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June 24, 2021 12:00 am
Esther, you cannot hide behind in terms of your apartment.
You can crown you stand a chance to see you get out. Probably even now people more people are putting the pieces together so you might as well admit who you are. Mordechai is effectively telling Esther to identify with operate by virtue of her relationship. Esther Esther no one knows her real identity. She has servants at her beck and call. She's the favored wife of the king. Just when it seems like the world is at her fingertips.
Something unexpected happens that threatens to end it all. Esther is that you and the king was manipulated into signing a decree that has gone out, that will result in the death of all the Jews, including Queen Esther were taking a closer look at this account today. You've tuned into wisdom for the heart here Stephen Devi with a message called defining moments. She was born into slavery in Dorchester County, Maryland in 1819.
Her mother and father pureblood and Africans. Both of them slaves from the continent at the age of six.
She was considered old enough to work all day and was rented out to a nearby family. She was treated brutally often whipped eventually sent back after having eaten one of the families sugar cubes at the age of 12 she was injured by a slaveowner when she refused to help tie up a young boy, a slave who was trying to run away blow to her head would cause seizures and headaches. At times for the rest of her life. She was 29 years old. She decided to escape and risk her life.
In doing so, the other slaves tried to discourage her asking what will you eat when it's dark. How will you know which way is north. She was determined and slipped away in the night in 1849 and eventually made it to freedom.
She got a job in Philadelphia and saved every penny she planned to go back and rescue family read she would do that she would devote the rest of her life to rescuing slaves from the South name was Harriet considered one of the most fearless conductors of what was known as the underground railroad path from south to north in her nickname was Moses, she would eventually lead nearly 1000 slaves to freedom.
She once made a comment that she would've let a thousand more to freedom if they'd only known they were slaves when an early biography was being written about her. Frederick Douglass, a former slave himself in a well-known and respected business leader in the North abolitionist was asked for his rectum and his commendation on her life erupted personally to hearing these stirring words like clothing. I need words of commendation from you more than you need them from the difference between us is very marked most that I have done and suffered in the service of our closeted public I receive encouragement every step of the way I have worked in the daytime. You've worked in the night. The midnight sky silenced stars and the witnesses of your devotion. I know of no other slaves who willingly encountered more perils and hardships to serve our people that you little surprise is it to this day Moses. Tubman is revered in honor fact all over our country.
Black and white, Asian. There's something in all of us disturbed by the biography of someone who risks everything for someone else. Someone that gives up their rights for the rights of those that really are exercising them, and we read earlier.
This is what exactly this is this is modeled infinitely perfectly by Christ himself, but there's something in us that stirred by someone who against the majority opinion against culture says I will do this and when everyone thinks it's wrong. Later on we recognize it was right. The date has been set.
If you been with us in our study. It's now a revocable, the wanted posters are hung on every post and pillar throughout the Persian Empire. The Jews are to die in the palace of the king at this point undetected is a Jewish who is serving as the Queen of the Empire. She and her cousin Mordecai had kept the family secret safe for nearly 5 years that they are Jews payment.
However, the prime minister only recently promoted and in retaliation to the insubordination of Mordechai refuses to validate him discovers the secret office staff telephone. Mordechai has admitted to the fact that the reason he will reference you is because he is a Jew and Haman it at that moment decides to settle an old family score family feud going all the way back to the Exodus between the Amalekites and the Jewish people. The descendents of a gag in the descendents of the Jewish people, which is Mordechai and he wants to rid the world of the Jews that was you already know God is not explicitly mentioned anywhere in the book of Esther, but neither is Satan there both at work and this is only one more assault of Satan against the covenant people of God and attempt in this particular point in redemptive history to wipe out the potential of the sea coming from the lion of Judah. So at this particular point in redemptive history. You have the spotlight and in it suddenly focused on the frail shoulders of a of an orphan girl who has become Queen.
She just so happens to have won the king's heart. She just so happens to have the crown she just so happens to be related to more time just so happens to be promoted to inside the Kingsgate, which is the administrative offices of the Empire. He just so happens because of the promotion to hear about a plot to assassinate the king so he tells Esther, who just so happens to tell the king what an amazing straightening of coincident that there's no such thing as a coincidence, that is our earthbound explanation. Illicit coincidences are the providential acts of God, who prefers to remain in the defining moment in our lives are those moments when we recognize the providential workings of a sovereign God and we surrender our lives to join him that whether to rescuing slaves or risking the crown or risking your own reputation or your career path or your friendships or your personal comfort. Maybe even your own life. The first scene in chapter 4, takes place just outside the administrative office building.
