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Absent but Always Present

The Verdict / John Munro
The Truth Network Radio
November 20, 2017 3:10 pm

Absent but Always Present

The Verdict / John Munro

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November 20, 2017 3:10 pm

Dr. John H. Munro November 19, 2017 Esther 10 As the story of Esther concludes, Mordecai becomes a powerful figure. Although God’s name is never mentioned He is clearly at work. He may seem absent, but is always in control and working for our good.

Truth for Life
Alistair Begg
Truth for Life
Alistair Begg
Truth for Life
Alistair Begg
Truth for Life
Alistair Begg
Truth for Life
Alistair Begg
Truth for Life
Alistair Begg

While this evening we come to the conclusion of this unusual and I think strangely fascinating little book of Esther. If you have your Bible, their turn with me to the last chapter Esther chapter 10, two unknown Jews, Esther and Mordecai living in Persia out on 480 BC become second only to King. As you at us in power and prestige throughout the great kingdom of Persia early in the story of the death seem certain of the end of the story that the pinnacle of Persian life Esther chapter 10 quality versus in the concluding chapter, let me read it with you. King as you harass impose tax on the land and on the coastlands of the sea, and all the acts of his power and might and a full account of the high honor of Mordecai, to which the king advance them. Are they not written in the book of the Chronicles of the kings of media and Persia. For Mordecai, the Jew was second in rank to King. As you harass is not remarkable second in rank, the most powerful man in the world and he was great among the Jews unpopular with the multitude of his brothers phone. He saw the welfare of his people, the Jews and spoke peace to all his people in the chapter. Chapter 10 King George's places attacks on the people. But Mordecai is growing in prominence of the king imposes a burden on the people. But Mordecai is a blessing to his people as he seeks the welfare and the good. As we just read.

As we seen as we study this book of Esther over the past two weeks.

God's name is never mentioned and this is a bit of a puzzle to many questions come up as we read this book where Esther and Mordecai all was godly with a really walking in the will of God throughout the book. Why did allow herself to become queen to a pagan king. Why do we not read of them praying and studying the law of God, often in Scripture, there is a divine common trait on the actions of the individuals that that steers us and guides us in interpreting the book we don't have that in Esther and so would laughed and asked her with some ambiguities some questions some enigmas as some of you have asked me these questions and I can give an opinion, but some questions remain on answer we can say what I want to emphasize this evening is that God is clearly at work and Esther and that this closing message and asked that I want to kind of look back and to summarize and recap three important lessons from the story of Esther license was seen before but I want to emphasize them to learn them because these are central not only to the story of Esther is central to your life and mine, and I'm sure God through his spirit will help you to apply these to your life. Can't we say in the book of Esther is also in our own life that life isn't always what it seems that what is apartments is not always obvious, and here is the first lesson when God seems absent. He is always present and always cares for his people. When you get back. Sometimes it seems in our life in God is absent.

He's not at work is abandoned. Does he spark God sent us but Esther reminds us that God is always present, and God always always cares for his people and is really the story of Esther God seems absent because his name is not even mentioned is not mentioned in the book is no mention of people reading the Bible reading the law of God that even praying or offering a sacrifice to God.

God seems absent, and there is no invoice directly or indirectly. It appears to answer all Mordecai and the strange circumstances that they find themselves. No profit nor preset rises to declare the will of God over and over again in the Old Testament we read that the prophet comes from the very presence of God and Satan thus says the Lord, we don't hear that message and Esther since I like that because it is not sometimes true to your life but in the circumstance where you really wanted to hear from God you really wanted God's voice to tell you wonderful if it was the answer was written in the sky but God seems silent but overall God's name is not mentioned in the book is find this everywhere. Wavefront called the cities God's invisible hand in the story God may seem to be absent, but is always present even when the Jewish people are unfaithful to the covenant God still cares for the road so protects them God's hand may be hidden by these people are never forgotten some of the Psalms of David and the other Psalm is a deal with the same problem. Psalm 44. What are your God with all of that is in you seem to have abandoned us and I'm sure the Jews when they had that edict from the king must've thought that God had forgotten they are facing seeming certain death annihilation. The king giving an edict which, according to the Medes and the Persians cannot be repealed. Seems certain there seems normally out but not only is the Jewish nation survive the victorious over Persia and Satan's subsonic plot is used came in this evil man is plot to annihilate the Jewish nation is directly opposed to the great embryonic covenant.

God is always faithful to his promises.

God made certain promises to Abraham and to his seed.

