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Monday, December 31, 2018

Psalm 132:13

For the LORD hath chosen Zion; he hath desired it for his habitation.

For further study - Psalm 132:1-18

This Psalm is one of the Psalms that King Solomon wrote, and he wrote it in honor of his father David and the promise that God had made to his father, the Davidic Covenant.

David had passed from the scene and now Solomon prepared, by prayer to the Lord for provision and direction, for building the permanent worship center that David wanted to have been able to build.

The Lord had promised his father that there would be a Temple in Jerusalem and that King David's son would sit on the throne in Jerusalem and this would be the case forever as well, II Samuel 7, (The Davidic Covenant).

Solomon opens his prayer calling upon the Lord to remember the promise that He made to David. Solomon was eager to do the work of the Lord to build the Temple in Jerusalem.

In fact, Solomon tells the Lord that he would be willing to not go into his own home and go to bed and sleep until he had found the place where the Lord would dwell among His people, the Jewish people.

Solomon set the example that we should follow, the Lord's work comes before our own need for sleep. The Lord assured Solomon that He would fulfill his father David's desire to build a "permanent dwelling place" for the Lord.

Then, the Lord tells Solomon and all saints down through the ages that, in fact, He has chosen Jerusalem as the location on earth where He will dwell among His people, the Jewish people, forever, verses 13-14.

This was the Lord's plan from eternity past and is the reason that King David purchased the threshing floor from Ornon the Jebusite, I Chronicles 21:18-30. It's the reason that King David made Jerusalem the "political capital" of the Jewish people, II Samuel 5, and also, the "spiritual capital" of the Jews, II Samuel 6.

God, in eternity past, chose Jerusalem as His eternal abode among His people, the Jewish people. It is the reason the Lord had Solomon to build the first Temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

This is also the reason that Jerusalem has been a center of controversy in the past. It's the reason that Jerusalem is so controversial today and it will continue to be that way until the Lord Jesus comes to build His permanent Temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, and to dwell among His people, forever.

However, I must remind you that there is another event before the return of the Lord to earth to build His Temple, in fact this next event, the Rapture happens at least seven years before the Lord’s return. The truth be-known, the Rapture could happen today. Keep looking up.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Help me Lord, to realize as I watch the controversy surrounding Jerusalem today, to realize Your plan for Your city and how close that plan may be to fulfillment.
Sunday, December 30, 2018

Psalm 83:1

Keep not thou silence, O God: hold not thy peace, and be not still, O God.

For further study - Psalm 83:1-18

This is a very important Psalm in the "last days scenario" that is found in Bible prophecy. Combining this chapter along with Daniel 11:40-45 and Ezekiel 38 will give you an understanding of how the nations will align themselves against the Jewish State of Israel in the last days.

I must remind you that there is no prophecy of private interpretation, II Peter 1:20, therefore these three passages of prophetic scripture that I mentioned above, and many other passages in God's Word, enlighten us to how the nations form a coalition to destroy Israel in the last days.

In this passage the Psalmist is actually praying and the very first verse sets the scene for what is the theme of this prophetic passage.

The Psalmist wants the Lord to awaken to the fact that these nations are making plans to try to remove Israel from the face of the earth. Thus he wants God to protect them and destroy the attacking enemy.

Verses 2 and 3 record the prayer alerting the Lord of the enemies of Israel, and thus enemies of the Lord Himself, relaying to Him that these enemies are ready to go after Israel, having developed a plan.

Verse 4 states that these enemies of God and Israel want to destroy Israel so that "the name of Israel will no longer be remembered".

By the way, verse 4 is almost a direct quote from former Iranian President Ahmadinejad's speech to over 4,000 Arab and Islamic leaders in Tehran when he called for Israel to be wiped off the face of the earth and be forgotten forever.

These are the names of some of the enemies of Israel that you will recognize. The Edom, in verse 6, is the Palestinian people of today. The Ishmaelites of that same verse are the people of Saudi Arabia. Tyre, listed in verse 7, is modern-day Lebanon.

I believe I have given you enough names of nations who are today preparing to join with other nations to form a coalition of nations aligned against the Jewish State of Israel.

