As Esther prepares to approach the king, she knows that this is forbidden and it may be her end. Fear is the biggest tool of the enemy. We are told in God’s word more than anything else to “fear not”, “do not be afraid”. We can trust God with our lives. No matter what happens, even the things that we don’t think we could ever handle, God is faithful and He will pick us up if we let Him.
Sometimes we do have devastating things happen to us. Life is that way because of the fall. If we seek God, we will survive. When we can trust God with our lives no matter what, trust Him with even our worst nightmare, then satan has lost his power and we have gained victory.
If _______________________, then God.
You put your biggest fear in the blank. Chances are that your biggest fear will never happen but if it does, God will get you through it. We of course don’t invite suffering and don’t desire it. Christ asked God if there was any way “may this cup be taken from me” (Matt 26:39) At times we may have to suffer or watch a loved one suffer. It is hard but we cannot wholly avoid it. Our list of fears can be thrown in satan’s face by telling him, “If ______________________, then…
• God will take care of me.
• then God has a plan.
• then God desires to accomplish something big in me.
• then God’s going to demonstrate His sufficiency to me.
• you can write a few “then statements” of your own.
Unconditional trust in a Savior who loves us more than His own life will get us through anything. He suffered for us because God had a plan. If we are going to do any suffering, it would be better to do it trusting in a God that can bring something good from it. If we suffer, God has a plan.
Trusting is hard but living in fear is torture. We are not to live in bondage. We need to be intentional about the way we live and the things we do. Esther was prepared spiritually, mentally and physically to overcome her fear. At times when we are so close to our fear, we don’t always feel like God is there but He is and He is going to deliver.
We know that approaching the king meant death if the king did not extend his scepter. If we didn’t know the ending we would think she had a “chance” of dying. She had more than a chance. Her probability of dying was great. She had a “slim chance” of having the king extend his scepter. The only thing that made the difference is that God had a hand in whether Xerxes would show her favor. God is in control of our destiny but He gives us choices and His favor will change our probability of failing.
Just as King Xerxes allowed Esther to approach, our Heavenly Father, King of all Kings allows us to approach. He invites us to bring our needs to His feet. Our God extends His scepter and wants to deliver us. We need to reach out and touch the scepter, the hem of His garment.
God knows what He is asking of us and He knows how hard it will be for us. He pushes us so that we depend on Him because we can do immeasurable more with Him and to help us grow beyond what we could ever be on our own. We don’t have to be perfect at what He asks us to do. We just have to be willing. With Him we are able to do more than we can imagine. He will prove that to you as you step out into the water.
What if Esther would have waited until her nerves settled before approaching the king? Based on my own experience, I think she would have decided to not approach. It seems that when God asks you to do something, your adrenaline flows to motivate you but if you wait then the urgency is gone. If you can be brave enough to do something that makes your hands shake and your heart pound, God will show you that you will survive and that you can trust Him when you are obedient to what He asks of you.
God does not look at our failings as people do. He looks at them as willingness and obedience despite what others are thinking/saying or how we are feeling.
Haman was at his highest while the Jews were at their lowest. A major character flaw is revealed when a person can only be happy when someone else is down. Nothing leaves us more hollow than being full of ourselves. Haman was too concerned about his ego to see what was really going on. Haman’s ego is inflated with the idea that he gets to dine with the King and Queen. Small gathering for a meal with the king was ordinarily reserved for the king’s mom or the queen.
His mood took a turn for the worse when he exited to see Mordecai at the gate showing no fear and then did not stand to acknowledge his presence. Haman must have thought Mordecai would be so devastated by the edict that he would no longer be able to work at the King’s gate, a place from where the edict originated. We can be in a devastating circumstance but as a child of God, we do not need to be devastated.
In this circumstance, prayer and fasting has changed things. Kneeling to pray can give us the power to stand. A man without God has no idea of the power that can be obtained through a humbling before an Almighty God. We need to know our standing in God’s eyes so we keep it in perspective with how we see ourselves and how we perceive others to see us. The only way to do that is to constantly go humbly to God in prayer. Ephesians 2:6-7 tells us we only have a lofty position because of Christ. When we are positioned in Christ, we no longer have that need to exalt ourselves and others no longer have power to affect our mood by their actions.
Haman’s mood was out of control because of his ego being blown up by himself and deflated by another’s actions or lack of action in this case. Beth says, a “depleted ego looks anywhere for inflation. If it can’t find pride, rage provides ample hot air.” Haman somehow managed to keep from throwing his temper tantrum right away.
God formed us in His image but He is God and we are not. Scripture helps us see that and also shows us who He meant us to be. God wants us to repent so that He can repair us.
Now we have Haman having his temper tantrum in the form of a party trying to pump himself full again only to come crashing down. He was surrounded by friends and family but still let one person keep him from being happy. We should not be mastered by the ones that won’t bow to our desires and demands. We need to examine our desires and demands and realize others are not here to cater to our desires. Bondage can be in the form of a person if too much of our time is spent thinking about them whether negative or positive. It could be someone that we are attracted to or someone we despise. Galatians 1:10 tells us to focus on pleasing God not men, which would include ourselves. We can recognize these people when they are the ones that make us feel out of control by trying to perform to impress or sometimes making a fool of ourselves. It isn’t necessarily the person mastering us but our thoughts about the person. God can heal our minds of these thoughts and break that bondage.
Beth tells us “to let Haman’s stronghold make us aware of our own”. It is probably visible to others. Embarrassment can be an asset if we let it motivate us to make a change. It may eliminate future or worse embarrassment. 2 Corinthians 10:5 tells us to make every thought obedient to Christ.
The sad thing is we act the way we do to get satisfaction for ourselves but if the person would actually do what we thought they should, would it “fix us”? To allow ourselves to be preoccupied like this by a person goes deeper than that. God is the only one that can truly “fix us” and give us the right perspective. If we feel fixed by someone conforming to our ways, that is only going to be temporary until they or someone else does it again. God can “fix us” so we don’t have to act and react in the same fashion as our past. When we admit to our brokenness, we can move toward our wholeness.
Haman is not happy. You have heard, “happy wife, happy life”. Well in this case, “happy Haman, happy household”. His wife and friends suggest a solution that pleases Haman. Have you ever wondered what to do with a person that isn’t happy with themselves and brings the whole party down? Beth thought if someone was brave enough they may have said, “Grow up and get over yourself, It’s not all about you.” The suggested remedy was gallows which, in this context, would have been to impale the body to display him and disgrace him. Haman wouldn’t just be happy with having Mordecai dead. He wanted him disgraced. Maybe Zeresh shows a little impatience by suggesting such an over the edge solution to regaining his happiness. Do we ever want to just tell someone to quit “whining and do something, anything”? Sometimes that “anything” can back fire. Some questions to consider to see where you stand. Which ones may describe you.
_____ Do I have a low tolerance for those around me that become upset or are uncomfortable about a circumstance?
_____ Do I feel like I have to solve problems that arise that affect a loved one?
_____ Do I get tired of hearing others whine about the same thing over and over that I would agree with “any” solution?
_____ Do I get involved in a loved one’s conflict with other people and allow their feelings to affect my feelings?
_____ Do I get so involved that I feel like I have to solve the problem and in my attempt I become irrational?
I have found that praying before speaking and reacting does wonders. God can often save us from over reacting, making a wrong choice or looking like a fool. He will often work out the situation. He will also defend us so we don’t have to feel the need to defend ourselves. He has a better way of making wrongs right.