The Lord Will Provide

Today’s reading comes from chapter C of Esther, a Septuagint addition: EST C:12, 14-16, 23-25

In ESL class in sixth grade we studied idiomatic expressions and adages.  One particular adage that caught my attention was, “there are no atheists in foxholes”.  The idea that when it comes to the final hour that a person would turn to a deity is not a perplexing one – I am Vietnamese after all, and growing up in Viet Nam everyone I knew worshiped some kind of deity.  What was interesting to me at this point was that it took people to the final hour to relinquish their wanting to control everything over to fear and thus must place hope in something they believed to be improbable or impossible.  I say this because growing up, all people I know worshiped all the time.  They entrusted everything to their deities because their simple peasantry knew instinctively what we “learned and progressive people” do not: that many things are out of their control.

Queen Esther’s prayer to YHWH in this reading ought to remind us Christians of one very crucial bit of our faith: our deliverance and very salvation is reliant upon the grace of the Ever Living God.  And if we can (and must) entrust the Lord with our lives and our salvation, we must also entrust to the Lord every facet of our lives.  It would be silly for a manager to trust someone who reports to him with a very important task, but not trust him with a mundane and minute one.  Christ reminds us of this in Luke’s Gospel: “Do not worry about your life, as to what you will eat; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. “For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. “Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap; they have no storeroom nor barn, and yet God feeds them; how much more valuable you are than the birds!”

Let us trust the Lord with everything that we are and everything that we have.

Happy Thursday of the first week of Lent, friends!

Trusting God with Our Lives

Today’s reading comes from IS 55:10-11

Faith is more than just trust, but trust is an inherent and paramount dimension of faith.  The entirety of the Old Testament text recalls moments of fidelity and moments of infidelity from the Israelites to YHWH and His enduring faithfulness to them.  When the Israelites trusted YHWH they flourished, and when they did not they suffered.  Here, Isaiah reminds us that whatever suffering they endured was not because of YHWH’s unfaithfulness to His word; rather, they suffered because they did not keep their promises to Him.  Whatever YHWH promised He will do for the Israelites, He did.  Was it not Him who delivered them from Babylon as promised?

What about His promise to us in the new covenant?  There is no doubt that His promise has been fulfilled.  He promised us freedom from the slavery of sin and death.  He has kept His promise: he exchanged his tears from this freedom; he paid the ransom with his flesh and sinew; he bought us this freedom with his very own body.  As for us, we must learn to trust in Him.  Trusting in YHWH requires that we have no backup plans like the Israelites who worshipped YHWH but also Baal and Asherah for needs that they think YHWH might not be able to provide.  Trusting in God means that even the very fundamental thing we need for living – our daily bread – is something we ask Him to provide.

Happy Tuesday of the first week of Lent, friends.