We are living in Psalm 83. These nations mentioned, plus those mentioned in Ezekiel 38 and Daniel 11 are making ready for their attack on Israel. This attack takes place in the first six months of the seven year long Tribulation Period after the body of Christ, Christians, have departed earth at the Rapture.

With the nearness of this coalition of nations attacking Israel upon us, the Rapture, which happens before these nations attack, the Rapture must be very close at hand. Keep looking up!

PRAYER THOUGHT: Your time clock dear Lord, Israel, is about to be attacked, which indicates the Rapture must be close at hand. Even so come Lord Jesus, today!
Saturday, December 29, 2018

Psalm 24:10

Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah.

For further study - Psalm 24:1-10

When reading through the Bible, as you come to Psalm 22, 23 and 24, you see three aspects of a "shepherd", the "good shepherd", the "great shepherd" and the "chief shepherd". In Psalm 22, the Psalmist reveals the "Good Shepherd" as the "shepherd" who gives his life for his sheep, John 10:11.

The Psalmist gives us a graphic picture of death by crucifixion. This Psalm is a prophecy of the Messiah who would give His life for the salvation of all who would come to Him for eternal life.

Psalm 23 depicts the Messiah, Jesus Christ, the One the Psalmist is writing about, as the "Great Shepherd". The writer shows the "Great Shepherd", "brought again from the dead through the blood of the everlasting covenant", Hebrews 13:20, is the One that tenderly cares for the sheep.

In our devotional reading for today, we focus on the "Chief Shepherd", I Peter 5:4, who appears as the "King of Glory", the One who comes to reward the sheep. Four times in Psalm 24 the Messiah is referred to as the "King of Glory", verses 7-10.

As we begin to read through this 24th Psalm we see that the Chief Shepherd was also the "Creator", verses 1 and 2. The truth is, that the only way He could be the "Chief Shepherd" and the "King of Glory" is that He was the "Creator" of all things and that all of Creation belongs to Him.

The Psalmist then tells us that the only way we can "ascend to the hill of the Lord" is if we have "clean hands and a pure heart", verse 4. By the way, the next verse in our reading reveals to us that our salvation, the way to clean hands and a pure heart, comes from Him, verse 5.

Verses 7-10 speak of the coming Messiah, referred to here as the "King of Glory". I have heard a song that uses these four verses as the words to its melody. It is a beautiful song, which, of course, is what the Psalms are, "songs to sing".

Let me go back to the reference in I Peter 5:4 that speaks of the "Chief Shepherd", the "King of Glory". Notice the Chief Shepherd brings with Him when He comes a "crown of glory" for all of us, as Christians, that have "fed the flock", I Peter 5:2. That means we have helped other Christians to grow in the Lord as we have been "examples to the flock," I Peter 5:3.

I look forward to receiving from the "Chief Shepherd" a "crown of glory" when the "King of Glory" comes. I want to give back to our Lord this crown, Revelation 4:10, in thanksgiving for what the "Chief Shepherd", the "King of Glory" has done for me.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Help me, Lord, to be at the task of "feeding the flock" by being the example you want me to be so I will receive the "crown of glory" from the "Chief Shepherd" when You come.
Friday, December 28, 2018

Psalm 19:9

The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.
For further study - Psalm 19:1-14

This passage selected for our reading today is so rich. Our key verse has prophetic significance, which we must consider and will do so in a moment. Before that, let's look at several "great truths" found in Psalm 19.

The very first verse of our extended reading is such a blessing. We are given the way to see the "glory of the Lord"- we just look up to the heavens. During the fourth day of creation, Genesis 1:14-19, the Lord uttered three words, "the stars also" and the "star-filled" heavens appeared.

This space is not large enough to even consider the extent of those three words. Might I suggest you take some time in the near future to stop to view the "heavens". Notice the "handiwork" of the Lord and see how the heavens declare "His glory". I have done this and have been blessed.

Verses 2-4 reminds us how we fail to observe the passing of each day and each night. The truth is that like precision clockwork each day and night appear and then are gone.

