|The king extends his sceptre to Esther - Artist unknown|
TO CHEW ON: "The Jews gathered together in their cities …. And no one could withstand them, because fear of them fell upon all people." Esther 9:2
Here we read again what we've read before—of God coming to the aid of His helpless and outnumbered people, the Jews, using the psychological weapon of fear in their enemies.
This fear of the Jews is an old theme from when God promised to help the Israelites conquer Canaan. Moses reminded the Israelites of this repeatedly in passages like Numbers 14:9, Deuteronomy 7:24, 11:25; 28:7; 32:30.
When Joshua became their leader, God promised to help him in the same way - Joshua 1:5; 10:8. We read of the results of this fear in places like Joshua 12:1; 21:44; 23:9.
The Old Testament prophets continued to predict fear in the enemies of the Jews. God was intent on preserving the people out of which His Son would be born to bring salvation for the world - Isaiah 19:17; Jeremiah 15:20; Daniel 11:16; Zechariah 9:13. This incident in Persia is an example of this fear in action.
When Jesus walked the earth, we recall the many times during his life when the scribes and Pharisees, who were intent on killing him, were mysteriously hindered from harming Him by fear of one kind or another - Matthew 21:26,46; Mark 12:12; Luke 5:26; 20:19.
And the wonderful thing is that the promise of invincibility comes down to us.
Jesus promised about the church that the "... gates of hell shall not prevail against it" - Matthew 16:18.
Paul tells Christians to put on the armor of God, take up the shield of faith and in this way they would be able to "... quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one" - Ephesians 6:16.
No wonder the demons believe and "... tremble" - James 2:19.
When we feel small, insignificant, and badly outnumbered in an unbelieving world, let's not lose sight of the fact that God is still at work in the enemy's ranks. And He still has the weapon of fear in His arsenal.
PRAYER: Dear God, please help me to live with confidence that Your plans and purposes for this world will never be thwarted. Amen.
MORE: Modern fear of the Jews
When former KGB spy Jack Barsky (a Soviet spy in the U.S. during the Cold War years) recently talked to Steve Kroft of 60 Minutes, he said that the Jews were one of three things the Soviets feared most during those years. (The others were AIDS and Ronald Reagan).
Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.