There is a small, obscure book in the Old Testament that is usually overlooked even by faithful students of the Bible. Scholars for years have questioned that ESTHER should even be a part of the Bible for the name of God is not mentioned once in the whole book!
Yet the more I have read and reread this book, the more I see it's relevance for our lives today. Shakespeare does not appear in his plays, yet there is no question that his voice appears in every line and his orchestration is behind every scene. No one would doubt that he didn't exist just because they didn't see him on stage.
So our God and Creator is the Almighty playwright that stands behind the curtains and directs the "Play of Life" in which we are leading actors and actresses! The world cannot see Him and yet He is no less real as He stands in the shadows and orchestrates the events of our lives.
Most of us will not hear and see God speak to us in a burning bush. Few of us will see a hand appear and write us a message on a wall. And not too many will receive word from God via one of His angels. No-- most of us live in a routine world. While it is easy to see God in the miraculous it is harder to see Him in the mundane. Yet that is where we live.
God knows every line and action of your life. Silently He stands in the wings and directs. He knows the big picture and how you can best do your part. As we cooperate with our Director, we'll find an amazing harmony and balance unfold in the drama of our lives. This is what our story is really about. The scene unfolds in a particular place - at a particular time and with certain characters, but it is only an example of a life story in which God stands behind every event despite the fact that His name is not mentioned.
Let's see what we can learn this month from ......
Day 1- What is God's guidance to us regarding our government
Romans 13:1/ I Peter 2:13-14
Day 2- How are we to respond to their laws and commands?
Day 3- Although we are to respect our authorities (and in this case
extends to a husband), we must recognize that God's law is higher and above the
laws of men. What should be our response to a command or law that violates
God's higher law?
Daniel 3:18/ Acts 5:27-29
NOTE: God has written His laws upon our hearts so that even a pagan queen who follows her conscience can obey His higher law. In 1:10-11 a crown is the same as a turban. Some Jewish scholars suggest that the command was for Vashti to appear unveiled and others suggest that she was to appear with just her turban and nothing else.
Day 4- To act according to God's higher law at times will bring pain,
suffering and unwanted consequences to our lives. Yet, what does God promise?
Job 5:19/ Psalm 91:3 /I Corinthians 10:13/ 2 Timothy 4:18/ 2 Peter 2:9
Day 5- God's plan and care for us extends back through our families and
is under His watchful eyes. In fact, it extends back to the beginning of time.
Psalm 139: 13-16/ Isaiah 44:2,24/ Job 10:11-12
Day 6- To the world, Esther was just an ordinary Jewish girl being
raised by her uncle. But to God, He had chosen her for a special purpose. Is
that true for you and I as well?
Ephesians 1:4,12/Ephesians 2:10/ John 15:16
Day 7- God's plan for Esther took her out of the safety of her Jewish
life and into the high and strange world of the government. God's call for us
may take us also to new and strange places where we wouldn't choose to go. How
are we to operate within such a situation?
I Peter 2:13-17/ I John 2:15
Day 8- What is God's promise to us as we walk in His will for us?
Psalm 25:9/ Philippians 4:7/ Psalm 91:4
For saving the king's life, Mordecai should have been promoted but he was overlooked for an evil man named Haman. This seems an example of the way life often goes that someone deserving is overlooked and righteousness left unrewarded.( Esther 3:1)
NOTE: " The roots of Haman's bitterness toward the Jews can be traced back to his family tree. He was a descendant of Agag, the Amalekite king whom Samuel finally killed. The Amalekites had remained bitter enemies of the Jews and the feud was taken up by Haman. Prejudice is a vicious evil. And it's hereditary, passed down from generation to generation." (Esther; by Charles Swindoll, Insight for Living, Anaheim CA p.32)
Day 9- Mordecai in refusing to bow down to Haman was respecting God's
higher law for it would have been idolatry. Our devotion to God will at times
be in conflict to what men expect.
Esther 3:2-4/ I Peter 3:9-17
Day 10- Haman's bitterness toward Mordecai was so deep that his
satisfaction would only rest with the destruction of the whole Jewish race.
Centuries later Adolf Hitler would dream of the holocaust to do the same. These
are very real examples of how desperately evil the human heart can be.
Jeremiah 17:9 / Romans 3:10-18
Do we blame God for these evils?