The passage speaks of the sun and how the Lord has a special dwelling place, a tabernacle for it each night. That, of course, from my perspective - while those on the other side of the earth will have another perspective.

Notice what the Psalmist, this Psalm written by King David, says about the Word of the Lord, which is the "law of the Lord". Reading the Lord's Word, which is perfect and sure will lead you to Him as Savior and make you wise. The Word will also show us any secret sins that must be dealt with, verse 12.

Before we come to our "Prayer Thought", please notice verse 9. It starts out, "the fear of the Lord". That phrase is a statement of Old Testament "piety" meaning "reverential trust" with "hatred of evil".

In verse 9, there is a statement about judgment, judgment to come. Let me remind you of two of the future judgments, the Great White Throne and the Judgment Seat of Christ.

The Great White Throne, Revelation 20:11-15, is where lost people will stand to be sentenced to the "Lake of Fire" joining Satan, Antichrist, and False Prophet.

The Judgment Seat of Christ, II Corinthians 5:10 and Romans 14:10, will be a time for Christians, when Jesus will hand out rewards for those "righteous acts" we have done in His power and for His glory.

Notice how the Psalmist refers to the judgments, "true and righteous". Someone will only stand at the Great White Throne if they have never trusted in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

All Christians will stand before Jesus at the Judgment Seat of Christ. We must prepare today for that judgment, in a future tomorrow. By the way, the Judgment Seat of Christ begins right after the Rapture. At that moment we stand to be judged for the works done for Jesus since we got saved.

That is an awesome thought, the Rapture and then the Judgment Seat. This truth should cause us to live every moment of every day for Him as we await His shout to call us up to be with Him in the heavens, ever to be with Him. Remember, the Rapture could happen today.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Lord, let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, Psalm 19:14.
Thursday, December 27, 2018

Psalm 2:6

Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.
For further study - Psalm 2:1-12

What a powerful passage of scripture the Psalmist gives to us, actually a very prophetic passage of Scripture. In essence we are reading for today the order of the establishment of the Kingdom to be set up in Jerusalem. This will be an eternal Kingdom to be ruled over by the King of Kings, Jesus Christ.

Let's take a journey through this Psalm, with the Kingdom in mind, and notice how it comes to pass. Verse one reveals that the heathen, Gentiles, will rise to power as the leaders of the world. These Gentile world powers will continue to gain power and control in the world all the way up to the Lord's return.

It will be these Gentile nations, who come against God and His chosen people with the intention of destroying them, Psalm 2:2-3. God's reaction is very interesting. The Lord actually laughs, Psalm 2:4, at His enemies. This is laughter that comes from awareness that the Gentile world leaders are unable to do what they want to do, that is to destroy His people, the Jews, and His plan for the End Times.

However, it is at this time that the world leaders believe they are really what they think they are, when the Lord unleashes His wrath against them. He will do this from His "holy hill of Zion", which is the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. In this passage the Lord God gives His power and position to His Son, Jesus Christ, Psalm 2:7. God will give the heathen, the Gentile world, to His Son, Psalm 2:8, and Jesus will break them in pieces, like a potters vessel.

The "Lord's Kingdom", which is in perfect harmony with all prophetic passages that relate to this coming period of time, is yet in the future.

In the last three verses of our extended reading, Psalm 2:9-12, we see that the Lord, and prophecy are very practical. Since this is the way history will be played out in the future the Psalmist suggest that the readers must be wise.

This is suggested to the kings and judges of the earth. Then he instructs the people of the world to serve the Lord with fear, which is the beginning of wisdom.

I love this next instruction, "Kiss the Son". Kiss Jesus Christ, in other words, honor, love, obey and serve the Son of God. Then the Psalmist tells of the blessings that will come to them that put their trust in Him.

This wonderful chapter is evidence that prophecy tells of the future and the Lord's rule and reign from Jerusalem. But it also reveals to us how practical prophecy is as well. It recommends the study of prophecy to you and me for the blessing we will receive and the motivation to live for Him and serve Him until He comes to call us up to be with Him at the Rapture, which precedes the establishment of His Kingdom by seven years.

