Wednesday, June 8, 2016

God Keeps His Promises

Part 5 of Turning the Tables

Text: Esther 8:1-17; 9:1-2, 20-22




On the very day when the enemies of the Jews hoped to gain the mastery over them, the reverse occurred (Esth. 9:1). 


But You Promised! 

We’ve all experienced the disappointment of someone breaking a promise they had made to us. Thankfully, God doesn’t break his promises.

In the book of Esther, Haman plots to destroy the Jews. But God had promised their patriarch Abraham that his descendants would not be destroyed. The book of Esther tells us how God kept that promise. [1]


People Break Their Promises, But God Doesn't  

Why do people break their promises? Sometimes people don’t intend to keep their promises. (They’re dishonest.) Sometimes people make promises they can’t keep. (“But, Dad, you promised!”) Sometimes people forget about their promises. (“I’ll come over sometime and help you with that.”) 

But God is different. When God makes a promise, he’ll keep it.

The God who doesn’t lie, doesn’t fail, and doesn’t forget will keep his promises. 

Many years before the story of Esther took place, God promised an elderly man named Abraham that he and his barren wife Sarah would have a son—an outrageous promise! God also promised that Abraham’s descendants would be as numerous as the stars in the sky (Gen. 15:5) and that God would bless them and that they would be a blessing to the nations (Gen. 12:2-3). God wasn’t lying not lie when he gave Abraham those promises. And he wouldn’t fail or forget to keep those promises. Abraham was “fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised” (Rom. 4:21; cf. Gen. 15:6).


The Tables Were Turned

In the book of Esther, God kept his promises to Abraham’s descendants through his providence. God plays chess while his enemies play checkers.

God turned the tables for Esther and her people. “On the very day when the enemies of the Jews hoped to gain the mastery over them, the reverse occurred” (Esth. 9:1). “Their sorrow was turned into joy and their mourning into a day of celebration” (Esth. 9:22, NIV).

What if the Jews had been destroyed by Haman? If the Jews had been destroyed, Jesus would not have been born. And if Jesus had not been born, there would be no salvation. [2]

Jesus came into this world to turn the tables for us. Through faith in him, we can go from being condemned to being saved. Jesus declared, “God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him” (John 3:17).


Too Good to Be True?

Do you ever doubt the promises of God? (“Are these promises too good to be true?”)

There’s one more reason why God will keep the promises he has made to us: he loves us—with a love that seems too good to be true. “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” (Rom. 8:32). If God has already given us his Son, he’ll also give us all the things he has promised us.


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[1] Karen Jobes writes, “The major theological point of Esther is that throughout history God fulfills his covenant promises through his providence” (Esther, 38).
[2] When God promised to bless the nations through the descendants of Abraham, he was thinking of Abraham’s ultimate descendant: Jesus (Gal. 3:16).