“For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness” (Psalm 84:10).
It is believed that because of the rebellion of his son Absalom, David has been forced to leave his beloved city Jerusalem and be absent from the public worship of God. In this part of the psalm, David expresses his deep longing to be present in public worship once again.
What an attitude and expression of love and devotion to God—what an example David has set for people regardless of the time in which they live. Worship is not only important, but it is an integral part of the relationship that we are to have with God.
May our desires and attitudes emulate David’s as we deal with life and set our own priorities. May his example stimulate us to have a stronger desire to be in God’s presence in worship whenever the opportunity is available.
"For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father's house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?" (Esther 4:14).
The timeless story of Queen Esther has fascinated adults and children alike down through the ages. From it, we learn much, including the wisdom of doing the right thing at the right time. Timing Is Everything is an expression that has various shades of meaning for different people, but basically it means that the time in which something happens has everything to do with its success.
Esther was a Jewish maiden who was confronted with the biggest challenge of her life, and it worked out for her—the timing was right. She was challenged to go before the king, her husband, to plead for her people who were living in captivity.
When she made the decision to accept the challenge, her own life was in danger because the king had not called for her for thirty days. She did go before the king, and she was successful—her timing was right.
The timing is right in our lives when opportunities for good present themselves to us. If we take advantage of those opportunities, we may be able to accomplish amazing feats for the Cause of Christ, and we just never know: “who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
“For His anger is but for a moment.
His favor is for life;
Weeping may endure for a night,
But joy comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5).
In this verse, David departs from his offer of honor and praise to God to remind everyone that God does have another side: He can be angry. The occasion for David’s praise to God is the dedication of the house of David.
David himself would have experienced God’s anger first hand when he offended Him with his sin. But David’s greatest memory of God is of His favor: sin angers God for the moment, but repentance brings His favor for life.
Being brought to tears because of his sin, David showed his repentance by freely confessing, thus being restored to God’s favor. His “weeping” was, thus, short lived but joy came in a renewed relationship with God.
David’s experience aptly depicts our relationship with God today. When we sin by violating the principles God has laid for us, He is not happy; but when we sincerely come before Him in repentance, His grace freely forgives us and restores us to a wonderful relationship with Him. That is the ultimate “joy” that comes in the morning.
“Go, gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me; neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will fast likewise. And so I will go to the king, which is against the law, and if I perish, I perish!” (Esther 4:16).
Of all the qualities of character that come out of this dramatic statement, determination and unquenchable faith are the two most prominent. Queen Esther has a plan: she knows exactly what needs to happen for its success, and she will carry it through to the end, regardless of the consequences.
The entire Jewish nation, in captivity in Babylon, is under threat of annihilation, and Esther is the only hope of survival. Esther’s cousin, Mordecai, has challenged her to go before the king and make an appeal for her people.
Even as queen of the Medo-Persian empire, Esther is not allowed to go before the king without being called for. Anyone who does so will be killed unless the king holds out his golden scepter to that person. This verse reveals her decision.
God has always wanted servants who have the kind of determination and faith that Esther exhibits here. He wants followers who will have the undying faith to be what they ought to be, regardless of the consequences. He wants that of you and me today.
“See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15-16).
In giving general admonition to the Ephesian congregation that has no serious problems, the Apostle Paul provides encouragement for members there to walk steadfastly in the Christian pathway.
To walk “circumspectly” means to walk accurately or in the right way. “Redeeming” the time is a metaphor taken from merchants and traders that means to buy the opportunity or, in this context, to use their time wisely. “Evil” means dangerous or troublesome.
The message couldn’t be plainer: Christians are to show themselves wise by walking in the way God’s word directs, using their time wisely, and recognizing the spiritual dangers around them.
Paul could not have given any admonition that would have been more appropriate as we begin a new year and, hopefully, renew our spiritual commitment to more diligent attention to living the Christian life and to greater service for the Cause of Christ.