Friday, September 30, 2005

The Doctrine of Divine Providence or Bloom Where You Are Planted

As a lay speaker, I’m often called upon to fill a pulpit when a pastor is sick or out of town. Occasionally I’ll post sermons that I’ve given. Over the course of the next few days I’ll be posting one of those - broken up into parts, of course…

Sermon Series

The Doctrine of Divine Providence
Bloom Where You Are Planted - Part One

The date is April 473BC, the place is Shushan, the capital city of Persia - in modern day Iran, the world leader is Xerxes, also known by his title of Ahasuerus.

A proclamation has just been issued in his name that every Jewish person, in every providence in Persia, is to be executed on March 14th, 11 months from then. His wife, the queen, is Jewish, but he doesn’t know it.

How did we get here? A little background - Ahasuerus was a descendant of Cyrus the Great. Cyrus had conquered the great Babylonian Empire of Nebuchadnezzar in 538BC. Along with that victory Cyrus inherited all the nations that Babylon had conquered. Included in that was the very tiny nation of Judah.

Cyrus was a wise ruler, rather than try to keep all these nations in bondage, he allowed the people to return to their own countries, rebuild their cities and their temples, serve their own gods, and for this great freedom, they would pay him tribute, also known as taxes.

The Israelites were free now to return home. God’s will was that they return home, but not everyone wanted to return home. Those who remained in Persia, and other parts of the empire, were still God’s children, but they were out of the will of God. They were disobedient. It is here, at this time and place, that we find the setting for the book of Esther.

Scripture: Esther 4:13-17
Father, open our eyes as we hear these stories of your chosen people. May we see your Divine Hand moving in history, from your promises to Abraham to the fulfilling of prophecy in Christ. May we see and understand that you are still moving today. You are still in ultimate control.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.


Post a Comment

<< Home