September 18th Devotion

The God of Great Reversals – Alistair Begg

When the king’s command and edict were about to be carried out, on the very day when the enemies of the Jews hoped to gain the mastery over them, the reverse occurred: the Jews gained mastery over those who hated them. Esther 9:1

Haman and his cronies had been confident that the annihilation of the Jewish population on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month was inescapable. It had been decreed throughout the kingdom. The Jews were going to be obliterated. But when the day dawned, the Jews overpowered their enemies instead. Haman and his friends had taken nearly a year determining what would be the best day for their enemies to be killed (Esther 3:7). No wonder that the author is specific about the date when the great reversal took place: “on the very day” Haman had chosen!

This is just one of several great reversals in the book of Esther. Earlier, Haman had emerged from the banquet with the king and Esther the queen feeling as if he was on top of the world. He had gone home to his wife and friends and “recounted to them the splendor of his riches, the number of his sons” (Esther 5:11). Yet on that day chosen by Haman, all ten of his sons, his crowning glory, were killed (9:7-10). His family plummeted from exaltation to devastation.

Mordecai’s experience was just the opposite. He went from obscurity and apparent irrelevance to becoming the most powerful man under the king. He started off as “a Jew in Susa the citadel” who sat at the king’s gate (Esther 2:5)—which doesn’t sound like much! But by the end of the book, he “was great in the king’s house, and his fame spread throughout all the provinces, for the man Mordecai grew more and more powerful” (9:4).

Mordecai and Esther did not gloat over the destruction of their enemies. They did, however, dance and celebrate with their Jewish community (Esther 9:18) because they recognized that these reversals were God’s doing, and so they were marvelous in their eyes (Psalm 118:23). We can almost hear them singing the song of deliverance:

You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
you have loosed my sackcloth
and clothed me with gladness,
that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent.
O LORD my God, I will give thanks to you forever! (Psalm 30:11-12)

God is the God of great reversals. He can turn a curse into blessing. He achieves the impossible, the word irreversible means nothing to Him, and no situation is irredeemable for Him. The cross of Calvary stands as the ultimate and eternal evidence of this.

If you are facing circumstances that look hopeless, call out to God for help. Even though you may have to wait through your entire earthly pilgrimage, He promises to deliver you. And if you have already experienced one of God’s reversals in your life, take time to give thanks and sing His praise. He is good indeed!
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