Scripture Challenge: ESTHER — “What’s Happening in St. Louis?”

It’s always a sad day when you see violence and civil unrest, and when it hits close to home I am reminded that there are those that don’t live in a free democracy that are facing this on a daily basis.  We hear of it so often that, if we’re not careful, we will become somewhat callous to what others are going through.  What a stark reminder of how easily things can change!

I want to be careful what I say–God is the righteous judge, not me.  Just like every other nation in the world, our hope is not in politics–and dare I say, religion.  Our HOPE is in the ONE TRUE GOD that loves justice and righteousness.

Keep your tongue from evil

and your lips from deceitful speech.

Turn away from evil and do what is good;

seek peace and pursue it.

 The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,

and His ears are open to their cry for help.

Psalm 34:13-15

Why oh why don’t they see that violence and hatred never bring about justice?  GOD IS THE ONE WHO SEES.  He sees our actions and attitudes and the intentions of our heart.  Anger and pain can and will send us down the wrong path–if we let them.  Just like every other God-given emotion, we CHOOSE what we will do with them.

The Old Testament book of Esther carries a similar message, and can teach us much about how we handle adversity.  It is no coincidence that I’m in Esther for my Scripture Challenge:

St. Louis

Her people were being persecuted and facing the threat of annihilation.  God used her to diffuse the threat, but not before prayer and fasting! She saw the injustice in the land, was bold and determined to speak TRUTH, and God honored it.  In His providence, He had placed her in just the right place at just the right time.  Her obedience saved her people and because of her faith in the ONE TRUE GOD, His plan was fulfilled.

WHAT IF:

~~We responded to threats with patient prayer instead of hate and violence?

~~We sought the wisdom of God rather than the testimony of man?

~~We prayed for truth, justice and righteousness instead of pushing for our agenda?

and [If] My people who are called by My name humble themselves, pray and seek My face, and turn from their evil ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14

I know that every one of the events that have transpired in Ferguson, Missouri over the last few days have caused outrage.  I’m not suggesting that we ignore any injustice by those in authority or those who rebel against that authority.  What I am saying is that it is very easy to pick sides based on what we think we know.  I choose to err on the side of caution.  God is the only righteous judge and He is ultimately the One who holds us accountable.  I say us, because, just like those directly involved in the situation, we will each be held accountable for how we respond.

Join me in praying for those poor families that have lost their loved ones.  Pray for the officer and his family who’s lives will be changed forever.  Pray for the justice system to have wisdom and clarity and impartiality.

In Jesus Name,

Amen.

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