Esther 8–Empowered

Esther could not have asked for more. Haman was dead, Mordecai was promoted and as Queen she was given all the lands and property of Haman. But, one thing yet remained, what to do about the law that was passed to exterminate the Jews. Esther once again trusted God and approached her husband. Once again, provision was made—not just provision but God empowered the Jewish people to defend and take charge of their lives. Mordecai got to write the law, then he had the King’s seal to make it permanent. The King told him to do what he thought was right.
Only God could take a hopeless situation and turn it to the empowerment of his people. The end of the story so magnifies his control without mention of his handiwork. So much that happens in our lives reflects the issues faced by Esther. We are on a journey that changes often. We face insurmountable odds and untenable circumstances only to find that with God nothing is insurmountable or untenable. We continue to lean in to him and he not only meets our needs, but uses his power to make us and our circumstances more amazing than we could have dreamed. God is God—We are NOT. As Haman hung dead on the pole he built to destroy the Jews, Esther and Mordecai began crafting a law to protect and empower them, probably in his library. Never underestimate God’s power or the reward for our trust and submission—Both are incredible.
God Bless You
That same day King Xerxes gave Queen Esther the estate of Haman, the enemy of the Jews. And Mordecai came into the presence of the king, for Esther had told how he was related to her. 2 The king took off his signet ring, which he had reclaimed from Haman, and presented it to Mordecai. And Esther appointed him over Haman’s estate.
3 Esther again pleaded with the king, falling at his feet and weeping. She begged him to put an end to the evil plan of Haman the Agagite, which he had devised against the Jews. 4 Then the king extended the gold scepter to Esther and she arose and stood before him.
5 “If it pleases the king,” she said, “and if he regards me with favor and thinks it the right thing to do, and if he is pleased with me, let an order be written overruling the dispatches that Haman son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, devised and wrote to destroy the Jews in all the king’s provinces. 6 For how can I bear to see disaster fall on my people? How can I bear to see the destruction of my family?”
7 King Xerxes replied to Queen Esther and to Mordecai the Jew, “Because Haman attacked the Jews, I have given his estate to Esther, and they have impaled him on the pole he set up. 8 Now write another decree in the king’s name in behalf of the Jews as seems best to you, and seal it with the king’s signet ring—for no document written in the king’s name and sealed with his ring can be revoked.”

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.”

Everybody Loves Her–Esther 2

Esther learned the ways of a queen. She sought no special treatment and listened to the counsel of those who knew what to do and how to behave. She was no diva.  So when it was time for her to be presented to the King, she had won the hearts of all with whom she had come into contact. When she then was presented to the king, Esther also won the heart of the King.

When we seek God, follow his lead and submit to his teaching—he then allows us to find favor with those we come into contact with. We are somehow different and attractive because we are selfless and humble.  God helps us to live the way in which we were created to live and in that way we are special.  Jesus said, “Seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added to you.”  Help me Lord to listen and walk humbly according to your plan.

God Bless You

 12 Before a young woman’s turn came to go in to King Xerxes, she had to complete twelve months of beauty treatments prescribed for the women, six months with oil of myrrh and six with perfumes and cosmetics. 13 And this is how she would go to the king: Anything she wanted was given her to take with her from the harem to the king’s palace. 14 In the evening she would go there and in the morning return to another part of the harem to the care of Shaashgaz, the king’s eunuch who was in charge of the concubines. She would not return to the king unless he was pleased with her and summoned her by name.

15 When the turn came for Esther (the young woman Mordecai had adopted, the daughter of his uncle Abihail) to go to the king, she asked for nothing other than what Hegai, the king’s eunuch who was in charge of the harem, suggested. And Esther won the favor of everyone who saw her. 16 She was taken to King Xerxes in the royal residence in the tenth month, the month of Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign.

17 Now the king was attracted to Esther more than to any of the other women, and she won his favor and approval more than any of the other virgins. So he set a royal crown on her head and made her queen instead of Vashti. 18 And the king gave a great banquet, Esther’s banquet, for all his nobles and officials. He proclaimed a holiday throughout the provinces and distributed gifts with royal liberality

God is Life and the Giver of Life

life Giver

When you think of God, you have to hold in reverence the fact that he Gives life. Sure he is the creator, he is the Lord and Master. But to realize that our very lives are a gift from him and his desire is for our lives to be full, rich and meaningful.

So much of our Journey is life taking. Circumstances, relationships and spiritual warfare are constant takers of life. We face daily struggles and often they involve our most intimate thoughts, dreams and people. We would love to find a way to avoid the sucking down of the essence of us. We say things like Ï used to be so happy, so funny, so care free—but the forces we face have made emptied us our life. But, in the midst of it, God was there filling us with his spirit, his joy and his life.

As we draw on God, we are replenished with life. Often it seems it is barely enough for the day…but it is enough. We need to learn to cherish the life he gives and use it to drive us forward toward him. Then we will finally grasp what it truly means to have life and have it more abundantly.

God Bless You

Genesis 2

7 Then20 and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him.

 

Deuteronomy 30

For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. the Lord God formed a man[a] from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

 

Deuteronomy 32

“See now that I myself am he! There is no god besides me. I put to death and I bring to life, I have wounded and I will heal, and no one can deliver out of my hand.

 

Ecclesiastes 5

This is what I have observed to be good: that it is appropriate for a person to eat, to drink and to find satisfaction in their toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given them—for this is their lot.

Isaiah 38

“Go and tell Hezekiah, ‘This is what the LORD, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will add fifteen years to your life.

 

Isaiah 42

This is what God the LORD says— the Creator of the heavens, who stretches them out, who spreads out the earth with all that springs from it, who gives breath to its people, and life to those who walk on it:

 

John 6

As it is written: “I have made you a father of many nations.” He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed—the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not.