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Mar8WedMarch 8, 2017On Sunday we looked at the Book of Esther and how God turned the tables on their enemies. Esther 9:1 “On the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month of Adar, the edict commanded by the king was to be carried out. On this day the enemies of the Jews had hoped to overpower them, but now the tables were turned and the Jews got the upper hand over those who hated them.” We looked at the how God saved his people and saw how God used His faithful followers. Yes some think these events were all orchestrated by man, which is ludicrous, but the book of Esther is part of the biblical canon because the book shows us how God is in control. This book also shows us that God’s timing is perfect when it comes to saving His people.One of the great dangers is to think that God has abandoned us because we can’t see him at work but all the while God is actively orchestrating His plan and in the course of time everything will unfold perfectly. 2 Chronicles 16:9 “For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” You will remember that Esther and Mordecai were faithful servants. If we looked back to Daniel these men were also faithful servants who refused to bow. If you are a faithful servant and you refuse to bow, be at peace and know that God is at work to turn the tables on your enemies. Look at Hannah who pleaded before the Lord. She was in agony because of her rival. 1 Samuel 1:6 “Because the Lord had closed Hannah’s womb, her rival kept provoking her in order to irritate her. 7 This went on year after year. Whenever Hannah went up to the house of the Lord, her rival provoked her till she wept and would not eat.” Then one year as she prayed God answered her prayer. 1 Samuel 1:10 “In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the Lord, weeping bitterly. 11 And she made a vow, saying, “Lord Almighty, if you will only look on your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head. 17 Eli answered, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him. 20 So in the course of time Hannah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, saying, “Because I asked the Lord for him.” As we pray, we must believe God will answer.As we see later, Samuel becomes God’s servant at the perfect time. 1 Samuel 3:19 “The Lord was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of Samuel’s words fall to the ground.” He spoke to him as a boy and said “See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears about it tingle. 12 At that time I will carry out against Eli everything I spoke against his family—from beginning to end. 13 For I told him that I would judge his family forever because of the sin he knew about; his sons blasphemed God and he failed to restrain them. 14 Therefore I swore to the house of Eli, ‘The guilt of Eli’s house will never be atoned for by sacrifice or offering.’”Samuel came along at just the right time. 1 Samuel 2:35 “I will raise up for myself a faithful priest, who will do according to what is in my heart and mind. I will firmly establish his priestly house, and they will minister before my anointed one always.” God will continue to do this through the ages. So we see God at work but we also see Him working through His faithful servants. Yes Hannah was going though hardships but she continued to pray. We saw this with Esther and the sufferings she endured, captivity, loss of family but as Mordecai said to Esther in Esther 4:14 “For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” This was not a coincidence but God’s plan unfolding.As you pray, trust that God has you right where He needs you. Remain faithful and persevere because at the perfect time the tables will turn and God’s perfect plan will unfold. Isaiah 25:1 “Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done wonderful things, things planned long ago. 9 Surely this is our God; we trusted in him, and he saved us. This is the Lord, we trusted in him; let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.”I leave you with Hannah’s prayer. 1 Samuel 2:1 “Then Hannah prayed and said: “My heart rejoices in the Lord; in the Lord my horn is lifted high. My mouth boasts over my enemies, for I delight in your deliverance. 2 “There is no one holy like the Lord; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God. 3 “Do not keep talking so proudly or let your mouth speak such arrogance, for the Lord is a God who knows, and by him deeds are weighed. 4 “The bows of the warriors are broken, but those who stumbled are armed with strength. 5 Those who were full hire themselves out for food, but those who were hungry are hungry no more. She who was barren has borne seven children, but she who has had many sons pines away. 6 “The Lord brings death and makes alive; he brings down to the grave and raises up. 7 The Lord sends poverty and wealth; he humbles and he exalts. 8 He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; he seats them with princes and has them inherit a throne of honor. “For the foundations of the earth are the Lord’s; on them he has set the world. 9 He will guard the feet of his faithful servants, but the wicked will be silenced in the place of darkness. “It is not by strength that one prevails; 10 those who oppose the Lord will be broken. The Most High will thunder from heaven; the Lord will judge the ends of the earth. “He will give strength to his king and exalt the horn of his anointed.”