “Aren’t we glad you are not God.” His ways and thoughts are far higher than ours. He sees and knows what we only know in part.

Trust God to do what He does best and be busy doing what He has for you to do, in the manner He would have you to do it.

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