Healing is the children’s bread.
Text: Esther 4, 5, 6 (reading text; Esther 6:1-14)
Esther was an orphan brought up by her cousin Mordecai in Shushan during the reign of Ahasuerus. She was made queen by the great hand and favor of God to be used of God to deliver the Jews from being exterminated. A fair girl, obedient to her parents and authorities, she found favor with the king to be made queen out of choice from seven others, who had gone through purification for one year.
The enemy of the Jews, Haman through his hatred for Mordecai, had planned to exterminate the Jews. This plat came to the notice of Mordecai, who decided to use Esther the queen. Esther, ignorant of the plot merely sent clothes to Mordecai to replace sack-cloth he had on. When the plot was made known, she hesitated because of the royal statutes which forbade her to come before the king except on invitation. When she was challenged to consider why God had placed her there (4:14), she went into action and dared to believe God.
God honored the general fasting and prayers called for by Esther. She was granted favor to see the king; Mordecai was honored and paraded in that lory by his enemy. God also granted self-defense to the Jews, who would have been slaughtered like defenseless rams; and finally, the enemy of the Jews, Haman, hanged himself on the gallons he had prepared for Mordecai.
We are admonished that God will always fight for us if we will dare to believe and continually abide in Him.
|LESSON OBJECTIVESThe objectives of this study are:
Q1. EXAMINE THE CIRCUMSTANCES FOR WICH ESTHER DARED TO BELIEVE.
When the decree, that the Jews in the nation be killed by the twelfth month, came to any of the provinces, “there was great morning among the Jews, with fasting, and weeping, and wailing; and many lay in sack-cloth and ashes”, 4:3. Mordecai had come before the King’s gate clothed with sack-cloth which was customary to do, v2. Esther did not want to defy the law of the land which could make her to be put to death if she did not receive the king’s favor. She feared she might die should the king refused to hold out his golden scepter.
Esther did not realize that whether she went or not, her fate was hanging on the balance. She must have felt secure in the king’s palace. She must have forgotten herself as a Jewess, yet known as such by the people who were perpetrating such evil.
Christians should learn never to forget who they are in Christ. We are “a chosen generation, royal priesthood, an holy nation a peculiar people who should show forth the praises of Him who hath called us”, 1Peter2:9. The need to maintain and live out who we are is very important. This removed the fear of being humiliated, shamed or even to be killed physically rather than renouncing our faith. Any law of the land that makes us hide our identity should not be taken lightly.
Esther may not also have had enough ground to trust in God; though by God’s gracious choice, she has been made queen in the land of her captivity. Faith motivated by past testimonies can give the Christian courage to face the impossible. Esther called on God to enable her dare her chance of proving God. God will never disappoint anyone who trusts in Him.
Q2. HOW CAN WE USE OUR POSITIONS TO HELP OUR FELLOW BELIEVERS?
According to Galatians 6:10, “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith”. Esther demonstrated this as the queen, being the only one who could reach the king on behalf of the Jews.
It was going to be the condition of, “if I perish, I perish”, 4:16. She was in position as Queen, seeking opportunity in order to save the whole Jews in the land from perishing. She went to the king which was not customary and saved the Jews.’
Mordecai was a gatekeeper at the king’s gate. In his presence, others made plans to assassinate the king. Mordecai made this plot known to Esther who in turn informed the king in Mordecai’s name, 2:22. Our positions can guarantee safety for others when we are on duty post. It can be for the safety of lives, property and disaster which could easily be averted if we are alerted.
We are expected to be watchmen in any place where we are. We can know openings where brethren could gain employment, trainings and prospect for jobs for the business people. We can make things easier for those who come in contact with is in our various placements as ‘salt of the earth and light of the world’.
Christians can go on using our positions to do good in a world turn asunder with greed and dereliction of duty, when our focus is to do all things to the glory of God, “knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free”, Ephesians 6:8.
Q3. WHAT QUALITIES HELPED ESTHER TO OVERCOME?
Esther as queen in a rich nation and to king who had great riches must have lived in comfort. She could have asked the Jews to pray and fast for her without her partaking of the fast. Her self-denial brought her closer to God, and for three nights and the days she denied herself of everything in fasting and prayers with all her attendants and called on all the Jews to do the same.
Another quality of hers was the wisdom displayed in presenting the matter before the king, 5:1-2. She did not hurry into making her request but displayed the gentle, heart winning, slow but Holy Spirit directed approach. Christians must always seek for the wisdom of God in all we do. Any life directed by God will always overcome. “Our faith should not stand in the wisdom of men but in the power of God”, 1 Corinthians 2;5. Tactful and prayerful approach to issues will always bring us under the shepherd-hood of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Esther also overcame by her courage. She put every fear aside and determined she would go to the king even if she was going to perish. She was aware of what the consequences would be if the king refused to hold out his scepter; I.e. Death for her. Nothing could attract or tempt her not to die in place of her people. She determined to go to the king and God granted her favor before him. Many bold men in the Scriptures won laurels by facing difficulties in the name of the Lord. We have such courage when we are filled with the Holy Ghost.
Esther was also patriotic. She loved her people and nation. This made her to risk her life, in the determination to save her people. She must have agreed that it was for this purpose that she was in the Kingdom, 4:14. She knew who she was and carried everyone along. We as believers should in like manner stand in the gap for others even at the risk of our lives.
Esther was aware of the odds against her, but her implicit confidence in Go that she would be received by the king, made her go to him without invitation. Her faith saw her through. Those who put their trust in God will never be put to shame.
Q4. DISCUSS HOW GOD INTERVENED IN THE DELIVERANCE OF THE JEWS?
By divine arrangement Esther became queen which placed her in a unique position to serve as a deliverer for her people. Also, it was possible for her to inform the king of Mordecai’s action which resulted in his promotion.
Thus, a Jew saved the king’s life and the king had a Jewess as queen. The enemy of these people could not be seen as the King’s friend. It was not surprising therefore, that the king was angry on hearing that Haman had plotted against Esther and her people, 7:7. God wants us to serve Him faithfully in any position we occupy. “if God be for us, who can be against us?”, Romans 8:31. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose”, Romans 8:28.
God, by His mighty power mad Haman to hang on the gallows he had prepared for God’s servant Mordecai. He delivered the children of Israel by His mighty power out of the hand of Pharaoh. He is the same today. He will intervene in your case, to deliver you from all troubles, if you will dare to believe HIM.
DAILY LIVING APPLICATION
There was a crisis situation for the Jews as they perceived that death was dangling over their heads. The very cure and deliverance needed came when the whole people, went to God in fasting and prayers. The practices of fasting and prayers are meant to draw closer to God. Christians should have faith in God for He can do all things for us. He is the great deliverer and whoever comes to Him in holiness and righteousness shall never be put to shame.
Whatever state we find ourselves, remember to call upon the God of heaven who by His divine pre-knowledge must have brought all things and situations under control for the benefit of His chosen. Christians must not fight for themselves. Seek the will of God and be under the leadership of the Holy Spirit. Know the truth, Jesus. God is constantly interested in His own and He will always intervene for us.
2 Chronicles 20:15 – “…, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude: for the battle is not yours, but God’s.”