Thursday, August 30, 2012

How does "For such a time as this" have meaning for us today?

I'm just in awe of the Lord these days. I sit stunned, day after day, at the prophetic news coming alive. There is no doubt that we are living in the last days, the end of time. There is no doubt that the events we are seeing are the very ones that were prophesied to occur just prior to the second return of Jesus Christ.

Therefore in addition to studying the prophesies and watching for His return as we are commanded, we also should ponder His plan and providence of His decision to station us here, now, for such a time as this.

Mordecai said to Esther, "For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14).

Now, we do not all have the terrible privilege of being the vehicle from which and through which God Himself brings deliverance to an entire people, as Esther was, but we do need to be mindful of the weight of time and the fact that God deliberately chose to put us here in this time, now. Do we take the time to thank Him? To ponder our role in these last days? To ask and seek His face as to why and what it is He wants us to do that is particular to this time, as opposed to other centuries He could have elected us to dwell in?

Gill's Exposition of the Bible explains of the Esther verse, "and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this? he intimates that he believed that the providence of God had raised her to that dignity, that she might be an instrument of saving his people in the time of their distress; and this he said to encourage her to make the experiment."

Isn't that phrase, "God raised her to that dignity" a wonderful and at the same time, a terrifying thing to consider? We each have a dignity to perform in His name and for His name.

Wesley's Notes goes further:

"We should every one of us consider, for what end God has put us in the place where we are? And when an opportunity offers of serving God and our generation, we must take care not to let it slip."

For what end, my Lord and my God? For what end do you seek to have me serve in these last days?

And my favorite, Matthew Henry's Commentary punctuates the Esther verse with this comment:

"We are prone to shrink from services that are attended with peril or loss. But when the cause of Christ and his people demand it, we must take up our cross, and follow him. When Christians are disposed to consult their own ease or safety, rather than the public good, they should be blamed. The law was express, all knew it. It is not thus in the court of the King of kings: to the footstool of his throne of grace we may always come boldly, and may be sure of an answer of peace to the prayer of faith. We are welcome, even into the holiest, through the blood of Jesus. Providence so ordered it, that, just then, the king's affections had cooled toward Esther; her faith and courage thereby were the more tried; and God's goodness in the favour she now found with the king, thereby shone the brighter."

Yes, we are prone to shrink from service that carries with it dishonor, persecution, or even death. But shrink we must not do! We are put here for a service to Him that will allow Him to shine His goodness all the brighter.

There is no doubt that we are enduring terrible pressures of the days. Sometimes it feels that our shoulders seem unequal to the task of carrying them. But then,we do not have to carry these pressures! The Lord's yoke is easy and His burden is light, if we but cast our cares upon Him. His shoulders will carry the world's government (Isaiah 9:6). He carried the cross on His shoulders on the way to Calvary, and He placed all the sins of the people on His shoulders while He was ON that cross. He seeks and finds one lost sheep whilst the other 99 are grazing on the hill, and when He finds the lost one, puts it on His shoulders and carries it home to much rejoicing. (Luke 15:3). He can bear all things. And through Him, we can bear the days, too.

And what days they are! Let's take a look at some news:

MIDDLE EAST

Egypt broadens Sinai campaign to root out terror
"Egypt's military said on Wednesday it would broaden its offensive against militants in the Sinai Peninsula, a campaign that has raised concerns in Israel about the movement of heavy armor into the area near its border. Disorder has spread in Sinai since President Hosni Mubarak's overthrow last year. Analysts say Islamists with possible links to al-Qaeda have gained a foothold. This has alarmed Israel."

Israelis to 'lose' 300 meters to Sinai security
The IDF is set to issue orders that would convert an area of 300 meters within the Sinai border into a closed military zone
"Israelis will soon be banned from approaching too close to the Sinai border. A report on Army Radio Thursday morning said that the IDF was set to issue orders that would convert an area of 300 meters within the Sinai border into a closed military zone, which only soldiers and security personnel would be able to enter. The order would apply even to areas where the Sinai border fence is in place. The fence, much of which contains electronic sensors to detect intruders, is about three quarters complete."

