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01/01/2021 03:00 - 02/01/2021 02:00

“Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert” - Isaiah, 43:19 (NIV).

A longtime ago a whole nation of the Jews faced the threat of extermination. A highly placed court official, Haman, had great influence on the king, Xerxes, whom he sought to influence, for his wicked purpose. “If it pleases the king, let a decree be issued to destroy them” (Esther 3:9) he urged. But there were two obstacles.

First, there was an official linked to the same nation, Mordecai, who, once he heard of the plot, knew he needed to persuade the king against. Fortunately, he had a while ago arranged an orphan girl, a cousin, he had adopted to be married to the king (Esther 2). So he called her and brought the matter to her attention, urging her to use her intimate relationship with the king to persuade him against (Esther 4).

Esther knew that the king was not an easy man. Sometime ago when a Queen, Vashti, had refused his summons, he had banished her ( Esther 1). If someone went into the king’s presence without being summoned he would be put to death ( Esther 4:9). So, before Esther went out to talk to King Xerxes, she sent out a call. “Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day, I, and my maids, will fast as you do. When it is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish” (Esther 4: 15-16).

After, Esther entered the king’s presence.  The King’s heart immediately yielded towards her. “What is it, Queen Esther? What is your request? Even up to half a kingdom, it will be given you” ( Esther 5:3). Ultimately Herman’s wicked plot was laid bare before the king who then ordered that instead of the Jews he be executed. “So they hanged Haman on the gallows he had prepared for Mordecai” (Esther 7:10).

This story teaches us that even the worst plot against our lives can be frustrated, especially where, in spite of all, we take the matter to God and plead to Him, to turn the tide in our favor. To do this, Esther, took time out, sought and cried to God, who heard her pleas. Perhaps, any of us, faced with an equally pressing matter, we could too, taking after Esther, take time out, cry out to God, and surely a breakthrough will come our way!

Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, creator of heaven and earth, as 2021 opens, I cry out to you, that no matter the obstacle that stands in my way, you help me break through, and may the glory go to you!

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    “Vindicate me, my God, and plead my cause against an unfaithful nation. Rescue me from those who are deceitful and wicked” (Psalm 43:1)

    To be vindicated is to be cleared of blame or suspicion. Someone is vindicated when he is eventually proved right or justified. In his reign as King of Israel, David was not short of enemies. One was his very son Absalom who divided his people and mounted a coup that threw him off the throne. After Absalom had raised enough support, “a messenger came to David, saying, “The hearts of the men of Israel are with Absalom.” So David said to all his servants who were with him at Jerusalem, “Arise, and let us flee, or we shall not escape from Absalom..” (1 Samuel 15:13-14).

    Pushed out of power, David longed to be vindicated. His situation is no different from any person who has been mistreated, done poorly and cast out of a position for apparently no fault of his. So often one comes across innocent public servants who have been put on katebe, the local speak for being made redundant. Intrigues being part of life there is never a day that passes without someone somewhere conspiring and scheming against a blameless person. False rumors are spread and before long one is forced out of his job.

    Where do you turn when your enemies are having you for a field day? Quite obvious there are those who give in to bitterness and use the evil ways their enemies exceled in to launch a counter attack. If their enemies bribed their way to power, so they do. If they spread malice, so they embrace. If they sought out occult powers, they arm themselves with these.

    Pushed out of power, David, rather sought the Almighty God. He went “to the top of the mountain, where he worshiped God” ( 2 Samuel 15:32). He prayed that his enemy Absalom would fall pray to his evil devices through foolish counsel, causing him confusion. The Lord answered David’s prayer and his army went to battle with Absalom and defeated him, leading to his death at the hand of David’s General Joab (2 Samuel 18).

    Today, should you be grappling with a situation where you feel done wrong, do not let your enemies have the better part of you, but turn to God, who will vindicate you. “For the LORD will vindicate his people and have compassion on his servants” (Psalm 135:14).

    Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I pray for you to vindicate me in all my affairs, where I have been falsely accused, done poorly, and that glory may go to you, this I pray in Jesus’ name!