The "truth be known", the Rapture can take place at any time, and it could be today!

PRAYER THOUGHT: Help me to understand prophecy so that it becomes practical in my daily life.
Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Job 42:5-6

I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: But now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.

For further study - Job 38 - 42:6

When you look at the extended reading you will notice that I have given you four chapters in Job plus the first six verses in chapter 42. I understand that this is a lot of reading for one day, however, I can assure you that when you read the whole passage in the extended reading it will be a blessing to you.

Let me focus on the first six verses in Job 42. Job is responding to a question by God, Job 38:4, asking where Job was when He created the earth, and, in fact, all of creation.

Job realized how insignificant he was in light of all that God had created. After seeing who God is, in the Creation, Job repented of his sins. Job was able to humble himself when the Lord reminded Job that He was the "Creator", Job the "creation".

Throughout these four chapters are many examples in God's creation of that which will make manifest the Lord's Glory in His creative acts. I'll only be able to bring some of His Creation to your attention as you will notice when you eventually read through these passages.

Let me list some of the Lord's creative acts that I've chosen as "highlights" of God's Creation.
Chapter 38:8, Who is able to shut up the sea with doors?
Chapter 38:12, Who can cause the morning to begin?
Chapter 38:16, Hast thou entered into the spring of the sea?
Chapter 38:22, Has thou entered into the treasures of the snow?
Chapter 38:31, Can thou shut out the light of the stars and constellations?
Chapter 38:34, Can you with your voice start, or stop the rain?
Chapter 39:13, Gavest thou the goodly wings to the peacocks?
Chapter 39:29, Doth the eagle mount up at your command?
Chapter 40:15-24, God speaks of the dinosaur, the behemoth?
Chapter 41:1, Can you catch the sea monster, the leviathan, with a fishing pole and hook?

These are only a few of the examples of the Lord's creative acts that Job was able to think through during his conversation with the Lord. It was after Job had studied God's creation that Job saw the "Glory of the Lord" with his own eyes, Chapter 42:5, and was made to see how sinful he was before the Lord.

Job, after seeing the "glory of the Lord", repented and got his heart right with God. When we see the "glory of the Lord", we will also be ready to trust and obey the Lord. Psalm 19 reveals to us that we can see the "glory of the Lord" in the "heavens", and in His "handy work" that is evident in all of Creation.

The Lord allowed all that happened in the life of Job so that He might make known His "glory". That same "glory" will be made manifest in Jesus Christ, when He comes back to earth. Then all of us will be able to see the true "glory" of the Lord.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Thank you Lord for evidence of Your glory in Your creation.
Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Job 40:2

Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct him? He that reproveth God, let him answer it.
For further study - Job 40:1-24

This portion chosen for our devotional reading today is a continuation of the conversation between God and Job. Back in Job 38, the Lord responded to Job's concerns of how he was being treated with "where were you, Job, when I created the world especially the earth?" The Lord was reminding Job that He created all things and could take care of him. Again, Job 40 is simply a continuation of that conversation.

As we eavesdrop on the talk between God and Job, we can learn some very valuable information about the Lord's Creation that will prepare us for the onslaught of questions from the so-called "educational community" of our present-day world.

Let me remind you that Peter warned that there would be those who would deny the Second Coming of the Lord and do so based upon their misunderstanding of how "man" and all of creation came into existence, II Peter 3:3-8.

Here in Job, we have the record of the creation by God of the "chief of the ways of God" in creation, verse 19. The creature described in this passage of Scripture is none other than the "dinosaur" referred to as the "behemoth", verse 15.

The writer of this book, Job, records the Lord's words that introduced to the world this "colossal beast", the "dinosaur". Notice the detailed description of this massive animal that ate grass, as an ox would, verse 15. This creature had a tail like a cedar log, verse 17, his bones like bars of iron, verse 18.

The writer of Job places this massive animal near Jericho lying in the Jordan River and seemingly drinking all the water of the river, verse 23. In the animal world, Job is told that the "dinosaur is the chief of all animals" and that which the Lord wants to show off to mankind. Let me remind you that the Lord created dinosaurs on the sixth day of creation before He created man, Genesis 1:24.

