2015-06-28 Finding hope
ACH Study Groups
Ben & Fran Gilmore – Cofounders
7659 Gingerblossom Drive
Citrus Heights, CA 95621
This is a letter to our friends –
In my last blog post, I told the story of Vashti losing her crown. A dear friend sent me corrections to the story (below). He admonished me about “enhancing” God’s word and he is right! Please accept my apologies.
Just to clarify, Ahasuerus, summoned his wife on the 7th day of the feast, it had not lasted for a month. There was a prior feast in a different part the country that lasted 180 days, but the feast you mentioned had only lasted for 7. The Bible gives no indication that it was an orgy, in fact, it gives every evidence that the women were separate from the men. Ahasuerus was not "drunk", the Bible uses the word "merry", a very different term than the Bible’s term forbidding "drunkenness" (please see II Chronicles 7:10 where the Bible uses the same word for "merry"). And lastly, she was not ordered to dance, only to display her royal beauty. In fact, by the account given in Scripture, Vashti disobeyed a lawful request from her husband, and a lawful request from her king. I only point these out because it is very important that Christians only present the Word of God for what it is, not for what we read into it, or how our cultural background interprets it.
Regarding “Finding hope” – Many have seen the moral decline of our society and lost hope in a recovery. “There is a tipping point beyond which there is no recovery.” Like Jonah they are ready to sit and observe God’s overdue hand of justice fall upon our society.
They may be right! We have certainly earned God’s justice as a society. Looking at “reality” in America – it is what it is!
Given those happy thoughts – Where does one look to find hope? God told Moses He was fed up with His “chosen” people and was about to start over with Moses. “Don’t do it,” said Moses, “It will give you a vengeful reputation in the world.” The Bible says that God said He would change His mind! Prayer DOES change things!
Realistically, I find no hope for our society.
Knowing God, I find abundant hope for our society. To begin with – The ungodly have captured most of our sources of news. If God’s hand were at work, do you suppose the news media would encourage us by telling us about it?
Look at Bible stories, then look at the stories of miraculous “coincidences” in American history. Today’s situation is certainly not the first time things looked hopeless! As a matter of fact, it appears to me the darkest times are when God likes to move.
Re-read 2nd Chronicles 7:14. God has a lot invested in America – The first ever nation founded upon His principles. He prefers mercy over justice – if it is reasonable. What makes it reasonable? Humble people admitting our sins and turning to Him for salvation as a nation – for His sake and the sake of His principles.
Many will say, “That just isn’t reasonable!” That is what makes it worthwhile. God gets the credit! Individuals – you and me – uniting in humble prayer for mercy over justice for America. Nothing is impossible for God!
When He comes to check on me, I want to be found excited about what He is about to do to heal our land! It sure beats hunkering down and waiting for justice to fall!