Iran doubled capacity of bunker enrichment plant, ‘significantly’ hampers inspection, IAEA charges
"Iran has effectively shut down a probe of a site suspected of being used for work on nuclear weapons development while doubling the number of machines it could use to make the core of nuclear warheads at an underground bunker safe from airborne attack, the UN nuclear agency said in a report Thursday."

An IAEA report said the Fordo [nuclear] plant has around 2,000 centrifuges installed, compared with around 1,000 in May. This is terrible news. Joel Rosenberg has an essay tonight titled,

"Inside the debate: Should Israel Strike Iran in the next 10 Weeks? What Netanyahu, Barak and their critics are thinking"

Iran has repeatedly said they plan to wipe Israel off the earth. Iran's top officials and its theocratic clerics believe with all their heart that doing so is an Allah-given right, duty, and responsibility to show Allah their seriousness in preparing the way for the final Imam to arrive.

Israel has repeatedly said "Never again," this is their national motto. Yesterday Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu said, "Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the Non-Aligned Movement summit in Iran a “disgrace” to humanity, during a meeting Wednesday evening with the Prime Minister of Lower Saxony, Germany, David McAllister. “Seventy years ago, six million of our people were destroyed in an act of genocide. The world pledged ‘never again’ . . . It appears that many among the international community haven’t learned anything.” Netanyahu said that the Iranian “regime denies the Holocaust and is working to destroy the Jewish state. This regime oppresses its people, takes part in the butchering of innocent Syrians, and calls for death toAmerica, death to Israel.”

So sadly, "Never Again" will prove to be a hollow motto. Jesus said regarding the abomination of desolation, and as for the Jews in Jerusalem, "For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again. If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened." (Matthew 24:21-22).

Prophecy students know that 'Never Again' will soon change to "Not again!!"

PESTILENCE

Great rampaging diseases are prophesied to occur in the Tribulation. Disease will be one of the methods Jesus uses to judge the world and bring widespread death. (Luke 21:11; Revelation 6:8).

Right now, did you know that one of the worst outbreaks of West Nile virus to ever hit the United States is happening, and is continuing to expand?

4 dead so far as West Nile disease becomes epidemic in Michigan
"West Nile disease -- a mosquito-borne illness -- has reached epidemic proportions in Michigan, particularly in older suburbs that ring metro Detroit and Grand Rapids, state health officials warned Wednesday. Michigan's 80 cases this summer, including four deaths, rank the state as the sixth highest in the nation with the problem, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention."

West Nile Virus Cases Hit 1,590; Death Toll at 66
"Reports of West Nile virus infection in the country now total 1,590, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Wednesday - an increase of more than 40 percent in one week alone. CDC officials also reported during a Wednesday afternoon teleconference that 66 people have died from the disease so far. Of all of the cases reported thus far, 889 - or 56 percent - are classified as neuroinvasive, meaning patients develop meningitis, encephalitis or paralysis. These figures represent a striking increase from last week's report of 1,118 cases"

2,900 Yosemite visitors warned about possible exposure to deadly hantavirus
"About 2,900 Yosemite National Park visitors from around the world who stayed in Curry Village this summer have been notified about possible exposure to hantavirus, a mouse-borne illness that can develop into severe and often-fatal respiratory disease. People who stayed in the cabins from June 10 through Aug. 24 have been notified by e-mail or letter about possible infection, Yosemite National Park spokeswoman Kari Cobb told CBSNews.com. In addition, visitors who were planning on staying in the tent cabins in Curry Village at Yosemite have been re-booked in other locations, while the 91 cabins undergo sanitation and retrofitting."