Though many of the dinosaurs had disappeared from the earth, soon after the Flood, 4500 years ago, there are still some around today. They are mostly found in Florida and are called alligators.

God's detailed information on His creative acts 6,000 years ago recorded in Job 38-41 gives us the Bible information to combat those who deny that our Lord Jesus Christ created the heavens and the earth and all that in them is, Colossians 1:16 and Exodus 20:11.

The "Creator" thus then can tell the "creation" of the future He has planned for them. Our Lord knows the "beginning from the end" and has a plan that will unfold in the last days. The next event on His agenda is the Rapture and that could happen today, keep looking up.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Thank you, Lord, for the assurances we have as we acknowledge Your creative acts and Your plans for the future as revealed to us in Bible prophecy.
Monday, December 24, 2018

Job 38:7

When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

For further study - Job 38:1-7

The 38th chapter of Job comes at a time in the life of Job when he is very depressed and considering the suggestions of his so called friends to just curse God and die. The Lord comes to Job and confronts him with a number of questions about his creation... When the Lord had brought the heavens and earth into place and everything else in creation into existence.

Notice verse 4 with verse 7. The question is, "Job where were you when I created the earth.....When the morning stars and the sons of God shouted for joy". This question gives us the time of the creation of angels, described here as the "sons of God", Job 1:6 and 2:1, and the "morning stars".

God brought forth angels on the "first day of creation" after the time He created the heavens, and before He created the earth, Genesis 1:1. I say that because God created all things in the 6 - 24 hour days of creation, Exodus 20:11. Job 38:4 and 7 says when the earth was created the angels shouted for joy. The "angels" had to be there at that time.

The subject of angels, both good and bad angels, has a close connection to Bible prophecy, both in the first coming of Jesus Christ, and the Second Coming. In fact, the most used word in the book of Revelation, other than "and, the, etc.", is "angel" or its plural, "angels", used 81 times.

An "angel" delivers the message of "Revelation" to the Apostle John who recorded its prophecies for us to read, Revelation 1. The "letters" to the Seven ChurchesRevelation 2 and 3, are presented to the "Angels" of the Churches. Angels deliver all of the seven "Trumpet Judgments", Revelation 8, 9 and 11, and all of the "Vial Judgments", Revelation 16.

Angels are our fellow servants, Revelation 19:10 and 22:9. Angels will accompany Jesus Christ as He returns to the earth at His Second Coming, Matthew 24:31. Angels are real and will play key rolls in the Second Coming of Jesus Christ and the period leading up to the Lord's return.

This angelic activity includes both good and bad angels. (See my study on "Angels" for much more information on "angels") As at the 1st coming of Christ...... at His 2nd coming "angels", both good and evil, will participate. I'm convinced that even now angels are preparing for their role in the soon coming of Jesus Christ, which could be today.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Thank you Lord for the "protection" that Angels provide for me and for the reality of their "partnership" with me in ministry, as well. 
Sunday, December 23, 2018

Job 2:6

And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life.

For further study - Job 2:1-10

In a future reading for our daily devotions from the book of Job, we will discuss the creation of "angels" that took place on the first day of Creation, between the time the Lord created the "heavens" and then the "earth", Job 38:4-7. In today’s extended reading, we eavesdrop on a conversation between God and Satan.

They are discussing Job, and the Lord speaks of Job as one like none other on the earth. Job is an "upright man", one "who feareth God and escheweth evil". He is a man who "holdeth fast his integrity". All of the above characteristics could be found in Job.

Satan responds that God is protecting His servant Job. The Lord then allows Satan to test Job to the point of death saying to Satan, "he is in thine hand; but save his life", verse 6. Satan went from the Lord to Job and began to severely test God's servant.

Notice that in the testing, even Job's wife told her husband to "curse God and die", verse 9. I love the last 10 words of our reading, found in verse 10, "in all this did not Job sin with his lips". What a testimony, which has echoed down through the centuries of time, all the way to us today. In this present-day world, we need that same kind of integrity.

