Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Esther - week 8

Chapter 7 of Esther ends with Haman being hung on the gallows he had built for Mordecai.  Things seem to be looking up for the Jews.  But the reality is that the law has not changed.  Persian law could not be changed.  And even though Esther begged Xerxes to change it, he would not.  He gave Mordecai the signet ring and told them they could write another law.  So Esther and Mordecai give the Jews the right to defend themselves when the Persians attack them. 

God wants our all to be about Him.  He is a jealous God and desires to share us with no one.  There are times in our lives when we ask for it all to just go away, the pain to leave, the memory to be gone, the situation to be  If we never face these moments we will not be able to see God's hand at work.  He wants to work through us so that we know He did it.  Not someone else.  God was not going to allow Xerxes to fix things for the Jewish people.  He wanted His people to know that He fixed things for them by empowering them. 

Another thing that spoke volumes to me from this week's study was being prepared to act.  Mordecai and Esther had fasted and prayed before she took action against Haman.  When Xerxes said write the new decree, they had to act now.  There was no time to wait and see what may be.  Their actions had to be swift.  What would have happened had they not already been fasting and praying?  The outcome could have been very different for them.  We, as children of God, must be ready.  We do not know when our trials will come.  We just know they are coming.  If we are serving God and doing our best to live holy before Him, we know trials and tests are coming.  Satan wants to see us fall flat on our faces in failure.  The trials are coming.  Be ready.  Be reading God's Word.  Continue growing.  Learn from others.   Sometimes we watch those we care about go through trials only to find out years later that we too are facing the same trial.  Be prepared to act!

And remember God can take anything negative in our lives and turn it into something positive.  The Jews in Persia received the decree of their destruction eleven months before it was to take place.  They had to live with that over their heads for a long time.  But in the end God turned that around for their good.  Only He can turn our doubt into faith, our brokeness into wholeness, our bitterness into praise, our sadness into joy. 

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