Don’t Fear!

Esther 3:12-15 – “12 Then the king’s scribes were called on the thirteenth day of the first month, and a decree was written according to all that Haman commanded—to the king’s satraps, to the governors who were over each province, to the officials of all people, to every province according to its script, and to every people in their language. In the name of King Ahasuerus it was written, and sealed with the king’s signet ring. 13 And the letters were sent by couriers into all the king’s provinces, to destroy, to kill, and to annihilate all the Jews, both young and old, little children and women, in one day, on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar, and to plunder their possessions.[c] 14 A copy of the document was to be issued as law in every province, being published for all people, that they should be ready for that day. 15 The couriers went out, hastened by the king’s command; and the decree was proclaimed in Shushan the citadel. So the king and Haman sat down to drink, but the city of Shushan was perplexed.”

Imagine being the Jewish people when this decree was made. Haman wanted and the king decreed it, that the Jewish people would be completely destroyed and eliminated. I am sure that there was much fear, panic, stress and concern amongst the Jewish people. But, as we are reminded in the Book of Esther, we need not fear people and things because we have the Lord.  He is our protector. He is our provider.

We must constantly remind ourselves of this point as we face our own fears in life. There is nothing or nobody that can touch us when we have the Lord’s covering in our lives. Although King Ahasuerus decreed annihilation, God would ensure their safety, just as He will watch over and protect you.

I pray for blessings today for you on your Journey!

It Is Sealed

Esther 3:8-11Then Haman said to King Ahasuerus, “There is a certain people scattered and dispersed among the people in all the provinces of your kingdom; their laws are different from all other people’s, and they do not keep the king’s laws. Therefore it is not fitting for the king to let them remain. If it pleases the king, let a decree be written that they be destroyed, and I will pay ten thousand talents of silver into the hands of those who do the work, to bring it into the king’s treasuries.” 10 So the king took his signet ring from his hand and gave it to Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the enemy of the Jews. 11 And the king said to Haman, “The money and the people are given to you, to do with them as seems good to you.”

If you didn’t know the rest of the story, you would think that Haman was doing a great thing by protecting the king. Fortunately, we know differently. Mordecai would not bow to Haman, so the Jews must be destroyed. To make sure it was guaranteed, “the king took his signet ring from his hand and gave it to Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the enemy of the Jews. 11 And the king said to Haman, “The money and the people are given to you, to do with them as seems good to you.”

Fortunately for us, and Mordecai and the Jewish people, God sealed our future. When Jesus died on the cross and was resurrected from the grave, God placed His seal upon us so that all could see. No one can hurt us and no one can take away our future. We have been given to Jesus to spend eternity in Heaven with Him.

I pray for blessings today for you on your Journey!

The Poison of Power

Esther 3:1-6After these things King Ahasuerus promoted Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, and advanced him and set his seat above all the princes who were with him. And all the king’s servants who were within the king’s gate bowed and paid homage to Haman, for so the king had commanded concerning him. But Mordecai would not bow or pay homage. Then the king’s servants who were within the king’s gate said to Mordecai, “Why do you transgress the king’s command?” Now it happened, when they spoke to him daily and he would not listen to them, that they told it to Haman, to see whether Mordecai’s words would stand; for Mordecai had told them that he was a Jew. When Haman saw that Mordecai did not bow or pay him homage, Haman was filled with wrath. But he disdained to lay hands on Mordecai alone, for they had told him of the people of Mordecai. Instead, Haman sought to destroy all the Jews who were throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus—the people of Mordecai.

Imagine being Haman…. You have just been promoted to “second in command” and are “above all the princes who were with him.” Imagine all the good that you could do for people. Imagine how you could use that position to serve God. Imagine how it could all lead to your destruction because of pride.

So often in life we see people that have taken something amazing and turned it into something destructive. Why? Because of pride. Haman’s downfall and ultimately death would be because of his pride. We should seek to honor and serve the Lord through humility. If we are to take any pride, take pride in knowing that the Lord calls you His child.

I pray for blessings today for you on your Journey!

What Can Prayer Do?