We call that the embryonic covenant in God never goes back on his word. God will not forget his ancient people. He always watches over and cares for his chosen people, even in the fiercest and most evil of opposition and we seen throughout human history. One row said you know it time after time, even in recent years, even up to the present date.

The hatred of Satan against God's ancient people of Israel but the God who cares for his ancient people certainly cares for those who are redeemed by the precious blood of his son the Lord Jesus Christ is not good to know some of you as you sit here tonight feel the guard is a bit absent. Perhaps you feel God is distant. Disease is remote and in a sense, although you might not say because it doesn't sign very spiritual. You think God doesn't come through for you you're really disappointed with God.

He doesn't seem to care.

Can I remind you that God never goes back on his promises, his promise I will never leave you nor forsake you. So, we can confidently say says the Bible, the Lord is my helper, I will not fear what can man do for me sometimes, and God will take care of you through every day or all the way, he will take care the Bible says cast your cares in the Lord because he cares for you and sometimes as we serve the Lord.

Sometimes as we seek to evangelize and win souls for Christ. The opposition seems very fierce and as we saw the seed we sometimes wonder where is God in this and that our discouragements and disappointments and sometimes people who say they believe that the land is very easy to get disappointed and discouraged as we serve the Lord. But here is the promise from the Lord himself will hold in with you always, even to the end of the age. Yes, God's hand may be invisible to you tonight but I want to remind you that you're not forgotten he may seem absent. He may seem behind-the-scenes but is always with you, and you always always cares for you. Even when you are unfaithful even when I'm unfaithful. God is at work, so that's a first lesson an important lesson a difficult one to really get into is it where but it is true that when God seems absent in your life is always present, and he always cares for his people. The second lesson when life seems chaotic.

God is always in control when life seems chaotic. God is always in control. God is never in a crisis. God never has emergencies, but is never a situation arises that God doesn't know about Isaiah tells us he knows the end from the beginning. He knows the end of the story before it's begun is a God who is eternal.

He's over time and space and certainly life was chaotic and life was very very good fuse for the Jews in chapter 3 verse 15 when humans edict was passed to destroy to kill and to annihilate all the Jews both young and old women and children, says the city of Susa was in confusion. Can you imagine of a law was passed. The day saying that all followers of Jesus Christ and the area of Charlotte were to be killed could imagine a panic can imagine her confusion so they fasted and wept and wailed and put on sackcloth and ashes. The whole situation was chaotic. It was confused I needed was against them that they were going to be annihilated. Every single one of them was going be wiped off the face of the good to know and stuff. Chaos and confusion in our world. God is in control and got the something remarkable.

God raises up the young Queen's chapter 4 verse 14 for such a time as this.

She's prepared to go before the king. She's prepared to intercede for people email that was contrary to the law and she says if I perish, I perish here is a step of faith and courage.

Is this young woman with dignity and calm that something remarkable goes before the king to plead the case with her people because in the middle of the cares, God is always in control, and were not surprised that we got the king. Here's a request while edict couldn't be repealed against the Jewish nation in effect was utilized by the second edict given at the request of Esther and those outlaws as we saw last week and the week before the Jewish nation could then defend themselves against the Persians who sought to kill them. Life seem to be chaotic life seem to be hitting a brick wall. But God was in control. So when your life and mine is chaotic and confused, remember that God is always in control. I'm sure all of us here tonight could recount an experience of seeming chaos and confusion in their life when our world is turned upside down when the normal routine of life is upset something happens and we are spun into a confusing, seemingly chaotic situation and God's may seem to be invisible but he is always in principle, is not a God only.

Who rules he overrules John Calvin put it well God's hand is at the helm budgeting in the bulletin the storm and there's no Was no one at the helm. Imagine how that would feel if you're in the board and there's there's no Tend or the cognitive control without a driver, God says Calvin and his right.

His hand is on the helm ends of the woman you might be in the storm of your life events and circumstances and situations and relationships around you may be in total confusion and chaos and everything seems like it. Everything seems hopeless.

Remember there's God's hand is at the helm is the captain of our ship. Jesus is the captain of our salvation. Paul says God works all things after the counsel of his will. I realize that circumstances against you may seem absolutely impossible last night. If you were here we have the quartet singing about these mountains.

These mountains that were face and yet an opportunity and to trust God some person may be in your life like a human who may seem so powerful that there's nothing you can do that. Chillingly speaking, the odds are against you. Remember there's God is in control. Proverbs 21 verse one the king's heart is like channels of more than the hand of the Lord becomes or whatever he wishes that you believe that your employer relationship circumstance and opponent. Someone who is very mean to you someone who is very evil against you.