John MacArthur believes that the prophecy will be fulfilled via rodents. He preached on "The Grim Reality of the Last Days," saying "Luke 21 also adds there will be plagues, terrors and great signs from heaven. You want plagues, how about the black death, 1300's in Europe, carried by rats, killed 60 percent of the population of Europe in excess of a hundred million people. How about 40 million plus in the great influenza, the early twentieth century. Great signs from heaven, terrors, fires, diseases, heat, cold, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, drought."

Well, we have all that now, including diseases, and in the Tribulation diseases will run away from being managed through medicine and bring death along for the ride.
-------------

DROUGHT

Isaac rain may bring some drought relief

Praise the Lord, I hope it does!!!

"As Hurricane Isaac continues to pound the Gulf Coast with rain and wind, meteorologists say the storm could provide some much-needed hydration in parts of the country hit hard by drought. Isaac will bring "soaking downpours" to parts of Arkansas, Missouri and other Central states into the weekend, according to AccuWeather. The rain will arrive too late for summer crops, such as corn and soybeans, which were damaged by the hottest July on record. But the moisture could reach far enough westward to benefit some of the upcoming winter wheat crop, according to Dale Mohler, a meteorologist at AccuWeather."

------------------------
CULTURE

Girl, 10, charged with manslaughter in Maine

What a horrible thing!! Society has surely degeneration's too far when children are [allegedly] killing babies!

"PORTLAND, MAINE (AP) --— A 10-year-old girl was charged Thursday with manslaughter in the death of an infant whose mother said had ingested medication and been suffocated.  The girl, who is not being identified, is the youngest person to be charged with manslaughter in Maine in at least 25 years. The infant, Brooklyn Foss-Greenaway, of Clinton in central Maine, had been left overnight with an adult baby sitter in nearby Fairfield."

 -----------------------

Back to Esther. When Mordecai tells Esther she may have been put here for such a time as this, what Mordecai is really doing is affirming Divine sovereignty. "He affirms divine sovereignty. He affirms his confidence in the revelation of God that he would preserve his people. But he also understands that Esther can perish and he can perish and many other Jews can perish if she doesn’t act. ... The invisible hand of God is evident everywhere" in the Book of Esther and His invisible hand is everywhere in the world today. No one, no matter how they attempt to destroy the people of God and the purpose of God, can succeed because God’s covenant love for Israel will be fulfilled, is being fulfilled. And the message for you is this. While you’re going through life and trying to make sure you fix all the little pieces of your life, understand this: that there is over and in, above and below your life a divine architect ordering every detail. And if you belong to Him and are in the covenant of His love, He is accomplishing His perfect will. And you can rest in that, you can rest in that."

"The Lord is still on the throne. These are challenging times, challenging days to live in. You can become pretty distressed about the way things are going, the way things are going in the world is chaotic, disconcerting, troubling, disturbing, distressing, some ways frightening. Not so in the kingdom. The divine architect is ordering our lives, those of us who belong to Him and are in covenant love with Him. He is ordering our lives to His eternal glory, every part. How wonderful to live in that confidence" (source)

5 comments:

  1. Each and every day I look forward eagerly to your blog. They are all right on target, informative and encouraging. Today, however, was a super blessing to me. "For such a time as this" is inscribed on a little pendant that I wear almost every day. Reading this was a double blessing. Elizabeth, thank you and bless you as you hold forth the Word in these amazing days.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wonderful! I'm soooo glad you're blessed :) It's amazing to think why He put us here now at this time, so I want to do 'my utmost for His highest' (Oswald Chambers) even though many a day I simply feel like fainting and laying on the couch with a cloth over my eyes, moaning 'go away, cruel world!'

      Delete
    2. Please keep striving for His highest. We need the watchmen on the walls lest we all succumb to the couch!!!

      Delete
    3. I'll persevere, no doubt! I'm really glad Jesus has big shoulders though. He can and does carry us all. I cannot wait to see Him!

      Delete
    4. Tears of joy at the thought !

      Delete

Exposing or ignoring the ignominious blemish in our husbands

Our pastor is going through Jonah. It's a great series. Naturally I got interested in reading Moby Dick, the Great American Novel, by H...