Esther: Day 10

Esther Intervenes for the Jews

by

Today's Text: Esther 8:1-17, Romans 8:10-11, Colossians 3:1-4

Scripture Reading: Esther 8:1-17, Romans 8:10-11, Colossians 3:1-4

Sometimes I am absolutely paralyzed by indecision. Does this happen to you? My to-do list gets too long, and instead of just chipping away at it one item at a time, my stomach starts to hurt, my neck gets tight, and I just go back to bed. The rational thing to do is to simply move forward, pay the bills, write the essay I’m avoiding, and buck up. But I find that sometimes I just can’t muscle through. I find that my nose is raw from so much keeping to the grindstone. I can’t move forward for good or for ill. I am paralyzed.

We can get frozen in place when there’s too much to do, or even when there’s nothing to be done. In either case, panic and flight are the natural human responses to unfavorable circumstances. Both solve nothing, and both betray a lack of faith that God is in control. We find ourselves in that terrifying state of freezing indecision, yet He really only desires one thing: that we turn to Him in trust.

Trust doesn’t mean we have to remain inactive. Often, trust means we must act. In those situations, God calls us to simply do the next right thing, and for the rest, cast our cares on Him (1 Peter 5:7). Do you have a ten-year plan? Good on you. Do you have no plans at all? That’s okay, too; start with the next right thing.

Esther didn’t have a ten-year plan. Her future plans risked her neck, so she had every reason to be paralyzed by fear and indecision. But instead she cries out in agony, “How could I bear to see the disaster that would come on my people?” (Esther 8:6). Even though her enemy Haman had been dealt with, his evil plotting left behind a huge disaster and danger. Lives were at stake. How could her people be saved from destruction? In Esther’s case, King Ahasuerus turned matters over to Esther and Mordecai.

Throughout Esther’s story, we have seen that so much has rested on favor. The favor the king showed Vashti, the favor he showed Esther, the favor the king showed Haman, the favor he showed Mordecai, then the favor he showed the Jews. This favor, of course, is often reversed. The king’s favoring of Vashti ended. Esther favored Haman by inviting him to the feast, but it was to his destruction. Mordecai was ignored, then favored. And finally, the Jews, once despised, were now favored of the king.

All of this favor is out of our control. Amidst flatteries and reversals, however, God’s favor for His people endures. The story of Esther is ultimately the story of God’s favor toward His people. It’s the story of Psalm 30:11-12: “You turned my lament into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, so that I can sing to you and not be silent.”

God’s favor is the greatest surety there can be. We are called to trust Him and walk in obedience. We don’t need to give up and confine ourselves to bed, paralyzed by fear and indecision. We can move forward in confidence of God’s promises. If we trust ourselves to His care, we need not fear or be anxious. Though the whole world heave against us, or when everything is shrouded in darkness, He is King.

SRT-Esther-instagram Day10

  • If time is money you’ve made me a wehilater woman.

  • Melissa Wright

    One phrase stuck out to me in today’s reading, “The king extended the gold scepter toward Esther”. I️ got tears in my eyes when I️ read this because I️ was reminded that anytime we approach God, He extends the scepter to us. We can approach Him with humility and boldness without fear of rejection because of Christ. King Ahasuerus gave Esther what she requested, how much more will God Almighty give us?

  • Reading Esther for today I’m struck by their desire to take revenge once they are placed in a position to do so. This is definitely not turning the other cheek! It really strikes me that the message of Jesus is so much better than anything that came before and how revolutionary his message of peace was (and continues to be). We don’t need to take revenge and take back gold and kill women and childen (sheesh! Really Mordecai!?); because our treasure is above and rests in acts of love!

    • Kendra

      Hey Nea,

      I’m really glad I read your comment. I was struggling to wrap my head around the revenge (or justice, depending on how you look at it) that happened to Haman and the rest of those people. The idea that they were killed for their actions didn’t sit well with me. But you are right! The difference lies in Jesus as our new salvation. Faith and trust in Jesus as our savior will get us farther than ever wishing harm on our enemies.

    • Julia

      It was out of defense for themselves and their families though. They could only kill women and children who were attacking them. And they couldn’t just repeal the first edict to annihalate the Jews, because nothing with the king’s signet can be revoked. Allowing the Jews to defend themselves on that day was the best solution.

      • Nea

        That’s a good point that the edict couldn’t be repealed, but the King James Version literally says “avenge themselves on their enemies”. That strikes me as something that makes a lot of sense under worldly logic but not under grace. It certainly seems contrary to the beatitudes.