I like your attention there to Esther chapter 4 and verse one when Mordechai learned all that has been done. He tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and ashes and went out of the midst of the city and wailed loudly and bitterly. He went as far as the Kingsgate that an illustration building for now. I was the Kingsgate clothed in sackcloth. These these kings just couldn't stand the idea of anybody in sorrow or anybody grieving course you know little later on the them. I will show will be in danger because he just happens that a sad expression on his keys and what anybody in their presence. You know wasn't smiling. They were that insecure.
So here's Mordechai. He's lamenting why only now in our Western world we don't do that for the most part we hide our sorrow behind veils and handkerchiefs but not in the Middle East. Maybe you see that part of the world, perhaps on the news, commentary, or a video clip is a mob is pushing a casket overhead through the crowd while everyone men and women are wailing. This is exactly what's happening here. Mordechai is holding nothing back. He's dressed in dark rough goat hair closing call sackcloth because it was cloth that made Sachs was his thing. We can think of is burlap today, he would been wearing it next to his skin further demonstrate his preoccupation with pain.
He's torn is clothing that is not dressed in sackcloth is dusting his head beer with ashes. These weeping it is wailing outside the palace walls and I want you to know this is the customary Jewish action that involve morning and grieving sin as well as holding special desperate times of prayer for deliverance and that's what I believe is doing verse three in each and every province with the commanded decree. The king came there was a great morning. Among the Jews.
Note this with fasting, weeping and wailing in many or even laying on sackcloth and ashes found it interesting that many Hebrew scholars believe this is a this is something that would have been immediately connecting Ezra's construction is a rotor under inspiration with the earlier prophecy of Joel. The only other time this phrase appears in this manner where he says to the people return to the Lord with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and wailing morning. There is no longer a hidden agenda with Mordechai who is as the highest official in the land representing the Jewish people as I believe spearheading his own example. This call of Joel chapter 2 back to God. I also agree with commentators who would say in verse 16 where Esther will ask Mordechai to get all the Jews to live in Susa to ask for her that he would construction. She is clearly indicating the request for intercessory prayer. Esther is not quite there yet. That wishy. She has her attendant go out and try to get some clothes new suit without your mom. Verse five informs us that Esther has her personal unit go out and find out what all the ruckus is about.
Now if I can summarize for the second time a little while later he comes back to her quarters arm, not only with a copy of the E date which she probably cannot read he reads it for her. Mordechai asked him to explain it to her gives her the stunning news that the Jewish people are going to be wiped out by order of her husband and the Prime Minister and then there's this bombshell that Mordechai says you go and tell her verse eight, the middle part you can you tell her to go into the king and implore his favor and plead with him for her people see how loaded that phrases Mordechai have evidently forgotten something, and let me remind you, so she rather chides him somewhat softly. Verse 11 by reminding him of an obvious legal problem. All the conservatives and the people of the king's provinces noted for any man or woman comes the king to the inner part was that something he the king is but one law that he be put to death unless the king told that the him the golden scepter so that he may let's Lester send paycheck back after go out on my Mordechai that there's aluminum a problem with a legal problem.
Nobody walks into the Oval Office without that. Back then you lose your head. It's an affront to the authority and the deity like status of the king. You just don't do this and then by the way Esther throws in this little personal problem. See the end of the verse and I have not been summoned to come to the king for these 30 days.
Many Old Testament scholars believe that this is an indication that has versus interest in hers now on way to get to the king in the history you get your Bible customs books out of your encyclopedias and you can find to the secret but it was interesting for me to find out the first time to get to the king and the Persian kingdom.
You were arranged to meet with him by order of priority, and the one who determined the order of that priority was to kill you supreme commander and supreme commander happens to be Haman so she can't appeal to him and admit her reason for coming before him without telling payment and in the sequence out and he'll rub her off. No doubt some other way and then you just add to that the fact that the king really is interested in seeing her anymore and she's hopelessly stock and so as you know, perhaps she decides to do nothing except hide behind the law and now I have no doubt that Mordechai anticipated her fear. So when anything comes back to him and says you got this issue of legality and she wants you to know as well. The king isn't really calling for her anymore. He has ready. What will just simply call three defining moment in sentence one of the greatest speeches in human history and serves to challenge us in applicable ways. To this day. Look at verse 13 then Mordechai told him to reply to Esther do not imagine that you in the king's palace can escape any more than all that you peers defining moment incentive number one you can't escape in the palace. You cannot hide behind the curtains of your apartment you can't hide underneath the crown.
This is a reality check. He goes right for it with his opening statement, you don't stand a chance. The secret is getting it out. Probably even now people more people are putting the pieces together so you might as well admit who you are.
