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God Saves and Rescues

By Belina Sithole

Esther 9:1 On the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month of Adar, the edict commanded by the king was to be carried out. On this day the enemies of the Jews had hoped to overpower them, but now the tables were turned, and the Jews got the upper hand over those who hated them.

God lifted Mordecai from a man that used to sit outside the palace gate to a powerful man that was in a position to write decrees in the name of the King and write orders to protect his people. Mordecai was loyal to his King by saving his life from the guards that was plotting against him, and in turn, the King saved Mordecai’s life from Haman’s plot.

God saves and rescues us from trouble and situations that we are not even aware of.

Esther 9:4 Mordecai was prominent in the palace; his reputation spread throughout the provinces, and he became more and more powerful.

Esther 9:29 – 30 So Queen Esther, daughter of Abihail, along with Mordecai the Jew, wrote with full authority to confirm this second letter concerning Purim. 30And Mordecai sent letters to all the Jews in the 127 provinces of Xerxes’ kingdom—words of goodwill and assurance.

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Favour

By Belina Sithole

The King and Haman were at the second day of queen Esther’s banquet when the kings asked again what Esther’s request was, to which she finally answered:
 

Esther 7:3 “If I have found favour with you, Your Majesty, and if it pleases you, grant me my life—this is my petition. And spare my people—this is my request. 4For I and my people have been sold to be destroyed, killed and annihilated. If we had merely been sold as male and female slaves, I would have kept quiet, because no such distress would justify disturbing the king.

Esther was the queen but even she had to be humble before the king and phrase her request in a way that didn’t come across entitled. The king loved her so much that he was willing to give her anything, but Esther was wise enough to not take this love for granted.

It’s easy to feel entitled and expect special treatment in some situations but we can see that humility goes a long way.

1 Peter 5:6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.

Esther clearly had found favour before the King, in Chapter 5 we saw that she went before the king without being summoned which is punishable by death but he allowed her to see him, and here she phrases her request in a flattering and polite way.

The king was furious to hear Haman’s plans and he had Haman killed on the same pole he had set up for Mordecai.

Esther 7: 9 Then Harbona, one of the eunuchs attending the king, said, “A pole reaching to a height of fifty cubits stands by Haman’s house. He had it set up for Mordecai, who spoke up to help the king.” The king said, “Impale him on it!” 10So they impaled Haman on the pole he had set up for Mordecai. Then the king’s fury subsided.

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Discern the time

By Hannah Ng’uni

‘Then Esther answered and said, “My petition and request is this: If I have found favor in the sight of the king, and if it pleases the king to grant my petition and fulfil my request, then let the king and Haman come to the banquet which I will prepare for them, and tomorrow I will do as the king has said.” Esther 5:7-8

On the third day of the fast, dressed in royal robes, Queen Esther went into the inner court and appeared before the king. Remember one was permitted to go there uninvited (Esther 4:11). This was a courageous. It is no coincidence that she summoned up the courage on the last day of the fast, I believe God directed her and gave her the assurance that she would be protected.

Queen Esther found favour in the sight of the king (Esther 5 vs 2), he did not hesitate to extend his welcome and offer, twice, to grant her request whatever it would be (vs.3 and 6). It seemed like Esther was hesitant to mention the request at the first banquet. You would think with the pressure she was under, as the only hope for her peoples’ deliverance, that she would have immediately said it. But I believe Esther was operating in wisdom and being attentive to God’s direction regarding the right time. God had a plan but it was Esther’s part to trust in His timing and be willing to obey.

The Bible says there is a time for every matter, and it takes wisdom to discern that right time (Ecclesiastes 8:5-6). Sometimes we may have our own agenda or life plan mapped out with times allocated for when we would like something to happen. No, there is nothing wrong with planning ahead and setting smart goals, that is great. The point is there may be certain decisions we need to make with the guidance from the Lord. Like Esther, sometimes it may take setting aside some time to fast and pray. Ephesians 5:15-17 says we should be wise, make the most of every opportunity and understand the will of God.

So, let us seek the Lord’s wisdom to discern the time because He knows the end from the beginning and accomplishes His purpose.

‘declaring the end from the beginning

    and from ancient times things not yet done,

saying, ‘My counsel shall stand,

    and I will accomplish all my purpose,’ Isaiah 46:10 (ESV)

For this weeks bible study guide

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Courage under pressure

By Hannah Ng’uni

Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai: “Go, gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me; neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will fast likewise. And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!”. Esther 4:15-16

If you have ever needed courage and wisdom to do something you knew would take more than your own strength accomplish then you may identify with Esther or at least be encouraged by her stance should you find yourself in such a situation.

The king promoted Haman to second in command, servants started bowing to him, Mordecai refused to follow suit. Haman was not pleased and sought to destroy all the Jews, a decree was signed by the king and word went out (see chapter 3). This was distressing for Mordecai, the Jewish people and Esther when she found out, Mordecai directed her to appeal against this to the king because so many lives including hers were in danger. There was a sense of urgency given a day was already fixed for this horrible deed (3:13). Talk about pressure!

Initially you sense Esther’s fear in her response to Mordecai, she had what sounded like a valid excuse. No one could go before the king uninvited as per the law, the price was death (a bit harsh) and she had not been called in to see him for a month – the reason is beyond this post but aren’t you glad we can come confidently before the throne of the King of Kings Jesus anytime without an invitation?!

Mordecai’s response was so profound (Esther 4:13-14), essentially he reminds Queen Esther that if fear is holding her back, she would die either way as she was not any more protected by the palace walls once the king found out she was a Jew. He stirs up her faith and helps her see that she was in a privileged position to be used by God as part of His plan to deliver the Jews, her silence would not stop this plan but deliverance would come another way. The reason she found favour and was promoted to queen was not just about her beauty but was all part of a bigger plan and purpose.

Something awakened in Esther, fear turned into faith and courage to be obedient, there was a realisation of purpose and her heart turned away from self-centredness, “if I perish, I perish” (vs 16) is such a bold stance! She committed herself to serving God by serving His people.

‘Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others’. Philippians 2:4

She recognised the need for spiritual strengthening and wisdom, we see this from the call to the Jews to complete three days prayer and fasting before she went before the king.

‘Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered’. Romans 8:26

Prayer

Lord help us to recognise that you have a plan and a purpose for our lives, that You who has created and called us for such a time as this has also equipped us with everything we need to fulfil that purpose. Holy Spirit we cannot do without You. We come against fear and we declare courage and boldness over our lives. In Jesus name, Amen.