The Book of Esther is one of my favorites. I read the entire ten chapters this morning, intrigued by what I sense are some parallels of Esther’s story and what is going on in our world today.
Esther was a quiet but strong woman, raised by her Uncle Mordecai after her parents had died when she was a young girl. Even as a young woman she still sought and followed the advice of her uncle.
Esther was a Jew, but her husband, King Xerxes, did not know this about her when he crowned her his Queen. It was a different time back then! An evil man by the name of Haman, lived in Esther’s kingdom. He was driven by his pride and ego. At one time he was the king’s right hand man and required all the king’s subject’s to bow down to him. And they did! Except Esther’s uncle, who would bow only to God. This infuriated Haman and he tricked King Xerxes into issuing a decree that all the Jews in all 127 provinces of the kingdom be annihilated. Mordecai learned of Haman’s plan and he beseeched Esther to do something.
Here is what Esther did; she told Mordecai to gather all the Jews together and to pray for her and to fast with her and her maids for three days. Then she would go and see the king and plead her case. She told Mordecai, “If I must die, I will die.” A rather interesting thing to say. You see, during this period of time if anyone went to visit the king without his summons it was an offense punishable by death unless the king extended his scepter to the person requesting his attention, even the queen! Thankfully, King Xerxes extended his scepter to Esther.
The rest of the story turns out well for Esther and the Jews and I encourage you to read or reread this delightful testimony of God’s love. Allowing yourself to be carried away by the Holy Spirit’s description of this time in history.
What strikes me most about the story of Esther every time I read it, is her willingness to seek God on behalf of herself and her people. She fasted and prayed for three days and asked others to join her, knowing she would hear from God. She depended on God with all of her heart that she made plans to visit the king before she had even fasted and prayed and trusted the outcome to God even if that meant she would die.
What is going on in the world today is frightening and in some area’s atrocious is not a strong enough word to describe the actions of others.
But, there is hope! And, it is found in God’s word.
Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, The people whom He has chosen for His own inheritance. Psalm 33:12.
Ah, do you see the word inheritance? If you know me, you know I love looking for our inheritance in Christ throughout his word. God chooses to give us His inheritance through our belief in His Son, Jesus Christ! Think about that for a moment, let it settle into your heart and find a permanent place to reside. Everything God has he gives to us through our faith in Jesus! Our position here is to pray for the nations of the world that they would ask God to be their Lord and to share our inheritance with them through Jesus Christ! Guess what happens when we do? The nations are blessed by the One true God! Why? Because the nations and their people are seeking God.
When Solomon had finished the temple of the Lord and the royal palace, and had succeeded in carrying out all he had in mind to do in the temple of the Lord and in his own palace, the Lord appeared to him at night and said:
“I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a temple for sacrifices.
“When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place. I have chosen and consecrated this temple so that my Name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there. 2 Chronicles 7:11-16. (emphasis added).
The highlighted part of this passage is what I sense the Holy Spirit speaking to the nations, but I think it is important to read it in context with the surrounding verses. When you believe in Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you become a temple for the Holy Spirit to live within you. Don’t miss the promise of the last line!
Precious One be a Queen Esther! Seek God not only for yourself but for those in your sphere of influence, for your neighborhood, for your city and state, for your Country and for the nations of the world.