Esther 2:19-2319 When virgins were gathered together a second time, Mordecai sat within the king’s gate. 20 Now Esther had not revealed her family and her people, just as Mordecai had charged her, for Esther obeyed the command of Mordecai as when she was brought up by him. 21 In those days, while Mordecai sat within the king’s gate, two of the king’s eunuchs, Bigthan and Teresh, doorkeepers, became furious and sought to lay hands on King Ahasuerus. 22 So the matter became known to Mordecai, who told Queen Esther, and Esther informed the king in Mordecai’s name. 23 And when an inquiry was made into the matter, it was confirmed, and both were hanged on a gallows; and it was written in the book of the chronicles in the presence of the king.

As I was reading this passage today, I couldn’t help but be reminded about the power of prayer. “Mordecai sat within the king’s gate,” because he was concerned about the welfare of Esther, whom he had raised. Day after day, his thoughts and concerns were on Esther so much that he spent all day focused on her.

Isn’t that what prayer is? Out of love, care and concern for others, we “sit within the king’s gate” in prayer with the Lord daily for those we love. And just as King Ahasuerus would learn, the prayers we offer to the Lord not only bless us and those we are praying for, but also others around us. Remember that prayer is the most powerful tool we have to combat the enemy and it is the most beautiful gift that we can give to those we love.

I pray for blessings today for you on your Journey!

You Have a Purpose

Esther 2:15-1815 Now when the turn came for Esther the daughter of Abihail the uncle of Mordecai, who had taken her as his daughter, to go in to the king, she requested nothing but what Hegai the king’s eunuch, the custodian of the women, advised. And Esther obtained favor in the sight of all who saw her. 16 So Esther was taken to King Ahasuerus, into his royal palace, in the tenth month, which is the month of Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign. 17 The king loved Esther more than all the other women, and she obtained grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins; so he set the royal crown upon her head and made her queen instead of Vashti. 18 Then the king made a great feast, the Feast of Esther, for all his officials and servants; and he proclaimed a holiday in the provinces and gave gifts according to the generosity of a king.

Many times in our lives, we are placed in situations and circumstances that might be difficult for us to understand. While we mainly think of the trials and tribulations, the same can be said for the blessings in our lives.

Esther was selected by King Ahasuerus to be his queen once Vashti was removed. It would have been easy for Esther to be thankful for being called queen, but she was not called to be a queen, she was called to be something more for the Jewish people. The Lord would use Esther to protect His people and bring them to safety.

As you look at the blessings you have in your life, remember to see them through the Lord’s eyes. If God has blessed  you, then what does He want to do with that blessing? While we are thankful for the blessings, remember that the blessing should serve as a reminder that you have a purpose in God’s plan.

I pray for blessings today for you on your Journey!

Have You Found Esther’s Favor?

Esther 2:8-10So it was, when the king’s command and decree were heard, and when many young women were gathered at Shushan the citadel, under the custody of Hegai, that Esther also was taken to the king’s palace, into the care of Hegai the custodian of the women. Now the young woman pleased him, and she obtained his favor; so he readily gave beauty preparations to her, besides her allowance. Then seven choice maidservants were provided for her from the king’s palace, and he moved her and her maidservants to the best place in the house of the women.

Esther, the niece of Mordacai and a Jewish woman, was selected to be one of the your women that would be presented to the king. While preparing to meet the king, she found favor with Hegai, the custodian of the women. Because of this, she was given more than the other ladies. In fact, she was moved to the “best place in the house of the women”.

You might not realize it, but we have all been blessed with Esther’s favor. We have been chosen by the Lord. We have found favor with the Lord. We have been moved to the “best place” in the house of the Lord. Never forget that in the Lord’s eyes, you are more precious, more beautiful. more valuable than all others. In His eyes, you are just like Esther.

I pray for blessings today for you on your Journey!

Does God Hear Our Prayers?

Esther 1:16-20 – “16 And Memucan answered before the king and the princes: “Queen Vashti has not only wronged the king, but also all the princes, and all the people who are in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus. 17 For the queen’s behavior will become known to all women, so that they will despise their husbands in their eyes, when they report, ‘King Ahasuerus commanded Queen Vashti to be brought in before him, but she did not come.’ 18 This very day the noble ladies of Persia and Media will say to all the king’s officials that they have heard of the behavior of the queen. Thus there will be excessive contempt and wrath. 19 If it pleases the king, let a royal decree go out from him, and let it be recorded in the laws of the Persians and the Medes, so that it will not be altered, that Vashti shall come no more before King Ahasuerus; and let the king give her royal position to another who is better than she. 20 When the king’s decree which he will make is proclaimed throughout all his empire (for it is great), all wives will honor their husbands, both great and small.”

