Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Esther: Studying Great Women of the Bible

Tonight we discussed Esther. REALLY good talks! We began with an overview of the story. We talked the heart ache that Esther must have felt when she was taken away from her home when faced with the possiblity of losing any hope of a husband and a father because of her "night with the king." We talked about her small argument with Mordecai when he tells her what is going on with the Jews in Susa. Even as queen she still listened to the guidance of Mordecai and she approached the situation with Godly wisdom. Unlike many of us :) she didn't rush into the battle or storm into the kings room and demand attention.

Instead she stopped, spent the time to gain wisdom, pray, have others pray, hear from God, act, and then stay sensitive to the spirit. What wise steps to take as women of God when situations come up in our lives.

We discussed how interesting it is that she held two dinners. Why? I have to believe that it was sensitivity to the situation and the grace of God.

This verse could describe Esther's overall response:
19My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. James 1:19-20

Her bravery was amazing, wasn't it? I love this line: “If I perish I perish” Does Jesus say anything like that?

39Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
Matt 10:39

24Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25For whoever wants to save his life[a] will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.
Matt 16:24,25

To follow the call on Esther's life required her to give hers up to God and for her people. I believe that each of us is called to lose our life and pick up our cross daily. Do I do that?

We ended with spending some time looking at ourselves and how we have arrived where we are in life. Then we journaled a little bit about our past, present, and future with God.

Heritage: Esther is a Jewess and her family was taken to a new place because they were captives. Consider your own heritage. What life lessons have you learned from what your ancestors fought for and believed in?

Parentage: What do we know about Esther’s parents? What about Mordecai? Consider your own parentage. If you weren't raised by your parents or didn't have both as a part of your raising, spend time to be thankful for those whom God has provided in their place to shape your life.

Experience: Who did Esther have in her life helping direct her steps? Consider your own experiences. Give thanks for the variety of teachers God has sent your way to guide and instruct you to where you are now.

Advantage: What advantages did Esther have in her life? Do you have advantages in your life that were put in place by God? Conditions, circumstances and opportunities are all gifts from God to help grow you to a useful place in His kingdom.

Current Issues/Circumstances: What were Esther’s circumstances where she used all that God had placed in her life for all of her growing and molding years? What about yours?

You may be in an "Esther" situation... where there were things done to you that you had no choice. Or maybe you, like me and many others, have just made some crummy decisions... no matter what - God has a plan for us. If Esther can rise above her situation so can we. One way to start is to follow in her footsteps when she stopped, spent the time to gain wisdom, pray, had others pray, heard from God, act, and then stayed sensitive to the spirit.

Next week is:
Anna the prophetess:
Luke 2:36-38

Woman with the issue of blood:
Mat 9:20-22
Mar 5:25-34
Luke 8:40-48

Blessings!

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