Last night the lesson at church was on the book of Esther. Now you manly men may think that Esther is a “chic” book but there is drama, suspense, violence, and a lesson that I have been thinking about all day.
You see I am what my husband affectionately calls a “worrywart”. I have been one all my life, worrying about this bill, that situation, health, the state of the economy, what we will have for supper, and will the store continue to carry the brand of toilet paper we like! Add to that my habit of procrastinating and you have a recipe for disaster! This lesson is meant for me.
Esther has an opportunity to go to the palace and she is chosen to be queen. Her uncle has an opportunity to save the kings life when two men plot his death. Then a new character appears on the scene – Haman. They say that to this day when the Jews tell this story, whenever Haman is mentioned everyone boos! Haman hates the Jews and manages to create a law allowing people to kill them. The day approaches and Esther’s uncle Malachi has several written exchanges with Esther. He tells her she has to go to the king. In that day, you did not enter the throne room unless you were invited or it could mean your death. In order for you to live the king had to extend his sceptre. Esther is naturally a bit apprehensive about doing that and has maybe gotten kind of comfortable with her new cushy life in the palace. Malachi tells her several important things. One is that just because she lives in the palace, she may not escape unharmed. Two, even if she doesn’t step up and do the right thing, God will still be faithful and help will come from somewhere else – she will miss the opportunity. Three – maybe she has “come to the palace for such a time as this”.
We are all where God wants us to be, unless we are in open rebellion. If we are where God wants us to be then maybe we “have come to the palace for such a time as this” – where we are is our mission field.
Like Esther’s time – life and death hang in the balance. Maybe not physical life and death, but spiritual. Someone’s salvation may depend on you being where you are and representing God in that position.
I usually post “church” things on another blog but with the approaching election, and today being the anniversary of 911, this has been weighing on me all day.
We should take our choices of leadership seriously. We should pray for our leaders and for our country, that the decisions that are made are done with care for the future. We need leadership that can inspire us to do better – to be better. Inspiration has been sadly lacking in this country for a long time. I don’t mean empty oration – I mean someone who has the character and courage to say and do the right thing.
We should be a people that tries to do the right thing. We should be the best employee, neighbor, friend, parent – that we can be wherever we are, whatever our circumstances because opportunities are there – if we are willing to stop whining, complaining, and worrying for long enough to realize that we are in His will and that He has a purpose for us – maybe little ones everyday. Maybe a big one like Esther.
The rest of the story, by the way – After asking her uncle to ask the people to fast and pray for her, Esther goes in to the King and he holds out the sceptre. She invites him and his advisors to a banquet at her “house” (including Haman – boooo!) After two days of feasting the king tells Esther that he will grant her request – all she has to do is say the word. Esther asks the king to spare her life and that of her people because they have been sold for destruction. The king asks who has done this thing and you know who – Haman (boooo!) . The king ends up hanging Haman on the very gallows that Haman had built to hang Mordecai, Esther’s uncle.
Esther was where God wanted her to be, she and her people prayed and fasted, and then she obeyed. Because of those things an entire race of people was saved.
I’m going to work on the worrying and complaining. I’m no Esther, but maybe I can be inspired by her leadership to do and be a little better.
Who inspires you? Do you want to be inspired? What do you want to be inspired to do? Why?
See, I told you it was a thinking Thursday.