Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Tuesday, Jan 8, 2013 -- Sandy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is: Gen 15-16, Psalm 6, Matt 6
Today's scripture focus is: Esther 5 

Firstly, please forgive me for being late.  First week for me!  It won't be habit, I promise.  :D

Here in Esther 5, we see her either trying to tell the king of Haman's plan and backing out, or trying to be pleasing, so she can be heard, or something else in her mind that we simply don't see.
Personally, I think she had to be shakin' in her boots. Or sandals.
I myself struggle with confrontation.  Once, in my younger years, my husband (then boyfriend), brother and I went out to eat.  I ordered a chicken dish, and when it arrived, the entire inside was RAW.  So gross.  And dangerous!
But rather than speak up about something that wasn't my fault, I was going to simply not eat it.  Until my hubby noticed and spoke up for me.  It was easier for me to just deal, then to speak up.  Even over something that wasn't my fault and should be spoken up over!
I really was that against confrontation.  I've gotten far more bold in my old age, but I still struggle with "rocking the boat".
My fears are naught compared with Esther.  We are talking about a king who regularly kills people who appear without invitation.  Can you imagine her trepidation?  Her heart pounding, palms sweating,  perhaps even tears springing up.  I know I tend to get a bit teary when I'm really anxious.  I can't help it.
But dude.  No one would have killed me for speaking up about undercooked chicken!  Yet, she dresses herself in her best and boldly walks into that throne room.
Why?
In a word, trust.
Esther, and the rest of the Jewish people, had God's promise that they were His chosen people.  He had delivered them before.  Although they had been in slavery, bondage, wandering in poverty, He had still made good on His word.  Esther had two choices.  Back down and ignore the problem, or trust and face it head on.
She chose trust.  And although the word is silent on Esther's inner thoughts, her actions speak to her gathering her strength and trusting that if God is who He says He is, then He will not allow the Jews to be slaughtered.
In the coming chapters, we will see the fruits of Esther's trust and courage.  In the optional readings in Genesis, we see the less than fresh fruit of Sarah's lack of trust (Gen 15-16). Despite God's word that she would bear Abraham a son, she chose the path of doing it her way.
In the end, trust is required.  Trust is fundamental.  It's simply a question of in what, or in whom, we place our trust.

See you next week!

Sandy

6 comments:

Curly-T said...

Great post!

I'm much more a rage at home than confront somebody person. Most the time that's a good thing. ;)

But you are right, there are so many times when we simply need to trust God and confront the problem.

Elisa Rush said...

Love it, Sandy! There is a time for confrontation and how we do it reveals where our trust is placed. I have never thought of that before!

Miriam said...

Very good point, Sandy. I think it shows wisdom on the part of Esther, who likely had spent little time with the king to first invite him and Haman to feast with her rather than present her request right away. Whether she did it to have some extra time to bolster her courage, or whether she knew that he would be more likely to respond favourably if she pampered him somewhat first, or whether it was simply advice given to her from Mordecai or others in her service, we don't know, but it was very smart nonetheless.

Also, I noticed the part about Haman boasting to his family and friends about his rising position in the kingdom, and his comment that it all meant nothing as long as Mordecai refused to show him honour or respect. My Bible study group was talking yesterday about discontent and jealousy, and how wanting what others have, or wanting something other than or something better than what we currently have, can make us blind to and ungrateful for all of our many blessings.

Ladyoz O. said...

Coming back here after at least a year away....
My thoughts were more on the regular reading..
So, I was struck too again how one act of Sarah rushing things changed all of history. How often I'm tempted as a woman to jump in and make things happen. Even though it was promised her, she jumped the gun I think out of impatience more than trust though I'm sure they are related.
Also, In Matt..
I love fashion, and I have a teenage daughter so um, yeah. We love a good outfit but I loved how Matt reminded us not to focus or "worry" on it. To seek first His kingdom. That does not mean we cannot work well with what we have or find because then it say's "and all these will be given to you". I love that reminder to not get too caught up in things but be pleased and creative with what we are given. Same with food.

TammyIsBlessed said...

Great post Sandy, I had totally not thought of it in that way, but you are so right. Trust is so essential.

Once again, I enjoyed Driscoll's sermon on this passage. I liked his point that Esther showed wisdom in the way she approached the King. Oftentimes we are so focused on the confrontation that we come across much too harsh or even simply much too quickly, which results in a bad outcome. She thought about it (fasted!) first instead of just going off on him, and she came to the King respectfully - in her dress, mannerism and speech. And she made sure his belly was full before bugging him ;)

I also liked his point about our identity. Haman's identity was bound up in his position and power, and his idol was receiving glory. We can tell that we have an idol but our reaction to that thing being taken from us. Haman had had a pretty amazing day by anybody's standards, but then he goes out and sees Mordecai not bowing again, and his whole day is ruined. He wasn't getting the glory he thought was due him and he forgot all about the honour he'd just received when he dined with the King and Queen.

We need to root our identity in Christ. We can't earn that, we simply receive it as a gift from God. We are His children, we are loved, we are blessed, and that frees us to live that way in return. And here, Esther is actually willing to die for her people in order to spare others.

Pamela said...

I think that Esther's preparation in advance...careful and thoughtful and involving those closest to her...certainly helped her win the favour of the king. How often do we jump into things without such care and the results are disastrous!