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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Living like Esther

[My Scripture-reading habits are sporadic at best, but this summer I've been more consistent, thanks to some free time every morning and "Portals of Prayer" devotions with my husband every day.  Today I just started reading the book of Esther.]

I've read Esther's story before, but like any good book, I get more out of every re-reading of Scripture.  I have a few things in common with Esther, too, and as a result I can relate with her in a way.

There are also a lot of things I do not have in common with Esther: I'm not an orphan, I'm not being trained to be part of a king's harem, I'm not Jewish, and most relieving, the lives of my family and distant relatives are not being threatened by an evil political leader.  (So glad there's no Haman in my life!)

However, there are some important commonalities between Esther's life and mine.  I'm a young woman without much knowledge of what the future holds for me and my family.  In a way, I'm a foreigner in a strange world: as a child of God living in a world darkened by sin, I can imagine how Esther felt living in the king's palace.

Most importantly, even though I don't know exactly what the future holds, God does and he has a plan for me.  I know that he has a job for me to do in his kingdom, and even though I might not know just what that is, I know that God will lead me to serve his purposes.  I can trust that each day I strive to live obediently to God, I am carrying out his purposes for me, even if I never see the results of those purposes.

In Esther's story, she was faced with a terrifying choice: Approach the king uninvited and plead with him to spare the lives of her people, and risk being killed herself as a result, or keep quiet and fail to prevent the deaths of her fellow Jews.  Her uncle Mordecai told her this:

"Do not think that because you are in the king's house you alone of all the Jews will escape.  For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father's family will perish.  And who knows but that you have come to the royal position for such a time as this?"  (Esther 4: 12-14)

Esther bravely went before the king uninvited, and thereby saved the lives of all the Jews who had been threatened by the king's edict.  As a result of her ending up in a place where she probably didn't even want to be, God used her to rescue his people-- the people from whom Jesus himself was descended.

Did Esther know at the time what the amazing results of her actions would be?  Probably not.

But she trusted God nonetheless, and did what she knew was right even in the face of possible death.

I might never be faced with such a frightening decision.  But each day I can choose to obey God, or not.  Thanks to his grace and love, I have the ability to choose obedience.  His Spirit in my heart gives me the will and strength to do so.  Just think what things might happen, living a life as a child of God!

What Bible character can you relate with?  How have you seen Scripture coming alive in your own life?

Linking with:  Raising Homemakers, Upward Not Inward, Deep Roots at Home, A Wise Woman Builds Her Home

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