Please notice before we leave this devotional reading the pattern that Satan follows which will be his "trademark" throughout his time as the "ruler of this world". Satan will attack and test the believers in an effort to turn them against the "Most High God".

There is a New Testament passage that is key to our understanding of Satan's devices in the end times, which are revealed in Ephesians 6Ephesians 6:11 tells us to put on the "whole armor of God" so that we can stand against the "wiles of the devil".

Paul warns us that in the last days we will not wrestle against flesh and blood, Ephesians 6:12, "but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in the heavenlies".

Paul, in this passage, defines all that is a part of Satan's "kingdom of darkness". He describes the same attack by Satan today as Job described over 4,000 years ago. As we get closer to the Lord's return the more intense will be the Satanic attacks. As then, so now also, the Lord is our "protector" from Satan.

The exhortation from Paul to "put on the whole armor of God" in these the "last days" is an absolute must do activity that we cannot fail to do as soon as possible. The Devil, and his evil angels, will be very active as the time draws closer to the Lord’s return.

In order to be prepared for the life we will live leading up to the Rapture, at least seven years before the Lord’s return, we must be "dressed" properly, with the "whole armor of God" so that we can withstand all the wiles of the Devil and his evil angels.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Lord, help me to pattern my life after Job, a life of integrity. And at the same time, thank you, Lord, for the "armor" that I can put on to fight the "wiles of the devil".
Saturday, December 22, 2018

Job 1:12

And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.

For further study - Job 1:1-12

The narrative that we read today is from the record of a "man" that the Lord would allow Satan to test to the point of death. The book of Job was written some 500 years before Moses wrote the Torah, the first five books of the Old Testament. This makes Job the oldest book in the Bible. It also places Job as a Biblical personality that dates back before Moses.

Most likely Job would have been a contemporary of the patriarchal age and most likely alive at a time before Moses. The main character of the book, Job, was known as a man who "feared God" with a reverential fear, a fear that is actually the beginning of real wisdom. The truth of the matter is that Job was a man greatly respected in his home region and known as a great man, one who detested evil.

In a later devotional we shall learn more about Job, but suffice to say Job was a man that God had a special relationship with and a man the Lord would allow to be put to the test of faithfulness to the God of creation. I mention creation because in a future look at Job in another devotional God will ask him where his servant was when the Lord brought the worlds into existence, Job 38:4-7.

Our extended reading reveals that the devil has access to God and even the "good angels". The "sons of God", verse 6, would witness a meeting between God and Satan. This is of interest because since the fall of the angels, the ones who followed Lucifer in rebellion against the Lord of Heaven, the "evil angels" have not had access to the presence of God. Only Satan has daily access to God for a period of time that he spends accusing the brethren, Revelation 12:10.

Several things to notice about what God does with Satan. God allows Satan to be the instrument of affliction and to apply all the affliction he wanted on Job, short of taking his life, verse 12. This narrative also tells us that though Satan is the "king of this present world", God still has the controlling power over him.

Job was a righteous man, but notice affliction came upon him, allowed by God. Many today get into this philosophy that God makes us healthy, wealthy and happy. In the end Job loses his health, wealth and happiness, but is still a righteous man who is in the perfect will of God. This truth is "in the face" of much of the preaching today.

A true study of Job will bring about a sobering understanding of the ways of God in our lives. By the way, Satan will have his power until Jesus Christ returns to defeat him and cast him into the Lake of Fire, Revelation 20:7-10.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Help me to love and obey You dear Lord, as Job did, even in the face of either physical, economic or spiritual troubles.
Friday, December 21, 2018

Esther 9:28

And that these days should be remembered and kept throughout every generation, every family, every province and every city; and that these days of Purim should not fail from among the Jews, nor the memorial of them perish from their seed.
For further study – Esther 9:20-32

Our reading today is the record of the institution of the Jewish feast of Purim. This is a Jewish "holiday" when Jews around the world stop to remember how God continued His protection of His "chosen people", the Jewish people, some twenty-five hundred years ago.

The book of Esther records the events that led up to what could have been the complete annihilation of the Jewish people. As you may already know, Esther had come into the "kingdom" for such a time as the time the Lord would use her to save her people, the Jews.

