Tag Archives: Esther

A Cry Worthy Cause

Being on the inside of a situation doesn’t always give us the best vantage point for viewing a situation. I realized this again this past Sunday as I studied through Esther, Chapter 4 for my teen Sunday School class. When it came to the attack on the Jewish people devised by Haman, the King’s right hand man; Mordecai, who was on the outside, knew more than Esther, who was on the inside as the King’s wife. Esther was no doubt busy doing what Queen’s do. Mordecai was out with the people. My thought was this, “In order to understand the heart of God’s people, you have to spend time with them, and really listen…” In ministering to God’s people, or in the day to day of life, it’s very easy to look on the situation and speak from a personal perspective rather than from the person’s perspective to whom we’re speaking too.

How is it that we can best serve those in our church and in our lives?

The Town Crier and the Town Critics

Ester 4:1 ~ When Mordecai perceived all that was done, Mordecai rent his clothes, and put on sackcloth with ashes, and went out into the midst of the city, and cried with a loud and a bitter cry;

Mordecai went very public with his outcry. There is a time to be silent, but there is definitely a time to cry aloud. And as church leaders we should be looking for the lead town crier. That’s usually not the one crying the loudest. Most churches have the person or persons that finds it their personal responsibility to point out every flaw in every service, those would be the “Town Critics.” But there will always be a few who, if they cry, it is a cry worthy one. For those on the inside of ministry it’s very easy to make it personal. We put so much time and effort into an event and then to have someone tear it apart because it wasn’t to their liking is heartbreaking. I have worn that tee shirt many times. I’ve also deserved it a few. Because I wasn’t listening.

Mordecai mourned because he was anticipating the death of his people if action wasn’t taken. His was in the very literal sense of the world. Haman wanted to annihilate the Jewish people. He hated them. But for those of us who serve the Lord, we love our people! Even those who don’t necessarily like us. So we must position ourselves to hear their cry.

The Town Calmer

Esther 4:4 ~ So Esther’s maids and her chamberlains came and told it her. Then was the queen exceedingly grieved; and she sent raiment to clothe Mordecai, and to take away his sackcloth from him: but he received it not.

Esther tried to soothe Mordecai’s fears by covering him with new raiment but he refused. Covering up his body wouldn’t remove the vexation from his spirit. He needed Esther to act, not cover. Words are wonderful! I love the spoken and the written word, but it they’re not attached to an action by the deliverer and receiver, they’re of very little purpose. We must act on what we hear and what we hear should bring a call to action.

The Total Conviction

Mordecai finally got through to Esther on the seriousness of the threat against God’s people. Esther genuinely listened, but not until Mordecai had given her a copy of the decree of death for the Jews, and not without words of his own that convicted her too.

Esther 4:13-17 ~ Then Mordecai commanded to answer Esther, Think not with thyself that thou shalt escape in the king’s house, more than all the Jews. For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this? Then Esther bade them return Mordecai this answer, Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish. So Mordecai went his way, and did according to all that Esther had commanded him.

Esther knew what she had to do. She had to speak to the King on behalf of her people, even if it meant she die. Well, that’s a little more dramatic than most of the situations in our life. But I gleaned a valuable lesson as a leader and as one who’s being lead. We must take care of those we’ve been called to minister too and for. Our messages should be messages that are for “such a time as this.” They should convict and call every listener to action. Mordecai wasn’t complaining to call attention to himself, he was calling people to action for his cause. He didn’t want his people to perish… nor do I.

My words… anyone’s words who share the gospel should be what the people need. And when they’re delivered there should be a conviction and a call to action.

If Esther hadn’t accepted her call to action, God’s people would have perished. I fear that’s what’s happening in the churches. We need messages that convict. Our cause is cry worthy!

I’ll not complain when the power and blessings of the Holy Spirit bring unexplainable and unspeakable joys in my life for my service through the studying of His Word and the sharing of the Gospel. That is a gift of unmeasurable worth! But through the coercing of others in the ministry, who see my work as worthy, and the coercing of the Holy Spirit Who says “Through His blood I am worthy,” I have added a ministry donation button to this site. If you do not have, or do not feel inclined to give, then please don’t feel obligated. But if I have encouraged you and the Spirit speaks, your gift of any amount would be appreciated and honored by God.

I do what I do because I’m gifted and afforded the opportunity by grace and feel that I am accountable for the ministry that God has given. God has been enlarging my territory. For that I am grateful. But for that, there are expenses. Thank you for reading my blog. It encourages my soul, I pray I’ve encouraged yours!

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You can’t hold hands and skip with the world and take a stand

chick hold hands with world

The story of Esther is one of my favorites in the Bible, though I have many, but this morning it is not my favorite character of Esther that I seem to be drawn to in my hour of need from the Lord. It’s her uncle Mordecai; a devout Jew who stood his ground and raised another generation (Queen Esther) to do likewise.

In rebellious arrogance the government of the day had ordered the people, Jew and non-Jew to bow down before their presence, but Mordecai refused. Oh, this sent Haman, who had just received a promotion above the princes into a snit! He tattled to the King who desired to keep his evil minions happy, and at Haman’s plotting the King ordered the Jews destroyed and placed a hefty bounty upon their heads.

Esther 3:8-10  ~ And Haman said unto king Ahasuerus, There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the people in all the provinces of thy kingdom; and their laws are diverse from all people; neither keep they the king’s laws: therefore it is not for the king’s profit to suffer them. If it please the king, let it be written that they may be destroyed: and I will pay ten thousand talents of silver to the hands of those that have the charge of the business, to bring it into the king’s treasuries. And the king took his ring from his hand, and gave it unto Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the Jews’ enemy.

I’ve always been a little weird, but God made me diverse (different) from the day of salvation. He spoke clearly to my heart “I have saved you for such a time as this;” which happens to be a quote from Esther 4:14. God called me out of the world but into the world, which didn’t seem the least bit odd at the time. I no longer desired what the world thought was important, but the world was important to me because I wanted to see them saved. So that was and is my mission. Another early verse that God gifted me with was 1 Peter 2:9 ~ But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light; I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt I was different. I was also brought to a church with the motto “Discover the Difference,” believing that there should be a difference between us and the world.

But twenty years later I find myself struggling with the world which vies for my attention like never before. Going full time ministry was not an easy decision, it meant giving up “things” and most of all it meant giving up control. I no longer bring an income into my home and many of the things that my income provided must now be provided by God or not at all which may be His will. It put my faith to the test and put new distractions in my path. I not only have more time to devote to God, I have more time that can be devoted to worldly things too and it’s been a real struggle. The things I struggle with the world says are fine. They don’t even look at it as an issue for Christians because it’s not wrong… but it’s not what God called me to do. I struggle with job opportunities, music and notions that draw my mind away from Christ. So this morning when I read of Mordecai’s conviction in the face of death my heart was pricked because what God is asking me to do is nothing in comparison. But I can also see the similarities of the government we serve and that which Mordecai faced. The arrogance of American administration for the cause of anti-God groups and religions is very much in competition with Haman.

Mordecai’s stand was an example for his niece, a generation which stood in prayer and determination to make a difference and protect the people of God. I feel no different this morning as I’m about to go to church and teach teens. For such a time is this I’ve been called to be different so that I may make a difference.

You can’t hold hands and skip with the world and take a stand