He was not mentioned but he was there

By Johnny O. Trail — Esther is a small book found in the Old Testament that many have read throughout the millennia. It is interesting to note that the word for “God” is not found in this ten-chapter book. While God is not mentioned in the book of Esther, one finds him providentially working in the lives of his people.

The book of Esther and the lives of the people mentioned therein illustrate some powerful biblical principles. Some of them are:

  1. Esther demonstrates how the prideful reason about themselves.
  2. God providentially works in the lives of those who are his people—in Esther’s age and ours too.
  3. Obedience is necessary to effectuate the salvation of God’s people.
  4. Hatred and racism are age-old problems that all generations of people have had to face.
  5. The prideful will fail whereas the humble will find refuge and protection in God’s care.

Continue reading “He was not mentioned but he was there”

The power of hate

“For we once ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another” (Titus 3:3 NKJV).

Atrocities like those recently committed in Paris and Mali continue to outrage and astonish. We ask, “How can anyone treat other people like that?” I recently participated in a conversation in which the point was made that some cultures promote hatred as a virtue. In most nations in which Christianity has had influence children are taught to love and do good to others. But in many other settings they are taught to hate others, whether it be traditional enemies, strangers, or persons of different race or religion. Violent revenge is held up as a duty and an objective of which to be proud. Continue reading “The power of hate”

When hatred consumes us

Having favourites can lead to problems, especially when it is those of your own family. You would have thought Jacob would have learned his lesson in this. After all, both of his parents had a different favourite son, which had led to his having to flee for his life and live with his relatives in the north.

Of his two wives, he had an obvious favourite, but it led to his wives competing to see who could have his affections. And now he had thirteen children, twelve of whom were sons! You might think that he would have learned to stop playing favourites. Continue reading “When hatred consumes us”

Are they still hungry?

How often do we make rash statements? Statements, that if we had taken just a moment to think through, we would never have made, yet statements that lock us into a particular course of action. This is what we find in Acts 23.

The apostle Paul had been taken prisoner on a trumped up charge (see Acts 21:28). All the Roman commanding officer knew was that because of Paul the Jews had come close to rioting during the time of Pentecost (see Acts 20:16). When Paul spoke to him in Greek he figured out that he wasn’t the Egyptian outlaw with 4000 assassins following him. Paul offered to speak to the people and the officer gave him permission, hoping, it would seem, to gain some insight into why the people were trying to kill this man. Continue reading “Are they still hungry?”