    • Ashley Pullar

      Nea, I understand your concern for ‘revenge’ and am glad you point out that Jesus had a different message. Because this book was written as people lived under the old covenant where justice was an eye for an eye, God actually proves himself faithful in the ways that you see as harsh. Jesus fully redeemed us and bore a harsh punishment, brutal death in exchange for grace. I can read the story of Esther with a sense of peace in knowing that God is actually consistent and full of love for his people that when they were called to be destroyed he rescued them AND equipped them to defend and destroy. What was meant to kill Mordecai didn’t just get undone but it turned against the accuser and destroyed him instead. I believe this is God leaving no stone unturned in the favor of his people and delivery of justice. God isn’t a pacifist and I think this speaks to him in his credit for justice and mercy. Furthermore, when Jesus asks us to turn the other cheek, it is to show mercy to the living and those who have yet to realize God’s love. Grace exists on this side of the cross and we must be ministers of it.

  • Caroline

    Amen Amen Amen! Trust isn’t inactive but when we surrender our stories over to him and fully trust him he is always moving us forward. <3 Thank you for your favor Lord!

    http://www.in-due-time.com

  • Diane Huntsman

    “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” – the word of God.
    So many verses I️ know like the back of my hand and yet I️ gloss over them due to their familiarity.. when I️ stop and ponder the weight of their instruction I️ am challenged to my very core.. setting my mind on things above us a discipline and if I’m honest my mind is often fully consumed with things on this temporal and passing earth.. the here and the now often and almost always trumping the heavenly focus.. may the God of the universe and our lives personally grant us the empowering and the disciplines needed to obey His instructions.. Esther was careful to do all that was told of her to do.. she listened intently and followed directions to the “t” because so much was at stake.. there’s a lot at stake in our lives too and the need to listen and heed instruction is vital.. Lord gives us hearts that stop dead in their tracks at the hearing of Your Word and may we be like Esther, swift to obey and never glossing lightly over Your instructions.. there’s too much at stake to live like we don’t hear You.

  • GramsieSue

    So thankful today, Father, that I am Your treasured daughter, loved and favored. And when I come before You, there is no reason to fear that You will turn me away. No, You welcome me with open arms! ❤️ And as I give You my desires and requests, You already have a plan in place. I can step out in faith, knowing You are in control. What a blessing ❤️

  • Daniela

    If there is a lesson to get from the book of Esther is that I can close my eyes and trust completely that God will take my hand and guide me, allowing me to reach the destinations unscathed.
    I trust in his love completely.

    God wants us to do our parts. I’m the one who has to do the walking, otherwise we won’t move, but he is my guide.

  • Cindy Young

    “Like apples of gold in settings of silver Is a word spoken in right circumstances.” Proverbs 25:11
    That is what this reading was to me today. What a comfort to be reminded that “God’s favor is the greatest surety there can be….” Thank you!

  • Rachelle

    “Though the whole world heave against us, or when everything is shrouded in darkness, He is King.” That is a great line to post and reference every day because this world surely seems to be against, but God…

  • I have lived most of my life in this state of paralyzed fear and indecision and just reading the first line of this devo brought tears to my eyes. I know God is speaking to me about trusting and obeying Him in areas of my life where He is calling me to serve, but it is letting God be God and handle the details that I cannot figure out that have me locked down at the present time. There are a lot of personal obstacles that play into this as well, so please keep me in your prayers.

  • Kristine L

    I found it interesting that Haman’s original edict to destroy the Jews could not be reversed. That would have been the most obvious way to fix the damage. But the order had been sealed by the king’s ring and could not be revoked. So the new order was to allow the Jews to defend themselves. God always finds a way, even if the new plan doesn’t look like the first, even if it’s not the solution that would normally pop in our minds. Thankful we can always trust His plans!

    • Emily

      Yes! I was thinking the same thing! Just like Daniel in the lion’s den, the king could not reverse the order to have him sent there. I’m sure Daniel never would have thought that God would have saved him by allowing him to sleep with the lions! We all have an idea of how things will work out in our lives and how God will come through for us, but “His ways are not our ways.” He guides and protects in ways that we could never fathom with our human minds. Praising God for His wisdom and protection that is far better than anything we could ever dream up!

    • Christina D.