God can turn that person's heart. Whatever he wishes to God rules and overrules the affairs of men and nations. What's difficult for us. I think particularly for man. By the thing for all of us, but particularly for men and stuff technologies in the you know and control say that man like a remote control in the house more than women to the menu like to hold the remote control we profess to drive rather than be driven. I certainly prefer to drive and pastor probably will be retired yesterday. He certainly prepared to drive. We like to been controlled and we want to be in control of allies would like to panic necessarily in a self-indulgent selfish way like to think that we can order events and we plan and that we make plans and that is good we are to plan want to think of the future and often our intentions are for the best but we acknowledge tonight that you know and control you know in control of your work situation you're not in control of your relationships in control of your finances, you're not in control of your family.

Everything yes everything from the largest of the small everything is under the sovereign hand of God.

Life seems chaotic. Life seems confused. Remember this God is always in control is the second lesson the first lesson when God seems absent is always present, always cares for his people. Second, when life seems chaotic. God is always in control. Third, when the gallows seem to face us. God is always working for over good is not good to know that God all of the time. Yes, all of the time is always working for over good here in the story of Esther, the Jews are facing seemingly certain that Haman is at the pinnacle of.

He's the Prime Minister member is on the private banquet with King as Radisson and Queen Esther, and then the second banquet is his plan for the following day and he's thinking it doesn't get any better than this. He goes home and is bragging to his wife with his family. How wonderful it is.

Life couldn't be better. There's only one problem in his life and that's that you will become this wicked man. This guy came in.

He's at the crest of the wave. It seems as we look at our show that the wicked are flourishing and that Haman this wicked evil man who hates the Jews. He's at the very top of things.

He is so filled with anger against Mordechai, but following the advice of his wife and his friends. He constructs the gallows of 75 feet plans the next day to get the king's permission to hang that catapult you on that. That will be the end of Mordechai Mordechai is facing the gallows and the whole Jewish nation will shortly follow Mordechai to its seems black God's invisible hand is at work is a work for Mordechai's good and for the good of the Jewish nation and the invisible hand of the king of God keeps the king awake little bit of insomnia 14 a has you artists.

God does not like them to sleep because he can't sleep that night. He thinks I want to be caught up in the official history of my kingdom.

I want to read to me and so his history as a red then it just so happens just so happens that the story read to them relates to the conspiracy that taken a few years previously to assassinate him. The very conspiracy which Mordechai had discovered, and the king discovers that the guy had not been on the for saving his life so early the morning between having a sleepless night him and comes to the court. These coming to get the king's permission to hang Mordechai on these big gallows he thought that the king was going to honor him.

When the king asked Sumner what would you do to the man that I should honor his pride is proceeding. His fall in the very gallows which Haman has constructed to hang Mordechai of the very gallows on which he hangs yes when the gallows seem to be facing Mordechai God is working for his good and God sovereignly overruled the evil schemes against his people to demonstrate that this was God. It was an act of grace was an act of mercy.

It wasn't because of the faithfulness of these people was to demonstrate God is faithful to his promises.

And God works for our good.

Amid the gallows of our life is not good to know. Even when you're away from the Lord with the testimony from Scott but at times when he is away from the Lord. Even when Scott was away from the Lord. Even when you are unfaithful to the Lord God is still at work through Bible study through a church through a circumstance God is at work you facing something horrible tonight something disastrous. One of the worst things you think that could ever happen to you is causing your great pain, anxiety, emotional distress problem at work and individual there who hate she was plotting against her terminal illness, possible business collapse family situation a health situation with what's Esther telling us when the gallows interface you remember that God is always working for your good know that's not applied. Richard underlines this often invisible arises behind-the-scenes, it is because Joseph said to his brothers that what you meant for evil God meant for good that God is at work for our goods through the most difficult, painful circumstances of her life.

God often works through the seemingly insignificant trivial events just as the Kings insomnia God can work through that for his glory and for your good. You agree that there are no coincidences with God. We don't talk about lock. Talk about being lucky, we'll talk about the day of some immovable mechanistic force know we don't believe that we believe God's hand is all-powerful is gracious is loving and God is at work through the seemingly chance circumstances of life to accomplish his purposes, and God in a split second can turn the situation around that we in our own cumulative effort could never doing a thousand years behind all of the circumstances God is at work for good.

We call this the providence of God, God ruling, and overruling all of life.

He does this, normally through the normal and ordinary course of human life. Paul says we know that for those who love God all things work together for good for those who are called according to his purpose and so at the end of Esther is read in chapter 10 Mordechai was about to behind the night on gallows's dispensing justice and equity through the whole Belgian Empire and helping the Jewish people.

