10 And Nehemiah continued, “Go and celebrate with a feast of rich foods and sweet drinks, and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared. This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!”— Nehemiah 8:10 NLT
After the work on the walls of Jerusalem had been completed and the gates were hung in place, Ezra gathered all the people together and took a census. Then he sent them all home. They reassembled in Jerusalem and asked Ezra to read to them all of the Book of the Laws of Moses. As Ezra and the scribes read the laws, the people wept remembering their disobedience. They realized how much God had forgiven them and how he had brought them safely back to Jerusalem. They had seen how God had provided everything they needed to rebuild the walls. Though the enemy came close shouting insults and discouragement, God had protected them while they finished the work. Ezra and the priests explained to the people that this was not a day for weeping but a day for rejoicing and celebration. There are times in our lives, when some things need to be rebuilt. When some unexpected event has shaken our faith, we need time to rest and heal. Perhaps a close friend has broken our trust or one of our spiritual leaders has fallen from grace. The enemy will come close whispering discouraging words in our ear. God will protect us through the storm and when the skies are clear, it will be a time for rejoicing and celebration for us just as it was for the Israelis in the days of Ezra and Nehemiah.
We are familiar with the story of Esther and how God exalted her to the position of queen in a most unlikely situation. Besides Esther, there are three other people God had positioned strategically for this particular time. God needed a man with the the authority to make things happen so He had positioned Xerxes as king. He needed a villain, He chose Haman for this role. Haman was the perfect villain for this time, he hated Mordecai and all of the Jews. God needed a hero, someone who would refuse to bow to the villain and with the backbone to stand up for God’s people. He chose Mordecai who had a little known history with the king. In the past, he had warned the king about a plot to kill the king and for this he had never been rewarded (at least not in earthly ways). Mordecai was also a man of compassion. We know this because he had taken his cousin, Hadassah, also known as Esther and raised her as his own daughter after his uncle died. God had prepared and positioned each of these people to carry out His plan to free His people and destroy the enemy. God is preparing each of us to do the same thing today. Are we ready and willing to do our part when all the people involved come together? If not, how do we get ready?
15 Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth. — 2 Timothy 2:15 NLT