Haman was killed on the gallows that he prepared for Mordecai and this brought an end to the wicked ways of the number two in the kingdom. But remember, the word had gone out across the world to have all the Jews killed.

Then King Ahasuerus had a letter sent throughout the one hundred and twenty-seven provinces of his kingdom to save the Jews from death. This is recorded in Esther 8. The King’s letter was followed by a letter from Mordecai, verse 20 of our extended reading, where the Jewish leader would call for all the Jews to celebrate the Jewish "feast of Purim".

In fact, this would be a two-day feast that the Jews were told to observe on an annual bases. It would be a time to remember how God had intervened to protect His people and it would be, as such, a prophecy of how He would do so in the future.

There are men in history that have followed the lead of Haman and tried to destroy the Jews. During World War II Hitler and his Nazi Army killed one third of the then living Jews, six million of them.

Today the wicked leaders of Iran have called a number of times for the nation of Israel to be "wiped off the face of the earth". This is an end times scenario that fits the prophetic passages that reveal a coalition of nations will move to destroy the Jews and Israel during the Tribulation Period, Ezekiel 38, and verse 5 where the Biblical name "Persia" is the nation of Iran today.

Each year as the Jews celebrate Purim they recall the days of Esther, but they also look to the future and realize that as their enemies come to destroy them the Lord will once again intervene to protect His people, the Jews.

This scenario for the future, found in Bible Prophecy, also tells us that the next event on God’s calendar of events prophetically is the Rapture, which could happen at any moment. There is not one prophecy to be fulfilled before the Rapture. We must keep looking up for this "any moment" event.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Thank you Lord for the record of your protection of the Jews and the reality that you will do so in the future. This is confirmation that you keep your promises, not only to the Jews but to me as a Christian as well.
Thursday, December 20, 2018

Esther 7:10

So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then was the king's wrath pacified.

For further study - Esther 7:1-10
I remind you again that the name of God is never used in the book of Esther; however, the "sovereign hand of God" is very evident throughout the entire book.

King Ahasuerus, the leader of the Medo-Persian Empire at the time of the book of Esther, had dethroned his first queen, Vashti, because she failed to obey his order.

By the way, King Ahasuerus took advise from the number two in his kingdom, Haman, on replacing Queen Vashti.
If you are familiar with the story of Esther, you remember that King Ahasuerus selected Esther to be his Queen without knowing that she was a Jewish woman.
Haman had plotted to have all the Jews in the Medo-Persian Empire killed because Mordecai had failed to bow to him. Esther decided that she had to approach the King on behalf of her people, the Jewish people.

She went into the king realizing that he could have her put to death also, along with all the Jewish people that Haman was about to have killed. She said, "If I perish, I perish".
In Esther 6, King Ahasuerus, unable to sleep one night, spent time listening to "the book of the records of the Chronicles" as they were read to him. In the course of listening, he heard how Mordecai, Queen Esther's cousin, had befriended the King and, in fact, had saved the life of the King, Esther 6:1-2.
The King then decided to honor Mordecai. Haman thought he was the one who was to be honored and when the Queen invited Haman to the banquet he realized that Esther had requested of the King that he would spare her life and the lives of her people, the Jewish people.
Now, read our extended reading for today to see how Haman ended up being hanged on the gallows he had prepared for the Queen's Jewish cousin, Mordecai.
This is such a beautiful story of how the Lord puts the right people in the right place for "such a time as He needs them to be there". This story is also evidence of how the Lord protects and sustains His people, the Jewish people, and has done so for 4,000 years.
Bible prophecy tells us the Lord will continue to protect the Jews because He has a special plan for them and plus He made promises to the Jews through the covenants that He must keep. The Lord is not finished with the Jewish people, He has an "eternal plan" for them that will be played put.

This plan includes the events recorded in Bible prophecy. The next event is the Rapture, when Jesus calls us to be with Him in the heavenlies. There is no prophecy that must be fulfilled before the Rapture, and it could happen today, keep looking up.
PRAYER THOUGHT: Thank you Lord for Your faithfulness to the Jewish people, it gives me the assurance that You will do the same for me.
Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Esther 4:14

For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father' house shall be destroyed: And who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?