God is in the business of the reversal of destinies supremely illustrated. Of course, in our Lord Jesus Christ who conquered all of our enemies Satan and Satan in darkness and death itself, and because he lives we live also. Therefore, the Knights don't be discouraged. Will be going hearted. No, don't be Pollyanna face the circumstance.

The seemingly impossible circumstance.

But remember there's God with his invisible hand is working all things for your glory for his good, I can testify that my own life. Many of you could come up here and give particular circumstances of this very truth that in the silences of life and in the hopeless situations of life.

God is at work this week. I had lunch with the past that I'd never met before he happened to be Scottish so we did have a bit of a connection with had about each other and then there he met with me the great lunch told me just a few years back in the church. He went through the most horrible circumstance of his life. I said, I did you respond to that exhibit was very very painful for myself and my wife what he said.

I learned John that God use that to mold me to shape me and find me God taking what seemed to be disaster and using it for his glory and for his good Esther telling us that the God reverses the unexpected outcomes of simulations. He turns the triumph he tried. He turns the gallows to triumph becomes across the glory terms that the life of what you respond directly responses to you. First is to trust the trust if what I'm saying is true, and it is whether you to do what Mike did on to trust God that I realize that sometimes the easy to trust God when things are going well much more difficult to trust God in the darkness, but after trusting because God is for me. He cares for me he loves me.

He's in control is working for our good and therefore to trust them with all of my heart.

As we sign about our hope is that Hathaway said with this strength in our hearts with such truth. This is what Scripture does.

It prepares us, it strengthens us faith seeing the invisible trusting God in the darkness hearing God in the silences trust him when you trust them even when you have no idea how the situation worked out.

You do that you wish that you have with over this.

We all have them. If you give up here and told us about them.

Some people might think that I've pretty trivial compared with mine yes. But do you is very very painful. We trust them member without faith it is impossible to please God. Today, tomorrow the next day live by faith, trust God. Secondly, placement is whatever emphasis et al. reason for this, we come that we will praise God and that we will worship God that's over going to do one on choosing that's what we did this morning is what we did this evening to praise God praise the God who is always in control. Don't complain, but praise God praise the God who was defeated death and darkness. Praise the God that through our Lord Jesus Christ has provided a way of salvation so that this sentence of death over us is being defeated. Our Lord Jesus went into that universe that I don't then if he brings life that says Paul is swallowed up in victory and if our Lord Jesus can do that for us and he has. He said as well able to deal with the situation that you find yourself in when you place an I know you don't feel like singing with the pain.

The difficulties, but we appraise it. We thank God for his grace to praise some third bullet for him. We live for God these things upon Elijah us with the Satan wants for you to be filled with self-pity and to lash out at other people know you live for God is to realize that she been brought into a position for Queen for such a time as this. The Lord put you in a certain streets in Charlotte in a satin bank in mid mint Hill and the seven hospital in Fort Mill.

He put you there for the purpose for such a time and in the midst of the difficulties in the darkness and confusion of life do the right thing live for God to shine for Christ. Leave the consequences to God.

God has placed you in a particular circumstance.

It may be very difficult and you may feel because of the partnership and the suffering that you just in survival mode. I want you to do more than to survive. I want you to shine for Christ to be a light Christ to live for Christ and to love him as we sign this morning to love him with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength God's hand moves invisibly behind-the-scenes is handled, though invisible is always invincible accomplishing his purposes and God's invisible hand holds her hand is not a great way to go through life. I give unto my sheep eternal life, and they shall never perish. No one shall snatch them out of my hand. My father who was given to me, is greater than all and no one is able to snatch the mind of my father's hand.

Just think of this as you go through life here in the hands of the Lord Jesus, you're not hand of God himself, and he will never let you go.

You may not feel the hand you may not be aware of on but God is holding you and God is working in caring for you for your good and for his glory.

Can you stand with me were going to read a prayer is a Scottish dialect. If you don't like it, tell me afterwards but II think I think this prayer neatly summarizes some of the lessons from the book of Esther and we're going to say this. This will be our our prayer time and just asked you to keep standing after we say this prayer as we sing a couple of songs. In conclusion, when treated together thoughtfully as the rain the hides the stars as they often missed hides the hills as the clouds availed the blue of the sky so the dark happenings of my law hi the shining of thy face from me. Yet, if I may hold thy hand in the darkness. It is enough. Since I know that though I may stumble in my going though does not fall

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