January 28, 2017

Joyful and Watchful

Esther 9:29-32; Micah 7:1-7

As for me, I watch in hope for the Lord, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me.

—  Micah 7:7

Although it’s been centuries since Haman was defeated in Persia, others have tried to destroy the Jews since then. The holocaust of World War II is a painfully recent example. Centuries have also passed since Jesus’ victory over sin and death, but the ancient enemy has not failed to keep persecuting his followers.

How can God’s people sustain their joy and feasting in the face of endless attacks? What can they do when evil seems so strong?

First, remember that God’s ancient enemy has been decisively, though not yet fully, defeated. Like a dog, furious at being chained, he lunges at anyone within reach from the end of a long chain (Revelation 20:1-3). Second, like Mordecai and Esther, let us recognize contemporary forms of persecution and destruction. What is happening to Christians in the Middle East today? In many countries believers still face death for their faith.

Whereas the world trusts in its own ability to solve problems, God’s people rest in the truth that only Christ’s coming again will provide the real solution. In the meantime, like Mordecai and Esther, let us be good citizens of the country where we live, but let us hope only in the Lord of heaven and earth.

As we joyfully look forward to the day of Christ’s ultimate victory over the ancient enemy, let us continue to work and pray.

Come quickly, Lord Jesus, and bring us into the fullness of your rest. But while we wait, may we work for your kingdom. In your name, Amen.

About the author — Arie C. Leder

Dr. Arie C. Leder is the Martin J. Wyngaarden Senior Professor of Old Testament Studies at Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He previously served as pastor at Ebenezer Christian Reformed Church, Trenton, Ontario, and with Christian Reformed World Missions in Latin America. He teaches courses on the Pentateuch and on historical books of the Old Testament.

Start your day with quick daily devotions.

See God's love, power, presence, and purpose in your life every day!