For further study - Esther 4:1-17

Though the name of God is not mentioned in this book of Esther, His presence and protection of the Jewish people is repeatedly implied. As we read through the first three chapters of Esther, we can see the hand of God in what happens. The scripture reveals the desire of Haman to eliminate all the Jewish people of the world and we see God's intervention.

Early in the story, Queen Vashti refuses to entertain King Ahasuerus' provincial leaders as they met together at the palace. The removal of Vashti and the entrance of Esther onto the "stage of the kingdom" was setting in motion a very significant drama that was played out some 2,500 years ago.

The fact that Esther was a Jewish woman had gone unnoticed by the King and his court. With the naming of Esther as the new Queen, God had a plan He set in place for the protection of all the Jews of the world.

I love the two phrases associated with Queen Esther's rescue operation. The first is "for such a time as this". The other being "if I perish, I perish". These two thoughts illustrate how God, though not mentioned, is implied.

The fact that a Jewish girl could become the queen to a Gentile world leader had to be of God. Esther's willingness to die for her people displays the love that only God can give someone. God's hand is definitely involved in all that takes place in this drama.

This record of God's protection of His people is only a chapter in the Bible, which gives an account of a long list of times that God interceded on behalf of His people. The reason that this is significant is the promise that God made Adam and Eve. God said from a woman would someday come a Messiah, Genesis 3:15. God also made promises, or covenants, with the Jewish people that are eternal and cannot be broken.

The entire book of Esther is a record of God's intervention in the affairs of men who try to eliminate the Jewish people. God will keep His promises to the Jews and protect them until these "promises" are fulfilled. This is the essence of the fulfillment of Bible prophecy.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Lord, please give me the strength to do Your will no matter what the circumstances, even if it means I will perish.
Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Esther 3:6

And he thought scorn to lay hands on Mordecai alone; for they had shewed him the people of Mordecai: wherefore Haman sought to destroy all the Jews that were throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus, even the people of Mordecai.

For further study - Esther 3:1-6

Haman, the number two man in the Persian Kingdom under King Ahasuerus, was furious when Mordecai did not bow to him as he entered the gates to the city. Haman then convinced the King that all the Jews throughout all of the Kingdom must be killed. King Ahasuerus accepted Haman's plan and signed the "law of the Medes and Persians" to set in motion the total destruction of the Jewish people.

The rest of the book of Esther is the story of how the Persian Queen Esther had come into the kingdom for "such a time as this". Unbeknown to the king, his Queen was Jewish and her cousin Mordecai had told her not to reveal her Jewishness. However, it was God's timing for Esther to approach the King for her people, and "if she perish, she would perish".

The book of Esther is a record of God's intervention to protect His chosen people, even though the name of God is not mentioned in the book. In fact, the Jewish people celebrate annually the feast of Purim in honor of Esther intervening and the saving of the Jewish people.

Take time to read Esther 3, and please notice verse one. It reveals the family background of the villain of the book of Esther, Haman. The number two leader in the Persian Kingdom is an Agagite, the son of Hammedatha. The Agagites are the descendants of Agag, the King of the Amalekites, I Samuel 15:8. Remember, the Amalekites are descendants of Amalek, the grandson of Esau, Genesis 36:12.

This line of Esau's descendants has been, and are all involved today in trying to kill all the Jews in the world. Remember, this was the "blessing" that Esau's father Isaac had bestowed upon him, Genesis 27:40-41.

These descendants can be traced through Herod the Great all the way to the Palestinians of today (see my study on Esau and the Palestinians). These are a people who will meet their end at the return of Jesus Christ to the earth, Obadiah 15-18.

But before that prophecy is fulfilled, seven years before, Jesus Christ will call Christians to join Him in the air, at the Rapture of the Church, which could happen today. Keep looking up.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Thank you Lord for revealing the future in Your Word so that I may be able to understand the times I’m living in so that I live eagerly awaiting Your shout to join You in the air, at the Rapture.