‘Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” – Romans 12:19
As mourners gathered at Ahvaz yesterday to receive the body of Qasem Soleimani, the Iranian general who was killed by a US drone strike last week, many are screaming World War III. People all over the world have been claiming that the death of the beloved Iranian (considered the second most powerful man in Iran), will bring about a war as threats of ‘death to America’ could be heard from the crowds. As we have entered into a new decade, are you in the midst of a war? Have you found yourself being dragged into an unexpected war?
War is described as a ‘state of armed conflict’, and is a condition that we are all too familiar with. From the beginning of time, war has existed as a way to prove power and authority. Often those armed with more weapons, or troops or territory are those that win. Countries with a strong military force, vast territories and allies are those that win. But war doesn’t come without its casualties. War causes great death, irreparable damage to infrastructure and can last a lifetime. It is no wonder that at the mention of war, many crumble and tremble with fear.
Someone who went to war and wasn’t armed with weapons such as missiles or guns , or troops, or territories was Esther in the bible. In the book of Esther, we hear of a woman who was loyal and faithful, and trusted wholly her uncle Mordecai, a man of God. Esther trusted God and because of this, although she was not ready, she stood in for her people. When the king deposed his queen Vashti who failed to obey him, he sought a new queen (Esther 1:19).
Because of her beauty, Mordecai asked her to go to the king, and be his queen, and she succeeded (Esther 2:17). As war approached her door when her uncle refused to bow down to Haman (a newly appointed advisor to the king), he ordered for the death of all Jewish people. Upon hearing this, Mordecai went to Esther to plead with the king as his queen to stop the decree and after devising a strategy which involved a banquet with Haman and the king, Esther succeeded in getting her wish, and Haman along with all the enemies of the Jews were killed.
Esther may not have had guns or machinery, but she knew the God that her uncle served was a God of power. So she used her beauty and intelligence to gain favour and devise a strategy which set her people free. Though she was not ready, though she was a woman in a patriarchal society, though she was scared for her life, she trusted God to be with her. Where hate prevailed, Esther showed love and humility, and these weapons gave her power to win.
So this week, as 2020 has kicked into full swing, trust in the power of God. Though you may find yourself amidst a threat of war, God is your ultimate weapon. It may look like they have all the machines: the law on their side, the backing of a big corporation, the backing of his/her family, the consensus of the medical practitioners etc, at the mention of his name. every knee must bow, for 2020 is you year!.