Our Daily Bread
- READ: Esther 3:1-11; 7:1-10
“Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. —Romans 12:19
For nearly a year, a former publish- ing colleague lived under a cloud of
fear that he would be fired. A new boss in the department, for reasons
unknown, began filling his personnel file with negative comments. Then,
on the day my friend expected to lose his job, the new boss was fired
When the Israelites were taken as captives to Babylon, a Jew named Mordecai
found himself in this kind of situation. Haman, the highest noble of
King Xerxes, expected every royal official to kneel down and honor him,
but Mordecai refused to bow to anyone but God (Est. 3:1-2). This
outraged Haman and he set out to destroy not only Mordecai but every Jew in the whole Persian empire
(vv.5-6). Haman convinced Xerxes to sign a decree authorizing the
destruction of all Jews and started building a gallows for the execution of Mordecai (5:14). But, in a startling turn of events, Haman was
executed on the gallows he had built for Mordecai, and the Jewish people were spared (7:9-10; 8).
In literature, this is called poetic justice. Not everyone gets justice in such dramatic fashion, but Scripture promises that God will one day
avenge all injustice (Rom. 12:19). While we wait, we are to do what we
can to work for justice and leave the results in God’s hands. —Julie
The call for justice must be strong
To show what’s right, to thwart
But let’s reject the smallest part
Of vengeance harbored in the heart. —D. De Haan
The scales of Divine justice always balance— if not here, then hereafter.
- READ: Psalm 22:1-8,19-26
Those who seek Him will praise the Lord. Let your heart live forever! —Psalm 22:26
Do you know which psalm is quoted most often in the New Testament? You may have guessed the familiar and beloved 23rd Psalm, but actually it is
Psalm 22. This psalm begins with David’s poignant, heart-breaking words
that were quoted by Jesus on the cross, “My God, My God, why have You
forsaken Me?” (Matt. 27:46; Mark 15:34).
Imagine the situation David must have found himself in that caused him to cry
out to God in this way. Notice that he felt forsaken and abandoned: “Why are You so far from helping me?” (Ps. 22:1). He also felt ignored: “O
my God, I cry in the daytime, but You do not hear” (v.2).
Ever been there? Have you ever looked up into the heavens and wondered why
it seemed that God had abandoned you, or was ignoring you? Welcome to
David’s world. But for every plaintive cry David expresses, there is a
characteristic of God mentioned that rescues him from despondency.
Through it all, David discovers that God is holy (v.3), trustworthy
(vv.4-5), a deliverer and rescuer (vv.8,20-21), and his strength (v.19).
Do you feel forsaken? Seek the Lord. Rehearse His character. And “let your heart rejoice with everlasting joy” (v.26 nlt). —Dave Branon
Lord, sometimes I feel as if You don’t care about
my life. When those times come, please remind me
of Your character as You did David. Help me to
lean on You again and know that You are there.
Even when we don’t sense God’s presence, His loving care is all around us.