Mark Driscoll message: Jesus is a Better Savior
So Xerxes here, he can't admit that he was in the wrong, that he did something foolish. And he doesn't know God to turn to Him. So he seeks the counsel of his attendants, a bunch of young guys. We need to be careful to whom we go for advice when we have problems. Do we seek answers in the Bible, from Christian friends or family members, people who have experienced similar difficulties, a pastor, other friends?
And as he turns to his foolish counselors, they tell him that the answer is to not turn to God in repentance, but to turn to a woman.
The plan is, “Let’s do The Bachelor: Persia.” That’s what the frat guys come up with. You see all the frat guys sitting around the house, “Let’s do The Bachelor. Let’s have a bunch of beautiful, young virgins all come for a year at the spa to get prepared for their one night with the king, and the woman who pleases the king most shall win. This will be an amazing television drama. This will be the best reality show ever. Just the idea is already trending on Twitter. It’s unbelievable. Oh, you get to be with that guy!” Isn’t it amazing, though, that twenty-five hundred years later we still have reality television shows based upon, essentially, the same premise? Because the human heart never changes, though the nations, and the rulers, and the dates may.
And the men are choosing these women based upon their beauty, and then Xerxes will choose his wife based upon her beauty and her sexual performance. Sadly, tragically, the same thing that many men do today. “What does she look like and how does she conduct herself? And then I’ll sample all of the different options that I can possibly bring before me, like a god to be worshiped in my glory, and the one that I find most beautiful and pleasurable, she gets the grand finale of being with me.” All he is is a dirty American. Moving right along.
Even though the book of Esther never mentions God by name, surely we can all agree that out of the many, many girls that were brought to be pampered, perfumed, and paraded in front of the king, only God's hand at work could have ensured that Esther would find favour with everyone, including the king, that she would be chosen out of everyone to be his new queen. OK, so God made sure that Esther, a Jewish girl that no one knew was Jewish, became queen so that she could save her people who were living in Persia. Was this because Esther was a wonderful, godly woman? Was this because her faith was on display for everyone to see? No, no one knew even her nationality, nevermind her faith (if she even had faith at the beginning of the story). Was it because she was pure and virginal? Probably not. The Bible doesn't tell us, but do you think Esther escaped the bed of the king unmolested on her one-night audition for the part of the queen? I'm guessing it's unlikely, although not impossible.
There is more... a LOT more... but I tried to pull out the parts that really spoke to me from the message. God can use us, imperfect and broken as we are. We don't have to reach a certain level of "goodness" first. Let's face it, we couldn't even if we wanted to. All the heroes of the Bible had times and places where they failed. David committed adultery and had someone killed. Moses had anger management issues. Abraham didn't have enough faith in God to tell the truth about Sarah being his wife... TWICE. And these men are considered to have great faith and be godly men. And they were! But they messed up too, just like we do. There is hope for God's worldly people.
Tomorrow's scripture focus: Esther 2:19-3:15.