Because Queen Vashti was unwilling to come to King Ahasuerus when commanded, she was removed from her royal position. This is important because this allowed Esther to later become the queen and, thus, speak to the king about the looming destruction of the Jewish people.

Sometimes we may forget that in order for the Lord to answer our prayers, He must first work through others. If you have been praying for an answer and have not seen any movement yet, keep praying. While we may think that God is not listening, it just might be that He is already working to answer your prayer. When we pray, God answers. When He answers is only known by Him.

I pray for blessings today for you on your Journey!

Pride Comes Before the Fall

It has been said that pride and ego are at the root of all wars that have ever occurred throughout history. Whether it be an aggressor that wanted to expand their territory or a ruler that refused to do what was right, pride and ego played a part in the cause. As we continue to look at the Book of Esther, we are going to see how pride and ego were at the root of those that fell in the book.

In Esther 1:10-12 we read, “10 On the seventh day, when the heart of the king was merry with wine, he commanded Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, Abagtha, Zethar, and Carcas, seven eunuchs who served in the presence of King Ahasuerus, 11 to bring Queen Vashti before the king, wearing her royal crown, in order to show her beauty to the people and the officials, for she was beautiful to behold. 12 But Queen Vashti refused to come at the king’s command brought by his eunuchs; therefore the king was furious, and his anger burned within him.”

King Ahasuerus burned with anger because Queen Vashti refused to bow before him as was customary. We will see shortly how her refusal would set the course for God’s plan in this book. How many times do we allow ego and pride confuse sound judgement? Many times do we read in the Bible how ego and pride drove people to sin and ultimately away from the Lord. Are you allowing your ego and pride to get between you and the Lord?

I pray for blessings today for you on your Journey!

According to Each Man’s Pleasure

Chuck Swindoll once said that the biggest problem with our society was that we have “lost our conscience”. Now, I am not sure how you feel about that statement, but it does seem that what once was “black and white” has become very grey. We once were focused on living our lives on the Word of God, but more and more are concerned with “doing what they want”. King Ahasuerus also believed in people doing what they wanted.

In Esther 1:5-8 it states, “And when these days were completed, the king made a feast lasting seven days for all the people who were present in Shushan the citadel, from great to small, in the court of the garden of the king’s palace. There were white and blue linen curtains fastened with cords of fine linen and purple on silver rods and marble pillars; and the couches were of gold and silver on a mosaic pavement of alabaster, turquoise, and white and black marble. And they served drinks in golden vessels, each vessel being different from the other, with royal wine in abundance, according to the generosity of the king. In accordance with the law, the drinking was not compulsory; for so the king had ordered all the officers of his household, that they should do according to each man’s pleasure.”

King Ahasuerus allowed those that attended his feast to “do according to each man’s pleasure’. Freedom is important. Freedom is what makes our country so great. But while the Bible does give us freedom to choose, we must also remember that the freedom that the Lord gives us is to bring Him pleasure. We are called not to live according to our pleasures, but according to His pleasure.

I pray for blessings today for you on your Journey!

How Big is Your Territory?

I remember when I worked in the “business world” that I was very focused on how many people reported to me. You see, I thought that the more people I had working for me, the more important I must be, correct? I am embarrassed to admit that it took me years to realize that I couldn’t have been more wrong. In the Book of Esther, King Ahasuerus — a powerful man, a mighty man, but did it make him important?

In Esther 1:1-4 we read, “Now it came to pass in the days of Ahasuerus[a] (this was the Ahasuerus who reigned over one hundred and twenty-seven provinces, from India to Ethiopia), in those days when King Ahasuerus sat on the throne of his kingdom, which was in Shushan[b] the citadel, that in the third year of his reign he made a feast for all his officials and servants—the powers of Persia and Media, the nobles, and the princes of the provinces being before him— when he showed the riches of his glorious kingdom and the splendor of his excellent majesty for many days, one hundred and eighty days in all.”

King Ahasuerus ruled over a very large territory and some would say that he controlled the lives of those inside his kingdom. Yet, as we will see in the Book of Esther, we are not ruled by people on this earth, but our Father in Heaven. As we look at our lives, we should not look at how big our territory is, but focus on how big our Lord is. If anyone asks you “how big your territory is” tell them that it is as big as your God.

I pray for blessings today for you on your Journey!