"When souls become wicked they will certainly use this possibility to hurt one another; and this, perhaps, accounts for four-fifths of the sufferings of men. It is men, not God, who have produced racks, whips, prisons, slavery, guns, bayonets, and bombs." (C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain; reprint NY;NY, Macmillan Publishing Co., Collier Books, 1962, p.89.)
Day 11- No matter where we live - outside the palace or within - we will
not be exempt from the evils of this world.
John 16:2-4, 33/ John 15:18,20
Day 12- God does not keep us from the pains and troubles of this life
but He guides us safely through it all.
Day 13- Therefore our response to adversity must be to look to God first
as these Jews did in calling a fast.
Esther 4:15-16/ Psalm 121: 1-8
Day 14- Compromising with evil to save ourself at the expense of others
can only bring destruction in the end.
Day 15- We are born for a purpose greater than ourselves. Only as we
obey God in serving those He has placed us with will our own life be fulfilled.
Acts 20:24/ Ephesians 2:10/ John 15:16
Day 16- Fasting and prayer not only prepares our own heart but it
prepares the hearts of others involved in our circumstance. Notice how soft the
king was toward Esther.
Esther 5:1-3 / Philippians 4:6
Day 17- When we wait upon God for the problem or person we are facing
then we can leave His presence knowing that HE will open the closed doors - HE
will move in a heart - HE will give us courage to be patient and to stand with
conviction. So we can see this confidence in Esther. She does not pour out her
heart in fear and anguish before the king but rather takes her time in
preparing him to grasp the evilness of Haman.
Day 18- The scene in switching to Haman gives us a good picture of a
person concerned only with his own glory and honor and riches and yet still
Esther 5:9-14 (esp. vs. 13)
Day 19- Have you ever been overlooked for some accomplishment that
deserved to be rewarded? Mordecai had saved the king's life and yet nothing had
been done for him.
Esther 2:21-22/ I Peter 5:6
Often a miracle is not that something happens but that it happens in just the nick of time! God who is never mentioned in this book is busy behind the scenes - creating a split second timing that could not be better....
Day 20- First, the king's insomnia leads him to see the need to
recognize Mordecai over 5 years after the fact!
Day 21- Then, the entrance of Haman at that exact time. We can see the
irony as Haman himself suggests the honors for Mordecai and carries them out!
Esther 6:4-11 / Proverbs 14:9
Day 22- Finally there is the fatal prophecy by his wife and wise men as
to his destruction.
Esther 6:12-13/ Proverbs 15:25A
Day 23- God's timing is never late even if it seems slow in coming. Had
this event (i.e. Mordecai's reward) happened earlier it would not have had the
impact that it did at Esther's second banquet. Once God begins to work, His way
is swift and sure!
Day 24- King Ahasuerus had supported and endorsed Haman's plot to
destroy the Jews and yet now we see a changed heart!
No matter how high or how thick a wall is around someone's heart God can
break through it.
Day 25- Then Esther had the "wall" of Haman's first irrevocable edict to break through. Esther 8:5-8
And that wall crumbled quickly with permission to write a counter
Day 26- Even what seems permanent can be changed in the annals of God's books. Romans 8:31/ I John 4:4/ Luke 8:49-50/ John 11:1;11-15;21-27;37-44
Day 27- The Jews now had permission to utterly destroy their enemies
including women and children and to plunder their material goods. Yet notice
their restraint. Women and children are not mentioned as part of the
retaliation and three times we are told "they did not lay hands on the
Esther 9:1-16 (Especially Vs. 10, 15, 16)
Day 28- All of us are enemies of God while we follow our own will and
the ways of this world. Yet, clearly God has had mercy on us and so leaves us
an example of how we are to deal with the enemies in life once the tables are
Day 29- With the trauma of these days over, the Jews had great cause to
celebrate. God's name has not once been spoken, but He had worked salvation for
the Jews and the Feast of Purim was instituted as a monument to all generations
of this time.
Esther 9:17-32/ 10:1-3
Day 30- God works his miracles in your life - as He breaks down the
walls keeping you from something - as He moves in someone's heart on your
behalf- don't forget to thank Him. Set up your own days of remembrance and most
of all celebrate for "He hath done great things!"
Esther 9:27-28/ I Corinthians 15:57/ 2 Corinthians 2:14/ Psalm 100:1-5
|Studies In Order Of Being Written||Back to Seeking God Daily Home Page||Something On Your Mind?|