Friday 25th May 2018 - Daily Reading:
Esther 10 - Extravagant Love by Becky White

The book of Esther is the only book of the Bible that doesnít explicitly refer to God, and yet Godís hand is evident throughout. For those of us who recognise the hallmarks of the Lord at work, he is woven throughout this story as he is woven throughout history.

We have seen that Esther and Mordecai were hardly model Jews. They had not even returned to Jerusalem after the period of exile was over. And yet God still worked among them and reached out his hand to save not only them, but all of the Jews still living in Xerxesí kingdom. There was not one of Godís chosen people that was lost to him or outside of his view.

Jesus told his followers the parable of the lost sheep, where the shepherd leaves the 99 to search for the one that is lost. There is something very strange about this parable. Would we really expect a good and diligent shepherd to leave 99 sheep unprotected in a field while he went off to look for just one sheep? No! Most likely a human shepherd would cut his losses and make sure the 99 were safe.

Yet Godís love for us is extravagant, outrageous and unexpected. He reaches out his hand to save a people who arenít even paying him any attention. He sacrifices his own son as an atonement for the sins of a human race that barely acknowledges his existence. He leaves the 99 to search high and low for the one. And then when he finds the one, he celebrates!

Praise God for his infinite grace and mercy, for even when we were sinners, lost in darkness and far from him, he reached down into history with his extravagant love and saved us, and drew us to himself, and called us his sons.

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