      Kristine I hadn’t even considered this. Thank you for pointing it out as it really speaks to me. So often my paralyzing indecision also comes from being afraid that if I do something, that’s the end. It’s permanent, can’t be changed. And maybe it really seems that way. But God! “God always finds a way, even if the new plan doesn’t look like the first, even if it’s not the solution that would normally pop in our minds.” Thank you for this reminder that He always finds a way.

  • Yes I know that paralysing fear. The fear of “what if” and questioning every possible move until everything is in bits and nothing can have the stamp of approval. What is this but sin? Trust God and move on. Such a perfect devotional for this time. Thank you

  • Churchmouse

    The Scriptures and devotion today give me such confidence in prayer! Esther opens her plea to reverse Haman’s orders with these words : “If it pleases the king and I have found favor before him…” I enter my prayer closet as a child of God, favored by Him through faith. When I make my requests in submission to His will, it pleases my King. I can then leave my prayer closet confident that He will move on my behalf for my good and His glory. What is there to fear? What better way to face the day? No freezing indecision. No panic. No flight. Trusting in Him is always the next right thing to do. Let me do just that in my prayer closet each day!

    • Ellen

      Thank you for your words, Churchmouse. As many times before I have written them in my study book. I do trust and God has moved in mighty ways, especially in the past week. Yesterday we put my dad into hospice care. God provided answers and insights to allow us to do this, knowing it is the best way for my dad to live out the remaining days/weeks of his life. Your insights are always a comfort to me. Thank you and God bless.

      • Churchmouse

        Praying for your dad and all your family as you walk the hard hospice road. Grateful that you sought the Lord for wisdom in your decision making. So good that you responded in obedience to His guidance. God will surely bless you for it. Praying that His presence is profoundly felt by all of you.

    • Kristen Clegs

      ❤️

      • Julie

        Does anyone wonder if she was really addressing Ahasuerus with her request, or if she was addressing God? “If it pleases the King…” (just a thought)

  • Have I ever told you about the grace and favour so so visible this particular time that I was feeling paralysed with fear of getting this job done to the best of my ability.?
    I had been asked by a friend to make a choux pastry tower for her sons christening cake and pudding. After consulting a few cook books, I thought I’d give it a go, even practice before I got to the day, but like most busy lives there seemed not to be a time or space in the days to actually do this. Day of christening arrives and I am now panic stricken and fear filled because though I have made the choux buns, I have no idea how I am to tower them, and decorate with spun sugar. I had managed to find a conical implement that apparently would be helpful! Yeah right!
    All the way to the venue I prayed, I sang worship songs and prayed some more. My helper looked at me in strange-ness!
    At the venue I was told there had not been a provision made for me to assemble and set up the tower. Could it really get any worse with an hour and a half to go…more prayers.
    Then breakthrough, well… the chef, through gritted teeth said I could have 45 mins use of his kitchen, then whether I had finished or not I would have to leave so he could carry on with the food for the event…
    Thankful for the small mercy, my helper and I set to, she, filling the 300 buns whilst I made the caramel to cement the tower together and decorate the finished tower with spun sugar …still singing worship songs and praying in joy. I don’t know how, well I do., yet I am always amazed when I tell this story of the wondrous-ness and awesomeness of our God and Father. Caramel, alone takes about 10/12 minutes, and filling 300 buns… yet we were done, tidied up, packed away and tower outbeautifully decorated with spun sugar on show, as the chef came back into the kitchen… ! He was totally and utterly confused! As were the assistants that had heard him earlier.!
    Favour.
    Grace.
    Love..

    But God…

    Thank you, Lord God for the reminder today of one of the many, many times of your grace and favour to me. Thank you Lord for the reminder that when we hold on to you, trusting you in your Word and promises that the amazing happens, that we see your presence in our situations that perhaps have paralysed us in some ways…
    Lord, I thank you that I live in awe when I trust you and you alone… thank you Father God, thank you for everything..

    Trusting Him with your day today, Sisters. Praying His Grace, peace and favour over you… every blessing… xxxxx

  • Nicole Lawrence

    I have a book to write. The Enemy would have me distracted from finishing it. Please pray with me for the protection i need to think clearly and for the well being of my mind and our family

    • IAB

      Awesome ! Praying for you ! For clarity – purpose and for the Enemy to be removed ! Gods favor is upon you if writing. The book is part of what He has called you to do !

      • Youngy

        I told my gremndothar how you helped. She said, “bake them a cake!”

    • Nickole

      Praying for you! He created your mind and He will protect it.

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