May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 15:13

This a study of the book of Esther…well, sort of.

One key lesson in the book of Esther is purpose. When Haman, the king’s right-hand man, devised a plan (a wicked one at that) to wipe out the Jews; God’s people, Esther just happened to be queen at that moment (Esther 3). Esther had wanted to remain neutral. (N.B: silence in the face of injustice is support. If something wrong is going on around you and decide to be ‘neutral’ about it, you are just as good as the perpetrators of the wrong thing). She was scared of what might happen to her if she approached the king without being called. Here’s a quick question, how long are you going to keep quiet in the face of evil because of fear? However, Mordecai had told her that it was possible that God had put her as Queen for the very purpose of saving her people. He told her that even if she shies away from purpose, God would definitely accomplish what He is going to do through another person and she would be in trouble (Esther 4: 1-14). When you discover your purpose, it brings you to the realization of why you are where you are at the particular time you are. Also, if you choose to run away from what God has called you to do because of fear or whatever the case may be, that does not stop the work of God. God would find a ready vessel to use however, you would have only ended up shortchanging yourself.

Eventually, Esther gained courage and decided to approach the king without his invitation (Esther5:1-4). That should have resulted in her death instantly but surprisingly (well, not so surprisingly) he held out his scepter towards her which meant a pardon. She found great favor in the sight of the king not because she was his wife or she was so pretty or even because she fasted! She found favor in his sight because she had sought God’s counsel. The reason why I said it’s not because she fasted is, it is possible that she could have fasted and prayed that she was going to see the king in his throne room but God might have been against that move. Before making a decision, especially major decisions, be clear to have a go ahead from God. Be sure that you have not asked for strength to go on with something that He doesn’t want you to start in the first place. It might seem logical and good but be sure that you have God’s backing. If not, you may end up making a wrong move that could cause you a lot more than you bargained for. However, when God gives you a go-ahead on a situation, no matter how scary it may look, press on…He is always with you.

Who you call on first, when you are in trouble, determines the way that situation is going to end. When the wicked plans of Haman got to Esther, she immediately ran to God (Esther 4:15-17). She went to God by prayer and fasting rather than panicking and uses phrases like “I’m done for” “I’m finished”. She chose to believe in God’s saving power instead. The Jews called on God and He moved for their cause. If you find yourself dangling from a cliff (I’m speaking figuratively), that is not the time to start getting worried. Call on God, He is ever ready to rescue His children when they’re in unpleasant situations. Also, the Jews had been faithful in their relationship with God. They stayed on God and He favored them. When you play games with God by dashing in and out of the faith, you only expose yourself to the schemes of the devil. Stay in Christ. He gives a better assurance.

Intruder alert: Haman.

The bible says “pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fallProverbs 16:18. Haman was very insolent and wicked. But most especially, he was proud. Because the king promoted him and he was a man of much wealth, he began oppressing the Jews and boasting all-around in himself (Esther 3: 1-6; 5: 9-14). He had taken pride in the fact that Queen Esther invited only him to a banquet with the king but little did he know that he was walking right into his downfall. He badly wanted to see destruction of God’s people. But glory to God who never abandons His own. Haman used his own hands to dig a pit he eventually ended up falling in by harboring pride and a hateful spirit. His pride and hatred led him to challenge God by laying fingers on His children. God always arises as a consuming fire to raze down anyone who dares to bring harm to His children. Stay away from hatred and pride because those things are particularly against the nature of God.

It’s so amazing the lengths God could go for the ones who love Him. Haman had planned to kill Mordecai. He was so high on his plan that he had even prepared the gallows for Mordecai’s execution before getting an approval from the king. As he was trying to get an approval from the king, God laid it on king Ahasuerus’s mind to honor Mordecai. Haman’s pride showed again when the king had asked him what should be done for a man that is to be honored. Haman thought the king was referring to him and he mentioned all manner of sweet things. The king then made him use his own hands to honor Mordecai (Esther 6: 1-14). That was only the beginning of God turning the tide for His people. Later that day, Haman’s wicked plans were revealed to the king and he was hanged on the same gallows he had built for Mordecai (Esther 7:1-10).

It is always a good thing to see God in every situation you find yourself. Why? Because when you do, He actually shows up. Is it a good situation? See God at the center of it and He’d make you experience many more pleasant situations. Is it a bad situation? See Him as your only help and He’d surely come to your rescue. Or is it in a situation you never bargained for? Maybe something like finding yourself in a position you aren’t too excited about…learn to trust that God put you there for a purpose. This helps us appreciate God more. Also, learn to celebrate every victory God gives you (Esther 9: 20-32). That’s another good way of showing your appreciation to God.

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