A Time For God’s Favour

The other week the saints we meet with were exploring various aspects of Christ’s character, revealed in the Old Testament saints. In preparation for our gathering, I was looking through the book of Esther, searching for the aspect of Christ’s authority revealed in her life.  It’s such an amazing story and there was much of the Lord’s character that I could see reflected in Esther, His humility, His calling, His willingness to lay down His life and His being the deliverance of His people. However, I did struggle to see our Lord’s authority characterised in her life at first glance.

If you’re unfamiliar with the story of Esther, in a nutshell, she was a Jewish girl raised by her cousin Mordecai and taken into the king’s harem, later becoming his queen. The king had no knowledge of her Jewish heritage.  Mordecai would sit at the gate of the king’s palace to hear of the fate of the Jewish people discussed among some of the king’s men. Mordecai got word to Esther of the plans that were being made behind the king’s back, to destroy the Jewish people and Esther was challenged to face the king to seek his favour on behalf of her people. Esther was afraid to go into the king’s inner court and sent these words back to Mordecai;

“All the king’s servants and the people of the king’s provinces know that for any man or woman who comes to the king to the inner court who is not summoned, he has but one law, that he be put to death, unless the king holds out to him the golden sceptre so that he may live. And I have not been summoned to come to the king for these thirty days” (Esther 4:11).

Mordecai, full of faith that God will deliver His people come hell or high water, sends a reply to her that if she remains silent at this time that the Jews will be delivered from another place but her and her father’s house will perish. He then poses the question to her, “And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?”

Upon hearing these words sent by Mordecai, Esther obviously ‘sees’ her calling in God, and that she indeed had a responsibility to respond on behalf of her people. She had been given the authority of royalty, she had been placed in a position where she could have the king’s ear if he showed her favour. So although clearly still afraid, Esther says yes and asks for prayer and fasting for her. She then makes this glorious statement in which we can really see the humility and sacrificial heart of our Lord;

“…if I perish, I perish” (Esther 4:16).

Then, Esther makes her plans to approach the king. She puts on her royal robes and stands in the inner court of the king’s palace in front of the king’s rooms and when the king saw Esther the queen standing in the court, the bible says “… she obtained favour in his sight, and the king extended to Esther the golden sceptre which was in his hand... “(Esther 5:1-2).

Then the king says to Esther, “What is troubling you, Queen Esther? And what is your request? Even to half of the kingdom it shall be given to you” (Esther 5:3).

Well, four days after reading this story the Lord’s light shone into my heart to see Christ’s authority revealed in Esther.

We come into the Father’s throne room through the name of Jesus. Christ is our access to God’s favour. God’s sceptre is always held out toward us because Jesus has opened the door of the throne room for us to come in and fellowship with God, commune with Him and banquet with Him.

Through Christ, God welcomes us and says what is it you want? What is your petition? What can I do for you? More than just up to half the kingdom is offered to us, no, God has given us His entire Kingdom through Christ because of the Father’s love for the Son, and now we share in the Son’s inheritance.

Christ is the golden sceptre in God’s hand that is held out toward us. Christ is the favour of the Lord to us.

The year of the favour of the Lord has come in Christ Jesus, our living Lord.

Jesus our Dayspring

Another Aussie sunrise

Another Aussie sunrise

God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.

 

I am always amazed when something I have read so many times in the bible, and revelations I have read from other authors, finally become life to me.

This morning Jesus revealed Himself to me afresh as the ‘Light of the World’. I woke to my usual onslaught of thoughts that do not originate with me, but rather by their very nature, clearly come from the enemy who is ever at large.

I praise the Lord for bringing His wisdom and insight to recognise that this onslaught was from ‘another place’ and so I was encouraged by the Lord to ‘bring every thought captive unto Christ‘ which I did, in faith.

As a result, the Lord lifted me, my mood was lightened, my thoughts were lightened as though elevated out of the muddy waters of accusation and confusion and into fresh sunshine, placed on dry land where they could bathe in the glory of His light.

The Lord drew my thoughts then, as He is able, to the reality that just as in the beginning of all creation, so He is now! My attention was drawn to Genesis Chapter 1, verses 2 and 3.

“Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.”

Jesus revealed to me in this moment, that this formless, empty darkness is a shadow of the state that we were in before Christ entered the world as the Light. He truly was and is the Light of the world.

Jesus is called the Dayspring, which I always thought was a ‘spring’ but now understand He is the one who ‘springs’ the day into being! Glory, hallelujah! He separates the light from the darkness! (Genesis 1:4)

After every ‘night’ there comes a ‘Dayspring’ – the sun rises in the natural to remind us of the continuing light and revelation of Christ always delivering us from the darkness.

All praise to You our Heavenly Father who, through Jesus Christ Your Son, have delivered us from the darkness and into the light of Your love and life.

May we all continue to walk in the light as He is in the light.

The Temple of King Solomon – Part 2

photo by Arturo Sotillo on flickr -

photo by Arturo Sotillo on flickr – “Shadow of a Lonely Man”

What does it mean when we say that the bible is full of shadows and types? Well, a shadow and a type is a faint resemblance of the original. It only resembles in part, not fully. When I look at my own shadow for example, it is shaped like me and moves like me, but it is only an outline and is somewhat distorted. It changes its appearance dependent on the position of the light :-).  Even though it is still always my shadow and will belong only to me, it does not show the details of my appearance, personality or spirit. It says something of me but is not me completely.

Therefore,  we can see shadows and types of Christ in the life of King Solomon, but only up until the point that he disobeyed God (1 Kings: Chapters 1-10). Some of the ways we can see him as a shadow/type of Christ are;

The Israelite in Us!

Just before reading this post, here’s a little tune from the 1970’s that kind of relates to the post, just for a little fun….(be sure to turn your speakers up before clicking on this link) Larry Norman’s Moses in the Wilderness.

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I’ve been on a mission lately to look for shadows and types of Christ in the old testament. This includes things that shadow the church because of-course, the church is the Lord’s bride and she is His body.

So, looking at the story of Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt……you know the story.

Moses = type of Christ (deliverer, leader of his people, high priest on behalf of the people to God)

Israelites = the church, us (chosen people, called to be a holy nation of priests, to be God’s people and He their God)

Egypt = the world, the world system (lost, slavery, without hope, Satan’s domain)

Pharoah = Satan and his army

The parting of the Red Sea = representative of baptism, going into the waters of death and coming out the other side in freedom from the hold of the world, in resurrected life

6 million Jews (men) = the number six representative of mankind (free gift of salvation for all mankind)

Sadly, many of the Israelites still held Egypt in their heart. They complained and longed for the ‘good old days’ where they were prisoners. They had forgotten their conditions of slavery and preferred to look back rather than to go forward toward a promised land they had not seen and could not imagine. They died in the wilderness.

Only a few made it into the promised land.

Are we like this? The church has been like this ever since Israel came out of Egypt! So many of God’s chosen ones (those who are saved) still hold Egypt in their hearts, still are not prepared to walk through the wilderness fearlessly and in faith, believing in the promises of God to deliver them into a land of milk and honey. And JESUS is that promised land! He IS that land of milk and honey! Only a handful took possession of this land.

All through history, there has been only a remnant that has taken possession of the promised land, this glorious Christ, in preference over Egypt and the wilderness. Some have decided to settle in the wilderness, not being prepared to pay the cost to get to the promised land. Some have fainted and died there.

I sometimes wonder if this is what is meant of the scripture “Many are called but few are chosen?” I don’t know. Perhaps.

If so, I want to be one of the chosen…….Lord sever Egypt from my heart.