[bibletalk] Patience and Comfort (part 3)

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From: "Steve Preston" <prstn496@...>
Date: Sat, 23 Jul 2011 06:21:51 -0400
Patience and Comfort (part 3)


"For  whatsoever  things  were written aforetime were written for
our  learning,  that  we  through  patience  and  comfort  of the
scriptures  might  have hope" (Romans 15:4). Our study of the Old
Testament  (OT)  scriptures  has  so far seen several examples of
God's  faithfulness  in fulfilling His promises. The hope we gain
from  these examples also strengthens our faith. And we can never
have enough faith. Continuing with this same theme let us look at
other  OT  events  in order to further uplift and encourage us to
continue in hope.

One  of  the  many  "thorns  in  the  side"  of  Israel  was  the
Philistines.  There  came  a time once again that the Philistines
attacked Israel after the man Samuel became known as a prophet of
God  (I Samuel 4:1-2). The Israelites were defeated soundly which
caused  the  elders of Israel to wonder why God was not with them
(4:3).  The  decision  was  made  to retrieve the ark of God from
Shiloh  where  it had been for several years. As the ark made its
way  into  the  camp of the children of Israel, a great shout was
made that even caused the Philistine army to take notice (4:6-7).
Even  the  wicked  Philistines  knew  that  when God was with His
children, nothing and no one could oppose them. Unfortunately for
the Jews, God was not with them and they were once again punished
for  their unfaithfulness and the ark of God was taken from them.
However,  God did indeed end up punishing those that took the ark
(1  Samuel  5). Our example is that God is in control wherever He
is  and  whatever  situation  that might arise. As long as we are
faithful  to  the  Father  we  can  be fully assured that we will
prevail against the world.

The  story of Esther is a familiar one to Bible students. Because
Esther  was  very beautiful and happened to be in the right place
at  the  right  time,  she  became queen to king Ahasuerus "which
reigned, from India even unto Ethiopia, over an hundred and seven
and  twenty provinces" (Esther 1 - 2:9). Esther was raised by her
uncle Mordecai. This Mordecai refused to pay homage to one Haman,
high  in  authority  and  reverenced  by  the  people. Mordecai's
refusal  to  give  reverence  to Haman caused Haman to conceive a
plot  to  destroy  the Jews because Mordecai was a Jew as well as
Esther   (3:5-  11).  Fortunately  for  the  Jews,  Queen  Esther
convinced the king to issue a decree that would allow the Jews to
defend  themselves  against the forces sent to destroy them (8:5-
11).  Once  again, the faithfulness of a child of God (though His
name  is never mentioned in the book) turns back evil that others
had  intended.  Do you think God would any less today protect His
children?

As   long  as  we  live  in  the  world,  we  cannot  escape  the
persecutions  and  trouble that will come from that world. But we
can  have hope that even when our lives appear to be in shambles,
when we think that nothing is going right, there is hope that one
day  we  will no longer have to endure the hardships. We can have
hope  that  God  will  give us "rest with us, when the Lord Jesus
shall  be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels" (II Thess.
1:7). Live for God and live with hope.


In Christ, Steve Preston


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