The Face of Hate Esther 5 part 2

Hate-what-I-see-in-the-Mirror-severus-snape-24187348-896-666Haman, unlike the King had no capacity for love or grace. He loved only one—Haman. So while he was unable to model love for those around him, he was able to clearly demonstrate hatred and its effects. Haman hated Mordecai and all that he represented. It was so passionate of a hatred that seeing Mordecai actually changed his countenance. Haman was a man that had everything—but, was so enslaved by hate that he was inconsolable as long as the object of his hatred still lived. Hatred consistently enslaves, endangers and undermines the very source—Not the object.
When we hate—it brings out the selfish parts of our lives and attitudes. We cannot be happy for ourselves or others because what we hate is all that matters. Our joys are not joyful, our successes are not satisfying. All things lose their taste, aroma and beauty due to the overwhelming impact hate has on us. What is worse, we become so entrapped that it causes us to say and do things that are dangerous and perilous. We say and do things to others that fall outside the realm of decency and humanity. Those words and acts become the basis of life changing backlash and often end violently and tragically.
Finally Hate undermines the very purpose it is intended. People lose their identity and independence to prove to the object of their malice their true disdain. But, often the hater is the only one affected in any meaningful way. Those who are hated often have no idea and usually have no concern that someone is bitter. Oblivious, they continue to enjoy their lives while the Hater is destroyed. We can never allow ourselves to be controlled by hate. God says Love your enemies—then you will enjoy the same freedom that love always provides. If you are bitter, let it go!!!!!
God Bless You

9 Haman went out that day happy and in high spirits. But when he saw Mordecai at the king’s gate and observed that he neither rose nor showed fear in his presence, he was filled with rage against Mordecai. 10 Nevertheless, Haman restrained himself and went home.
Calling together his friends and Zeresh, his wife, 11 Haman boasted to them about his vast wealth, his many sons, and all the ways the king had honored him and how he had elevated him above the other nobles and officials. 12 “And that’s not all,” Haman added. “I’m the only person Queen Esther invited to accompany the king to the banquet she gave. And she has invited me along with the king tomorrow. 13 But all this gives me no satisfaction as long as I see that Jew Mordecai sitting at the king’s gate.”
14 His wife Zeresh and all his friends said to him, “Have a pole set up, reaching to a height of fifty cubits,[a] and ask the king in the morning to have Mordecai impaled on it. Then go with the king to the banquet and enjoy yourself.” This suggestion delighted Haman, and he had the pole set up.

Esther 5 part 1–The face of Love

Dove Wedding PhotographyThe face of Love is so different than the face of Hatred.  So many of these devotions have sang the praise of God our Father.  We have discussed through the years how a Father cannot help but love and hope for the opportunity to bless his children and his chosen.  Esther 5 begins with the beautiful picture of the face of love—but then rears the face of hate in its rawest and most wicked form.  But let’s discuss that tomorrow.  When Esther approached her Husband the king—she did so with humility and faith, not in the King but in God. Yet, as the King saw her, without hesitation, he welcomed her and offered her half of his kingdom.  The face of Love welcomes its object.  The heart of Love concerns itself with what it can give to please its focus, and the life of love gives no thought to selfish desire or ambition.  Xerxes simply wanted his queen close, cared for and secure in her safety and position in his life.

God is the same.  His arms always welcome us, his heart always longs to bless us, protect us and wow us with amazing creativity. His very being seeks only to raise us up and bring us home to spend eternity with him.  Stop and take inventory of those you love and associate your first thoughts to your first looks, thoughts and desires for them—then ask—if I can long for wonderful things for my loved ones HOW MUCH MORE does the father long to welcome, share and demonstrate his love for us.  Esther’s Husband was a kind and adoring man…but, Esther’s God was exponentially more loving to her, her people and those chosen ever since.  Thanks Lord for loving me and demonstrating each and every day that you are hopelessly and completely in love with a sinner such as me!

God Bless You

5 On the third day Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the palace, in front of the king’s hall. The king was sitting on his royal throne in the hall, facing the entrance. 2 When he saw Queen Esther standing in the court, he was pleased with her and held out to her the gold scepter that was in his hand. So Esther approached and touched the tip of the scepter.

3 Then the king asked, “What is it, Queen Esther? What is your request? Even up to half the kingdom, it will be given you.”

