Friday, February 20, 2015

A Comparison Between Kings

Est 4:1  When Mordecai learned all that had been done, Mordecai tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and ashes, and went out into the midst of the city, and he cried out with a loud and bitter cry. Est 4:2  He went up to the entrance of the king's gate, for no one was allowed to enter the king's gate clothed in sackcloth.

One of the things we see as we go through the book of Esther is a contrast between the King who is mentioned a lot in the book and God who isn’t mentioned at all.  We find out that the King who has about as much earthly power and as is possible fails to do anything other than what the non-mentioned God wants to happen.  This, then, becomes a realistic view of life from our viewpoint.  We don’t see God’s outward glory nor do we detect him as he moves providence along but nothing is happening apart from his eternal decrees.  As with Esther, he is taking care of his people using the lost even as they are going about doing whatever they want to do.  So while things look out of control often, they are very much in the Lord’s control.

As I studied through the text above there is another contrast that struck me.  It was not unusual in these days for a Monarch to command that no one to dare come before him without being specifically invited and they were not to come before him with a sad countenance on their face.  They were to convey to the king how wise his rule was because they were happy being under his rule and all their needs were being met whether they were or not.

Praise the Lord that he has opened up permanent access to him through Jesus Christ.  Not only can we come anytime we want but we are encouraged to come to him in the very worst of times.  With Esther’s king, Mordecai had to wallow in the ashes hoping that somehow word would get to the king that he was in great need.  Our Lord knows what we need before we ask and says come anytime, for any reason and he even tells us to come all the time.  We might say he says there is profit in nagging him until the answer comes.  We read of this in Luke.

Luk 18:1  And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. Luk 18:2  He said, "In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. Luk 18:3  And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, 'Give me justice against my adversary.' Luk 18:4  For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, 'Though I neither fear God nor respect man, Luk 18:5  yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.'" Luk 18:6  And the Lord said, "Hear what the unrighteous judge says. Luk 18:7  And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? Luk 18:8  I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?" 

How unlike man our God is that he cares for us as a father cares for his child.  Truly we are blessed to be in his kingdom because all our needs are met.  But while we have cause to rejoice always, yet when we are afflicted and our “countenance is sad” we have a King who will give us whatever we need. 

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