And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, He gave up His Spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. Matthew 27:50-51 ~ Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me …then the LORD will be my God… and of all that You give me I will give You a tenth.” Gen 28:20-22 ~ ” And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14
Genesis 28 – Jacob heard his father’s command and blessing, and obeyed. Enduring great inconvenience, he married within his faith. Esau ran in the opposite direction. (“See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau” Hebrews 12:16) Jacob’s faithfulness brought God near (James 4:7-8). Hearing the Lord’s promised blessings caused Jacob to react. A verbal contract backed up by tangible actions: Jacob vowed that “the LORD will be my God” and “of all that You give me I will give You a tenth.”
Matthew 27 – Jesus’ friend betrayed him. The religious leaders chose to kill the “good teacher”. The soldiers mocked the Son of God. The official ruler declared Jesus innocent. Yet All the people answered, “Let His blood be on us and on our children!” v.25. God’s actions said, Let it be so.
The Son of God chose to die for each of them, and me. He carried out His mission to the point of being forsaken by His God and Father. (v.46, Psalm 22) Jesus gave up His Spirit. No one took it from Him. His Father proved that the Sacrifice was acceptable by tearing the curtain of the temple in two from top to bottom. (v. 50-51) A witness stated, “Surely he was the Son of God!”
Jesus took the wrath of God upon Himself so that I can be acceptable to His Father and am enabled to live for God on His terms.
Esther 4 – I have been born into my family and circumstances. God knows what He is doing. The Holy One never makes mistakes. Every moment I have a choice. I can stand up for what God says and does, or I can back down and perish. God Word tells me how I can live the life God desires for me, pointing others to Christ Jesus. I can help save eternal souls along the way. Or I can wimp out and be ashamed of my Awesome Magnificent Good God. I can fear man and try to control my temporal life, valuing anything more than my relationship with Jesus Christ. Yet I must account to God for my ignoring His commands, for causing pain and eternal suffering of other people, and all to my deep personal detriment. Esther chose the right thing. Fast, pray, seek God’s power and strength, and then go and do as God commands with boldness for the love of God and people. 162
Acts 27 – In my life I have all sorts of trouble. I can’t even predict them in order to prepare for them. So I must cling to my relationship with Jesus and His Word. I must live by God’s Holy Spirit. Only then can I ride out the storm with His Peace, wisdom and protection, for His good purposes and glory.
Lord God, Creator of my soul, I do not want to be like Judas or Esau. I do not want to turn my head, heart or will against You, the Son of God. But when I do, by my thoughts, attitudes, words and actions, Lord, remind me “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.” 2 Corinthians 7:10 You are eager to forgive me. All I have to do is repent, hate my sin by seeing it as You see it, and then live with You and not against You. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
Father God, I want to be like Jesus, Jacob, Esther and Paul, doing Your will. Lord, I surrender my thoughts and patterns to Yours. Build within me a breach of loyalty to the ideologies of those who do not take Your Word to heart and action. Reveal to me where I am yoked with “disbelief” in my marriage, parenting, in business attitudes and practices, and in cultural (im)morals. You sealed me with Your Holy Spirit to be your forever-child. May I live conscious of Your Goodness and fully tithe before taxes cheerfully out of gratitude for Your Son taking Your wrath for me!! Thank You! – What a small price to pay (out of Your gifting to begin with!) for eternal salvation!! Use Your money Your way to increase Your Kingdom my Lord! I delight in Your Presence. It is more joyous to me than anyone or anything else! Thank you that Your Word is true! If I live Your way You will have Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven! I look forward to it!! Amen