Mordechai is effectively telling Esther to identify with and operate by virtue of her relationship with the covenant people of God, your shoes Esther not only admitted but lived by virtue peers defining moment incentive number two not only as Esther wanted she can't escape the palace. She is reminded that she cannot erase God's promise what you notice and x-rays verse 14 for if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place and you and your father's house in Paris you and your father's house in Paris is a reference to the reference to divine judgment. Mordechai is effectively saying that he has identified with God. Mordechai doesn't know what God is up to. He doesn't know if if if he Mordechai or Esther will be allowed to survive this edict. What he does state his believe in the fact that deliverance will come. God will keep his promise there will be a remnant. It will come from this play can escape in the palace canneries got from you should not invade your position famous words. Mordechai Rich there in the last part of verse 14 and who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such time as this, Esther.
You got to see you need to see this is God's doing. This was more all along. This was more than than the near crown in my career for this was the hand of God to place you by the king side to preserve the people and finally, to this day.
This is the greatest incentive for standing up for Christ. To me this is this is the the exciting mystery of the synergy between the products of God and the obedience of his children. The work of God and the work of his sons and daughters.
Think of it this way, the same Lord who said I will build my church, said that God and make disciples and baptize them and teach them teach them everything I've commanded for them to observe. He said I will build my church, and it tells us go build it synergy of God's purposes combined, as Paul would use the phrase: labor with God to see his purposes, to pass. We live in a sense of divine destiny that God could use us that he is something in mind for you and for me might be a sink full of dishes. It might be a classroom full of children it might be a shop filled with tools might be a cubicle filled with paper that you got a face tomorrow morning, but is that always or do we see this divine destiny, and in this incentive that then we have been invited to join God fulfilling whatever his purposes are in the voice of God whispers to us from the shadows. I have plans for Esther. You're the queen and this moment that really doesn't matter. You got personal connections in power, but at this at this point is that the bigger issue. You want personal comfort and safety, but then needs to be set aside. They don't matter much.
Can you imagine Esther was behind all of us. What was behind that pageant that you want what was behind the king's selection of you above 1460 other beautiful women. According to Herodotus what was behind the wedding. What is behind your title as Queen Esther, is that all you see can you see that at this moment in this generation. In this kingdom at this time you have arrived for such a moment as this.
This is your hour stand become nonverbal you are speaking but whatever you do, do not be silent.
Don't be so this is your defining Esther responds in this close closing scene to put in the motion, three decisive actions.
It's rather breathtaking health. Farsi comes in how fast. First, she summons the Jews to fast. Do not eat or drink for three days.
Neither did the second thing she does and she states her identity with the Jewish people. The next phrase I and my maidens also will fast in the same way. In other words, we will be in this together. She was one of thirdly to not only some of the juice fast generally states her kinship, her identity with the Jewish people.
Finally, she surrenders to the providence of God are 16. Again, the latter part and thus I will go into the king, which is not according to the law and if I perish, I perish. While she's changed from fear to faith from hesitation to determination from concern about her own personal safety, which was her first response to concern for the safety of her own peoples survival reminds me of the David and everyone he goes out to see how his brothers are doing at Warden finds out as he overhears Goliath blaspheming God decided he'll take them on with a slingshot in his brothers and those around him say luck it's better off if you go back to the sheet and any makes a classic statement as he looks around, and he says these words, is there not a call this is Esther. Here she comes to recognize as one author put it so well. There is no safety in a significant life and there is no significance in the safe life so Esther takes her stand, but first Shamil fast and I believe, according to the call of the prophet return back to God may make two quick observations about defining moments that are at work in your life and mine every day, perhaps more than we realize online defining moments are simple steps of obedience where we act like the disciple we want to become whether or not you brush past those fears or you brush away your tears. You act like the disciple of Christ you want.
There is a disciple out there and would like to become a disciple. We like to become an overnight we like to decide I will become that person tomorrow morning. Now there a lot of little steps and a lot of go backward and forward, backward and forward it could happen to you tomorrow. By the way it happened to you in that defining moment when you decide whether or not you will open this book as a defining moment where you become a little more like disciple. He won that defining moment is going to happen in the cafeteria where you decide in that moment. If I want to bow my head and pray before I need my life can be a defining moment. Are you willing defining moment is when you reach out to someone who works with you. You tell them something of your testimony or you invite your boss or a neighbor to an event. Sure. Secondly, defining moments are those small steps of faith were you trust God like he really deserves to be trusted. We often think of grieving the heart of God by overt acts of disobedience. I think we grieve him daily by not trusting in the way he really deserves to be trusted.
Eugene Peterson, the author of the paraphrase, the message wrote these words about Esther. The moment Heyman surfaced Esther begin the move from being a beauty queen becoming a saint from being an empty headed sex symbol to being a passionate intercessor from the busy life in the heroin to the high risk venture of speaking for and identifying with people go. She needed to start living God deserve to be trusted, so she says I will stand will speed. I will give everything I have everything I am I will risk it all. I will not remain silent wherever God puts us. He has a purpose for us. You're listening to wisdom for the heart. This daily program features the Bible teaching ministry of Stephen Davey.
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