10-18-14 Oh, Contraire My Friend

“You can’t prove God exists.” Challenged a coworker of mine from years back. We enjoyed verbal sparring while working.

 I replied, “Oh contraire my friend.”

He stopped what he was doing, put his hands on his hips and asked, “Are you going to have God hit me with lighting?”

“That would get me in trouble with the boss, the fire department would show up, plus cleaning you off the floor would take too long.  The reality is that you, right now, prove God exists.  The fact that you are alive and breathing proves God exists. Without God there would be no life, there would be no you.”

Since my coworker didn’t like to lose, the verbal sparring kept up for a while. Then, it got quiet while we worked.  He had something to think about.

Many things about God and salvation are contrary to what I originally believed. That doesn’t change the reality of them.  God does exist whether I believe it or not.  God does save through Jesus Christ whether I believe it or not. I am learning to change my thinking to line up with the Bible, not make the Bible line up with my misbeliefs.

There were some in the kingdom that wanted the Jews exterminated and were looking forward to Extermination Day, which Haman had ordered.  They felt they were powerful enough to accomplish this, but reality was contrary to what they believed, as they would soon find out.

“Now in the twelfth month, that is, the month Adar, on the thirteenth day of the same, when the king's commandment and his decree drew near to be put in execution, in the day that the enemies of the Jews hoped to have power over them, (though it was turned to the contrary, that the Jews had rule over them that hated them;)” Esther 9:1.

© copyright Kevin T Boekhoff

10-17-14 Armed and Dangerous

“Whatever you do, do not put your hand in the hamster’s cage.” My childhood buddy told me as he gave me his hamster.  “It’s mean.”

He was right.  I had to put on thick leather gloves to handle the little tan and white rodent when I had to clean the cage.  I discovered my free hamster wasn’t really a great deal.  I suspected that my friend hadn’t been so friendly to his hamster. 

One day, as I gave the hamster some food, I noticed that he had escaped and was on the lam.  I could not find him anywhere. I did find some hamster food in one of my shoes.  Thus, it seemed to me that this was a premeditated escape. He was on the loose, armed and dangerous with sharp teeth.

Later, bedtime came and I did not want to spend the night in the same room as a maniacal hamster.  My dad still picks on me for abandoning my room because of a little harmless hamster.  He didn’t know that this hamster might very well have been a serial killer in the making.  Eventually, I captured him and returned him to his proper habitat.

Fear can be a powerful motivator.  Some people respond to the love of God, while others trust Christ as Savior out of fear of hell. Both are legitimate incentives to trust Christ. 

The kingdom that Esther and Mordecai lived in had many different peoples and cultures within its borders – much like America today.  Some of those people responded to the news that the Jews could defend themselves by converting to Judaism.  The Jews were now armed and dangerous.

“And in every province, and in every city, whithersoever the king's commandment and his decree came, the Jews had joy and gladness, a feast and a good day. And many of the people of the land became Jews; for the fear of the Jews fell upon them.” Esther 8:17.

© copyright Kevin T Boekhoff

10-16-14 Good News

Haman’s evil goal of killing all the Jews would have brought death and hardship to the kingdom. A dark time, mourning, sadness and dishonor upon the kingdom would have resulted. However, Mordecai helped the king to right. This is a picture of repentance by a kingdom.  Without repentance the kingdom would have continued on a downward direction for years, leading possible financial ruin. Instead, the entire kingdom rejoiced and was glad.

I have witnessed people steeped in misery and hardship because of their poor decisions in life become happy and healthy once they turned to God.  The word, “gospel” means “good news.” Those that have responded to the good news have traded the life of darkness and hopelessness from sin, along with its misery, unhappiness and dishonor for light, gladness, joy and honor.

I praise God that I turned from my sin to Jesus Christ.  I can only imagine the miserable existence I may be living today had I rejected the good news.  Certainly, my life is not trouble free, but I experience light, gladness, joy and honor that I never would without Jesus. 

“And Mordecai went out from the presence of the king in royal apparel of blue and white, and with a great crown of gold, and with a garment of fine linen and purple: and the city of Shushan rejoiced and was glad. The Jews had light, and gladness, and joy, and honour.” Esther 8:15-16

© copyright Kevin T Boekhoff

10-15-14 Serenaded by Silence

We had a new apartment that we stayed in temporarily.  The previous tenants had not moved out.  The people had, but there were some living beings squatting on the premises. They were totally delinquent in caring for the place or paying rent.  They wouldn’t move out as we moved in, they simply hid wherever they could.  I began a watch to evict as many as possible.  Since they were uncooperative, I had to resort to quick movements which inflicted serious, and sometimes fatal, injuries to these characters.

During the night one decided to be outright belligerent, or stupid - I was unable to interview him about his sudden musical outburst.  I listened to him for approximately 37 seconds and the words from this verse came to mind, I will set out “to destroy, to slay and cause to perish” all singing crickets. I then took a flashlight and began searching for him.  I would stop and listen and then shine the light in the direction of the sound.  He continued singing, even in the “spotlight.” I cornered him near the sliding glass door and fulfilled my promise.  He never sang again.  I much prefer to be serenaded by silence in the wee hours of the morning.  

God gave the Jews the power to protect themselves by moving the King’s heart to do so.  He could have let things go.  Esther and Mordecai wrote a solution and made it law according to the power and responsibility given to them by the King.

“Wherein the king granted the Jews which were in every city to gather themselves together, and to stand for their life, to destroy, to slay, and to cause to perish, all the power of the people and province that would assault them, both little ones and women, and to take the spoil of them for a prey” Esther 8:11.

© copyright Kevin T Boekhoff