4 “If it pleases the king,” replied Esther, “let the king, together with Haman, come today to a banquet I have prepared for him.”

5 “Bring Haman at once,” the king said, “so that we may do what Esther asks.”

So the king and Haman went to the banquet Esther had prepared. 6 As they were drinking wine, the king again asked Esther, “Now what is your petition? It will be given you. And what is your request? Even up to half the kingdom, it will be granted.”

7 Esther replied, “My petition and my request is this: 8 If the king regards me with favor and if it pleases the king to grant my petition and fulfill my request, let the king and Haman come tomorrow to the banquet I will prepare for them. Then I will answer the king’s question.”

Esther 4 part 3 What do I Do Now…

Esther realized that she had been inserted into God’s plan.  Her Uncle had made clear the truth—God’s plan will be executed, our choice to be a part is a step of faith, but one that does have consequence. Esther knew what she had to do, she called upon God’s people to fast and pray.  She and her folks joined them in fasting and praying and at the end, she agreed to approach the King even if it meant her very life.

We have to have the right attitude about God’s plan, our submission and our faith. We have to believe God will do what he has set out to do. We then have to submit to prayer and obedience even fasting to prepare to hear from him and see his mighty work.  Then, finally, we have to step out in faith even at risk of life and livelihood to allow him to show his glory and protect and provide.  There are no short cuts to honoring God.  We simply have to follow him and trust his leadership.  When we choose to disobey, he still executes his plan through others, but we lose out on the opportunity to benefit from his plan.  Obey, seek him and watch him work in your life—that is how we are allowed to be a part of his amazing journey.

God Bless You

12 When Esther’s words were reported to Mordecai, 13 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. 14 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 your royal position for such a time as this?”

15 Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: 16 “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 attendants 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.”

17 So Mordecai went away and carried out all of Esther’s instructions.

Trust God’s Plan–Esther 4 part 2

Where does your trust really lie.  Esther had trusted the Lord and his leadership to this point in her life.  She followed him as an orphan, she followed him as a promising young woman in the king’s household.  Now as queen she was faced with the most difficult decision yet.  Should she approach the King and risk her life to attempt to save the lives of her people—or should she save herself for another day.  With a little encouragement from the uncle that taught her to trust and honor God—Esther made her decision, trust God.  This was no small step of faith—Her life still hung in the balance as did the fate of the people she sought to save.

In our daily journey, we are sometimes faced with the difficult choice of trusting God or our instincts.  What we think must be right, hat seems logical requires us to abandon our faith and cling to what we know. Invariably, however, when we trust God and follow his lead, he provides and protects us from the attack f the enemy.  Often, circumstances seem hopeless ad we are afraid our faith has cost too much, but, God is faithful and always keeps his word. Solomon said it best, “Trust in the Lord with All your heart.  Lean not on YOUR own understanding, acknowledge him in all your ways—and HE will make your path straight!” Join him on this incredible journey!

God Bless You

10 Then she instructed him to say to Mordecai, 11 “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 they be put to death unless the king extends the gold scepter to them and spares their lives. But thirty days have passed since I was called to go to the king.”

12 When Esther’s words were reported to Mordecai, 13 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. 14 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 your royal position for such a time as this?” 15 Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: 16 “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 attendants 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.”  17 So Mordecai went away and carried out all of Esther’s instructions.

Grieving–Esther 4 part 1

When was the last time you grieved for the family of God.  Mordecai saw the edict and literally grieved for the future of his people. He was not merely sad, he was inconsolable.  The level of distress was not his concern for himself, but for the folks he loved.  We should be as concerned for our church and church family.  We live in an age where every special interest and enemy of God has the ear of the courts, the Government and the media.  We, as the church, seem to be without voice, without standing and without an ally to take up our cause.

 In the midst of that, we do not grieve, we simply take on each day’s survival and hope for the best.  We need to grieve.  We need to heighten our level of concern to the point our Lord talked about.  “When my people, who are called by my name will humble themselves, turn from their wicked ways and pray then I will hear them, restore them and heal their Land.” As a family, we need to humble ourselves and be on our face before God, grieving at what the world has become.  Help me Lord to humble myself and seek your face.

God Bless You

4 When Mordecai learned of all that had been done, he tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and ashes, and went out into the city, wailing loudly and bitterly. 2 But he went only as far as the king’s gate, because no one clothed in sackcloth was allowed to enter it. 3 In every province to which the edict and order of the king came, there was great mourning among the Jews, with fasting, weeping and wailing. Many lay in sackcloth and ashes.

