Anyone know what I'm talking about? Come on now, I know I'm not alone on this one.
So this past week's bible study session was all about timing. Good timing. Bad timing. Your timing. My timing... God's timing. It was a very hefty thing to hear and read about all week. Now just remember what I'm going to say today isn't necessarily what was said in the session... But my take on what was discussed.So the awesome Beth Moore stated that the most famous part of the book of Esther is from 4: verse (let me check, let me check) 12-16.
Back story: Haman is evil. His name closely resembles the Hebrew word for wrath... Which in some way relates to the devil. I don't remember the connection exactly so I wont mess things up by botching it. Haman got miffed because Mordecai wouldn't bow to him... Mordecai is a Jew and followed the 1st commandment (good job Mory!) This enraged Haman so he set a decree to kill all Jews in the Persian Empire. He told the king and when he did he twisted his words to make it seem as if they were a unruly lot of people. So the king gave Haman his signet ring and told him to do with the Jews as he pleased. BAD NEWS. So the Jews had 11 months to wait for this to be carried out.
Now lets not forget that Esther is a Jew who hasn't been forthcoming with her heritage.... and she's QUEEN.
So with the news of the decree Mordecai grieves and wails for his people at the gates of the palace (where he worked) and displayed his beliefs and heritage for everyone to see. Esther heard of it and sent a messenger to him to explain. the messenger went back and forth, from one to another Mordecai explaining the decree to Esther and asking her to approach king Xerxes. Esther refusing because it had been 30 days since he last summoned her and to go to the king without being summoned meant death unless the king spared her... Now Esther and Xerxes had been married for 5 years.... And he hadn't summoned her in 30 days..... the man had a harem. It's not said why it had been so long... But I think we can all guess. Esther said she couldn't go to the king...
Mordecai tells her "Do not imagine that you in the king's palace can escape any more than all the Jews. 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 will perish. And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?"
What a way to verbally shake someone awake?!
Think of all Esther had on her plate already. She's been married for 5 years and recently hasn't been called to the king in 30 days.... Xerxes claimed there was a special bond between them when they married.... Had things gone bad? Did he not want her any more? was he bored? Has he found someone new? Did he want to get rid of her?
To have her cousin tell her, on top of her personal problems to take herself and give the king the opportunity to take her out of the picture.... Because anyone who went to the king without being summoned can be killed.... She felt it was too much to ask.
Beth Moore pointed out that God often turns us to the next path on the heels of a crisis. it is that crisis that pivots us. A big flashing light should go off when personal crisis comes in a time of over all crisis... There's a revelation about to happen.
How often have you thought 'Don't involve me I already have enough problems' or 'not now I've got enough on my plate'? Anyone? Anyone? I think it all the time. I'd rather deal with my personal problems than focus on everyone else's.
The key point in the verse isn't that though... It's the question "Who knows?'That unanswered question of who knows if you've been put in the place you are at this very moment to fulfill your destiny! Esther's destiny was to use her position of power to save her people. But what a way to offer hope.
Who knows if I've been placed where I am to fulfill something that is bigger than myself. The strife and hardships I meet now are all in His plan for me. Why?
Because for every 'who knows'.... The answer is right there staring ourselves in the face...
Did you know that the most often repeated answer to that question in the bible is this
'And you shall know that I am the Lord your God'. It's a fact. One step at a time remember that God knows the plan. He has it all worked out. Don't trust in him to fix it to what you want... Trust in him to fix it to how He knows it will work. It's unconditional. In any hardship, know that He is the one leading the way. That statement above all others comforts me. Knowing that He is the master of all and he's got everything planned out. Whether it's good or bad, my life will have a purpose through Him and His plan for me. It's all in His hands.
I love it. To know that he'll take care of me no matter what I come across.... No matter what I do. It's pretty dang awesome.
Next Friday: It's Tough Being a Woman in the Tight Fist of Fear