This is the Great Reversal: many of the first ending up last, and the last first (Matthew 19:30).
There are many great reversals in Scripture: Joseph, Paul, the famine in Samaria, to name a few. But there is none so celebrated as the story of Esther. A story of God's saving power and grace. More than a tale of redemption or survival, it tells of hope and turnaround.
If so far your year looks grim, be encouraged. Now is the time of turnaround. God has been working behind the scenes. You are not forgotten. He is shifting things in your favour. Hold on. Persevere. He is turning everything into good.
The Jewish people celebrate the miraculous turnaround that occurred in the book of Esther each year. In 2014, festivities begin the evening of March 15. If you need a miracle, if you need your situation to turn around, why not rejoice with the Jewish people this year? Hallelujah! Your appointed time of turnaround is near.
For those unacquainted with the story of Esther, here's a quick run down:
The nation of Israel was taken captive by the Babylonians. This was due to rebellion, as prophesied. The current Persian king, Xerxes, needed a new wife. Esther was chosen out of thousands. An undercover Jew.
The king's aid, Haman, had it in for the Jews, especially Mordecai, Esther's uncle. Haman convinced the king to allow him to wipe the Jews off the planet. The date this would occur was chosen by lot (rolling dice).
When Mordecai heard the decree, he asked Esther to intervene. At first she refused, but later realised that saving her people was her destiny. She asked that the Jews to fast and pray with her for wisdom.
Esther approached the king and revealed Haman's plot of wickedness. The king was horrified and wrote a new decree declaring that the Jews could kill anyone who tried to kill them. Haman was hung on the gallows he built for Mordecai. The Jewish people were saved.
You'll get a better idea of everything that transpired if you read the book of Esther yourself.
Now, how does this miraculous turnaround apply in our lives today?
The book of Esther is full of hidden hope. It is the one book in the Bible that does not mention the name of God. Not even once. Yet the message of God's grace and redemption permeates each word.
On the surface, it appears as though God is absent, that the children of Israel were being punished for their sin and rebellion. Haman cast lots to determine the day that mass genocide would occur. It seemed that the Jews' fate was left to chance. Or was it?
The numbers that came up with the roll of the dice were 1-3-3. This number spells the name Agag – King Agag. Haman was a descendant of king Agag. Agag was the king that Saul rebelliously did not kill in battle, eventhough God told him to. The spiritual connotations of King Agag include rebellion, witchcraft, and confusion.
Agag torments the mind. If your mind has been tormented lately, you are not alone. It may seem that confusion and rebellion have been winning. But what of the flip side?
If 1-3-3 is on the upside, the other side of the dice is 6-4-4. This number represents King David. A man after God’s heart. Giant killer. Great warrior.
The hidden hope of turnaround. In the natural, all was lost, but turnaround told a different story. There is hidden hope in your situation, too. Goliath is slain. Confusion is gone. Victory has come.
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them (Romans 8:28).
Sacrifice for Wisdom
The catalyst for turnaround was humility and prayer. The people humbled themselves before God by fasting. When they did, wisdom came. Esther's uncle, Mordecai, was the brunt of lies and gossip. Yet with wisdom, Esther was able to reveal the truth.
The odds may be stacked against you. Humble yourself. Sacrifice something as you spend time with the Lord. He will reveal his ways. People may be saying nasty things about you. Don't look for revenge. Ask the Lord for wisdom. You are on the verge of turnaround. Be strong. Your vindication will come.
If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking (James 1:5).
When King Xerxes recognised that he decreed punishment on innocent people, he was too late. A king's decree could not be reversed. So to correct the injustice, Xerxes declared that on the day chosen for their annihilation, the Jews could fight back.
In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross (Colossians 2:15).
The devil has been tormenting you long enough. Fight back. He is the defeated foe. Jesus has triumphed over him. You have been equipped with the armour of God to oppose every spiritual attack. Don't passively allow things to happen. Stand your ground and see turnaround take place in your situation.
God, we believe today is our turnaround day. Things might look bad, but we know you are working for us behind the scenes. We believe for a miracle. We believe for complete victory over our enemy, the devil. Where he has tormented us in the past, he can never torment us again. It is turnaround, and we celebrate You and Your victory in the presence of our enemy. We are fighting back and we are the winners.
Sarah Coleman is an Australian author and communicator. Her books include Single Christian Female and Make Yourself Amazing. She is passionate about the Kingdom of God. She also loves being a wife and mother to two boys. To read more of Sarah's thoughts go to sarahcoleman.com.au.
Publication date: March 11, 2014