4 When Esther’s eunuchs and female attendants came and told her about Mordecai, she was in great distress. She sent clothes for him to put on instead of his sackcloth, but he would not accept them. 5 Then Esther summoned Hathak, one of the king’s eunuchs assigned to attend her, and ordered him to find out what was troubling Mordecai and why.

6 So Hathak went out to Mordecai in the open square of the city in front of the king’s gate. 7 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. 8 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 instruct her to go into the king’s presence to beg for mercy and plead with him for her people.

Life Ain’t Fair Esther 3 part 3

There are times when we see life unfold and are positive that “life ain’t fair.”  Haman got his feelings hurt and he in turn sentenced the captives from Israel to death.  When we see things like that occur, it causes us to question God and his love for us.  Truth is, we see only a few pixels of a grand marquee.  We will never understand God’s plan for our lives and the lives of those we interact with, and yet his plan always moves forward.

In our lives, we have to cling to the idea that God really does have a plan and we are an integral part of it. We do not have to understand the plan we simply have to trust that God will bring it to pass.  He promises to protect and provide for his kids—We simply have to walk and trust that even when life ain’t fair, that he will.  Help me, Lord to trust your plan and humbly follow you.

God Bless You

Then Haman said to King Xerxes, “There is a certain people dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom who keep themselves separate. Their customs are different from those of all other people, and they do not obey the king’s laws; it is not in the king’s best interest to tolerate them. 9 If it pleases the king, let a decree be issued to destroy them, and I will give ten thousand talents[b] of silver to the king’s administrators for the royal treasury.”

10 So the king took his signet ring from his finger and gave it to Haman son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, the enemy of the Jews. 11 “Keep the money,” the king said to Haman, “and do with the people as you please.”

12 Then on the thirteenth day of the first month the royal secretaries were summoned. They wrote out in the script of each province and in the language of each people all Haman’s orders to the king’s satraps, the governors of the various provinces and the nobles of the various peoples. These were written in the name of King Xerxes himself and sealed with his own ring. 13 Dispatches were sent by couriers to all the king’s provinces with the order to destroy, kill and annihilate all the Jews—young and old, women and children—on a single day, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month of Adar, and to plunder their goods. 14 A copy of the text of the edict was to be issued as law in every province and made known to the people of every nationality so they would be ready for that day.

Haman the prideful man Esther 3 part 1

Pride is a deceptive master.  Xerxes honored Haman.  Haman had the opportunity to show Humility and Grace in his place of Honor.  Such an act would have sealed the love of his King and his country…Ask Esther.  Instead, he felt entitled to be worshipped and when he found that a Jew failed to worship him, he not only decided to punish Mordecai, but, he decided to punish God and all his people.  What arrogance, what Gaul what a big mistake.

When those who take issue with the acts of God’s people decide to punish God—they place themselves in a place of certain failure.  They may do damage, but the final outcome is inevitable…God Wins.  We as his children face more situations as the years pass where being on the side of God does not mean favorable treatment. We face greater fear of retribution  with each new special interest and “Tolerence” law that is passed.  We do as Mordecai and Esther did.  We follow God’s leadership with Humility and grace and seek to show his best side to all we meet.  When we face opposition, we stand firm in the faith and trust God to execute his will and become ok with whatever the outcome.  We are simply passing thru and need to be content whatever the circumstance we face.  Help me Lord to withstand the Hamans of the World and honor you with my Life.

God Bless You

3 After these events, King Xerxes honored Haman son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, elevating him and giving him a seat of honor higher than that of all the other nobles. 2 All the royal officials at the king’s gate knelt down and paid honor to Haman, for the king had commanded this concerning him. But Mordecai would not kneel down or pay him honor.

3 Then the royal officials at the king’s gate asked Mordecai, “Why do you disobey the king’s command?” 4 Day after day they spoke to him but he refused to comply. Therefore they told Haman about it to see whether Mordecai’s behavior would be tolerated, for he had told them he was a Jew.

5 When Haman saw that Mordecai would not kneel down or pay him honor, he was enraged. 6 Yet having learned who Mordecai’s people were, he scorned the idea of killing only Mordecai. Instead Haman looked for a way to destroy all Mordecai’s people, the Jews, throughout the whole kingdom of Xerxes.