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June 3 Today’s Reading: Esther 9-Job 2
“A Day of Feasting and Gladness”
Three times in the 9th chapter of Esther we are told that the Jews kept a day of rest and made it “a day of feasting and gladness,” in celebration of God’s great deliverance. An annual festival was established by which they would remind themselves of God’s great goodness in delivering them from their cruel enemies.
Let us get away to “the mountain of holiness” (God’s church), as often as she gathers to worship the God of all grace, giving thanks for his great salvation in Christ Jesus and his constant, unfailing deliverances of our souls. And let us daily celebrate the same, keeping the blessed gospel feast. — “And in this mountain shall the Lord of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined” (Isaiah 25:6).
That great deliverance from the wrath to come, which the Son of God accomplished for us by his obedience and blood and bestows upon poor sinners by his almighty grace, is a thing never to be forgotten, not for a moment. Here is cause for everlasting festivity! May God the Holy Spirit cause the living waters of grace to bubble in our souls unceasingly and inspire in our hearts the joyful remembrance and celebration of God’s great goodness to us! Then we shall experience the thing he declares in Romans 14:17, “the kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.”
Oh, for grace from God to celebrate in a constant jubilee deliverance from the curse of God's law, the terrors of a guilty conscience, and the everlasting damnation of hell!
Blessed be his name forever! The King's decree has been published and sent through all the earth. There is mercy, grace, and peace, free forgiveness of sin, and full salvation in Christ Jesus! God so loved the world that he sent his only begotten Son to be the Savior of the world, so that all who believe in him should not perish, but have everlasting life! God the Holy Ghost confirms the glorious truth by giving sinners grace to believe the record God has given of his Son in his Word. This is the greatest reason in all the world for men and women to celebrate. — “Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: and let such as love thy salvation say continually, Let God be magnified!”
What a great man Mordecai must have been! Highly exalted, he “waxed greater and greater.” And he used all his greatness to promote the happiness, peace, and prosperity of his people, God’s Israel. But Mordecai fades before him of whom he was a type, our Lord Jesus Christ. Infinitely higher, infinitely greater, infinitely surpassing every other in love and grace and mercy, in power and wisdom and goodness is our dear Savior and King, the Lord Jesus Christ. And he uses all, all that he is and all that he possesses to promote the happiness, peace, and prosperity of his people, the Israel of God, his church!
A Perfect Man
Moving from Esther to the book of Job, we meet with one of whom God says, “There is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil.” I cannot question these facts. Job was God’s servant. He feared God and hated evil. He was a perfect and upright man.
We know that Job was a perfect man, because God says he was. But we also know that he was not a sinless man in the flesh, because he confessed, “I have sinned” (Job 7:20). He said, “If I justify myself, mine own mouth shall condemn me: if I say, I am perfect, it shall also prove me perverse” (Job 9:20). The doctrine of sinless perfection in the flesh (and those who claim to be without sin claim perfection) is contrary to everything revealed in the Word of God. Those who boast of possessing such perfection expose both their ignorance and their corruption. Those who suppose they are equal to the demands of the law of God are ignorant of the law. And those who claim to be perfect, without sin, are vile, wicked, perverse men. They are liars, claiming what they know is false to be the truth, and declaring that God himself is a liar (1 John 1:8-10). What can be more wicked?
What does God mean when he uses the word “perfect” to describe this man Job? Is it possible for a sinful man to be perfect? Can I be both perfect and sinful? Indeed, that is exactly the truth with regard to all who are born of God. In ourselves, in our flesh, by nature, we are nothing but sin. In Christ, we are perfect. In him we are “meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light!” All who trust Christ, all who are born again are, to use the language of Holy Scripture, “perfect in Christ.” He has brought in everlasting righteousness for us by his obedience to Jehovah as our Representative. He has put away our sin by the sacrifice of himself as our Surety. And he has made us “partakers of the divine nature,” taking up residence in us.
Rejoice, my brother! Rejoice, my sister! God says of you as he did of Job, “PERFECT!” As Christ was made sin for us, he has made us the righteousness of God in him. That is what it is to be perfect before God.