Saturday, July 5, 2008

Esther - Superhero?

Esther 4: 6-17 So Hathach went out to Mordecai in the open square of the city in front of the king's gate. Mordecai told him everything that had happened to him, including the exact amount of money Haman had promised to pay into the royal treasury for the destruction of the Jews. He also gave him a copy of the text of the edict for their annihilation, which had been published in Susa, to show to Esther and explain it to her, and he told him to urge her to go into the king's presence to beg for mercy and plead with him for her people. Hathach went back and reported to Esther what Mordecai had said. Then she instructed him to say to Mordecai, "All the king's officials and the people of the royal provinces know that for any man or woman who approaches the king in the inner court without being summoned the king has but one law: that he be put to death. The only exception to this is for the king to extend the gold scepter to him and spare his life. But thirty days have passed since I was called to go to the king." When Esther's words were reported to Mordecai, he sent back this answer: "Do not think that because you are in the king's house you alone of all the Jews will escape. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father's family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?" Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: "Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maids will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish." So Mordecai went away and carried out all of Esther's instructions.

So Esther finally gets to the bottom of Mordecai's pain. All her people are about to be killed and he is telling her it is up to her! No pressure. Esther has a valid concern. In those days, if the king has not called you, and you try to approach him, his guards will kill you - unless he holds out his gold sceptor to you. Esther hadn't been called by the king for a month. This alone could be a lesson in itself - breakdown in communication in the marriage...

Anyway, when Esther voices her concerns of being killed to her cousin, he reminds her that she, also, is a jew and will perish - so it's either now or later. Valid point. So, why the fasting diet for all the jews? Did she think her people needed to get into shape to get ready for the battle?

The idea behind fasting is for prayer. More than just appreciating what God provides for us on a daily basis, but to remember to pray. Whenever those hunger pains kick in, you remember why you're hungry and you pray. It makes since that she would ask to do it for three days - I think during the first day you can probably go pretty easy without food and not feel it too much. During those second and third days though, I bet an awful lot of prayer was being lifted to God by the Jews. Esther had already given her plan, her intentions, so why all the prayer. I believe she needed courage.

When we take it all to God, even a decision that we've already been forced to make, won't His hand be in it regardless? God can take any situation and use it for His glory - a small little orphan girl like Esther - to save the desecration of a nation. God gives us the strength we need to get through every situation - it is supernatural strength. When you feel like the situation you're in is pushing down on you from every angle - why do you try to handle it alone? God is waiting for you to ask, willing to give, wanting to take it for you... Let Him.

0 wonderful insights: