Esther Chapter 8 notes

Esther 8:1-6
With all that Xerxes has given Esther, she has still not received what she went before the king to attain. Now she was comfortable enough in her position to beg the king for mercy as Mordecai had instructed her to do in Esther 4:8. Sometimes good advice has to be handled with good timing.
Esther’s pleading involved an exposure to her heart which was that she could not survive seeing her family destroyed. How we ache at the loss of a loved one or even the thought of losing someone we hold dear to our heart. As much as we feel like we can’t go on we find that we do and over time our hearts actually heal.
We are made whole by the community of people, our family and friends, whose lives are tied to our heart strings. God intended for us to be relational. He never intended for us to live disconnected on our own emotional island. There is comfort in knowing that those that have Christ as their Savior will someday be together in glory never to be separated again.
Esther 8:7-8
People word their requests for what they want a certain way hoping to convince the potential giver to comply. Do we do this with God hoping he doesn’t recognize our selfish motive. Thank goodness He knows our heart and knows how to handle us. Sometimes that involves receiving our demands even when they are not in our best interests along with all the consequences such as with the Israelites in I Samuel 8:20. We should include the phase “if it pleases Him” in our requests and we would save ourselves from receiving the things that we want out of selfish ambition that come with negative consequences.
I have been using the NIV for our verses but Beth points out that the NLT that I used in this section points out Xerxes impatience. He feels he has done more than enough. The king’s lack of passion probably has Esther wanting him to realize it is life that she wants for her and her family not possessions. Someone on the giving end can come to a point where they feel they have given enough. Xerxes basically tells her to do whatever as long as she doesn’t overturn the law that is already written.
Xerxes has come to the point that he may want to do for Esther but when it comes to her family, he doesn’t care enough for that. Our devotion to a loved one can be tested by what we are willing to do to help someone that they love and that we aren’t as close to. Even when it comes to prayer, we can ask someone to pray for a situation that is dear to us but without them recognizing the passion in that request or loving us or that person enough, their prayer may not be as fervent as it could be.
All of us as earthly vessels have had the opportunity to be a hero for someone, sometimes succeeding and sometimes failing. We have also experienced having heroes fail us. This is because we are all human and God wants us to recognize that He wants to be our Hero. He will never fail us. He wants us to look to Jesus for the real solutions to our problems. We can turn to Jesus when others disappoint us and are not sufficient for our need. The more we are disappointed by humans, the more we appreciate the friendship we have in Jesus. When people fail us and we turn to God, we realize it is only Him that is perfect. We can also try to let others know that we cannot meet their every need but there is a God who can. Exodus 20:3, Deuteronomy 4:35 and 39, Isaiah 44:8, Isaiah 45:5-6, Acts 4:12 all tell us we have no other. They will all fail at some point just as we will. God will never fail us. If we had a human hero or an object that could satisfy, we would neglect our God. For those that still have an emptiness that they are trying to fill with someone or something, may you know that there is a God that can fill your every longing.
In Esther 8:8, Xerxes puts the ball in Esther’s hand. Sometimes God does not give us someone to solve our problem, but instead allows us to realize with Him all things are possible, we are capable of doing far more than we realize.
Esther 8:9-13
The words used indicate Mordecai and Esther were acting at once. Sometimes God tells us to wait and sometimes He tells us to act. Starting our day with prayer will help prepare us for what we will face during our day. Mordecai and Esther had days of fasting and praying that prepared them for the decisions they were making. Why the rush? It would take 3 months to get the message to the borders of the Persian Empire plus the Jews needed to prepare to be warriors. Just as they needed to prepare to defend themselves physically, we need to learn to defend ourselves spiritually. We have an enemy that seeks to steal, kill and destroy. Even though the war has been won, we still have battles to fight. In order to experience the thrill of victory, we must learn to overcome. To overcome, we must allow ourselves to be taught by the Overcomer. We have to learn ourselves but also allow God to teach others including our loved ones to fight battles because there will be battles that we cannot fight for them.
The edict declared the Jews had the right to assemble and protect themselves. Hebrews 10:24-25 tells us to assemble, encourage each other. When we go through difficult times, we may ask “why”? God is making a warrior out of you. We are not meant to fight alone. God calls us to unite with our brothers and sisters in Christ and defend ourselves and our families. When we do this, we are guaranteed a victory. When we fully obey God our enemies will come against us from one direction but flee from us in seven. (Deuteronomy 28:1a,7)
Esther 8:14-15
When we accept Christ as our Savior we are robed in righteousness and garments of salvation. Just as the city of Susa held a joyous celebration over their physical salvation, heaven rejoices over our spiritual salvation.(Luke 15:7) Jesus Christ is not only King but Priest. God’s people are members of a royal priesthood. Mordecai left the king’s presence but we never have to leave the King’s presence. He said in Matthew 28:18-20 “I am with you always, to the end of the age”.
Esther 8:16-17
Life is hard and full of suffering and broken hearts. We are all desperately in need of Jesus. The hard things in life make hard things even harder. Life can be stressful, frustrating, lonely and much more. When life is really tough, we can feel these at the same time or one right after another. When times of happiness come, take time to bask in it. What a relief these times are. The word “happiness” in Esther 8:16 is translated from the Hebrew word meaning lightness. It is so relieving to feel the heaviness lifted off of our shoulders at times. God gives us relief for our weary souls. He knows when we need it. Back in Esther 4:30 we saw the Jews mourning, fasting, weeping and wailing. Now in Esther 8:16 we see them happy, joyful, glad and honored. Our God is a God of reversals. He turns our sadness into gladness, our tears to joy, our ashes into beauty, our broken pieces into a masterpiece. He turns everything negative into a positive if we let Him. We don’t suddenly attain perfect conditions. We will have battles. Even when we don’t see complete restoration, we can know our reversals will be completed in heaven.
Exercise to bring about some God ordained reversals into your life:
If you have some feelings that you would rather not be experiencing during the circumstance you are currently in, jot down those feelings. Now beside them jot down what you would like to be feeling instead. If they line up with what would please God, then pray and ask Him, in Jesus name, to bring some reversals into your life that would result in a change of how you feel. Confess anything that needs confessed and share with God the deepest desire’s of your heart. Now write down how God would be glorified if these changes would take place. How could you be used to further God’s kingdom? How would the people around you be affected?

God cares about you and loves you. He wants to do something with your negative circumstance. When He begins a good work in you, ask Him to complete it. He can be glorified in our suffering and also in our celebrating.
The impact this edict had on the Jews made others want to become Jews. Because of our obedience and the impact Christ has on our life should make others want Christ in their life.
God took a people that were doomed to a place of honor because of their reliance on God and their willingness to allow others to see that they cried out to God. What God does in our life is a testimony to others. (Psalm 40:2-3)

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