Today I am going to break from my usual photo-filled posts and share with you something that I believe will encourage your hearts.
|A photo of our ladies prayer and tea table|
I hold weekly tea and prayer meetings in my home, and I also share in the leadership of a ladies' bible study group that has been meeting for over 30 years. Recently the Lord inspired me to write a study on the book of Esther, and I want to share it with you.
Please feel free to share this bible study wherever you would like, I would only ask you link back here for credit.
This lesson was a source of great encouragement to my bible study ladies, and I pray that it is a blessing and encouragement to you as well :)
The story of Esther shares unique parables that hold valuable insights for the church, and where the church stands in history today.
While reading the story of Esther, many parables and teachings can be brought forth out of its pages, but the greatest teaching that comes to life from this book is that what the enemy intended for evil, God took the actual evil intent, turned it around, using it instead for good. Haman meant to destroy the entire nation of the Jews including Mordecai, but the very trap he set and intended for Mordecai became his and his ten son’s own death chamber. Death and destruction that was meant for the Jews instead became the Jews’ road to becoming conquerors over their enemies.
But as for you, ye thought evil against me;
but God meant it unto good,
to bring to pass, as it is this day,
to save much people alive.
The greatest example of this verse in scripture is found at Calvary… just as the point of Jesus’ death looked bleak, hopeless, and all forever lost, instead it became the greatest turning point in the history of mankind. What the enemy intended for evil, instead became the greatest stepping-stone to victory for the church.
Even though lies, destruction, death, and torment are the enemy’s weapons that he uses against the kingdom of the Lord, God can take the very destructive forces that are meant for evil, using their very evil nature and turn them into something far more powerful and greater than what the enemy created them for.
An important concept in the story of Esther that needs to be understood is that the king’s decree could not be reversed, or taken away, but instead, a greater decree was issued to override the old decree. Just as the old law given in the OT could not be reversed or taken away, a greater law through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ brought about a greater good that superseded the old Mosaic law, bringing into effect the law of the Spirit of Christ.
For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus
hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
Esther is a type of the church… weak, and afraid at times. Esther begged Mordecai to take off his sackcloth and ashes, but he would not. She then told Mordecai the serious consequences should she go before the king with her request. Then Mordecai said to her these words:
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?
The famous words of Mordecai pushed Esther to do the right thing. Without the encouragement of Mordecai, she would not have been able to do what she had been called to do. But with his encouragement, she prevailed, and said these famous words:
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.
Esther found the strength to do what she was called to do because of Mordecai’s influence in her life. She overcame the weakness of her worst fears which brought her to a place where she was able to freely speak to the king, without fear. When the church binds together in fasting and prayer, great and mighty things are accomplished in the kingdom of God.
Today, we have that promise in the kingdom of God… we no longer have to be ruled by fear, but we can be overcomers because of what Christ accomplished for us at Calvary. Mordecai encouraged Esther, even as Christ encourages and stands behind His church and leads us with strength, honor, and wisdom, in spite of the adverse onslaught of our enemy.
Because of Esther’s stand, the enemy’s plan came to naught. Notice that Mordecai did not bring about the change in the king’s heart, but it was Esther. Esther is a type of the church, and God has called us and told us what we must do. It is the church’s responsibility to fast, pray, and stand for the truth. The church has been called for such a time as this, and our hearts must be determined that if we perish, we perish. We must stand for what is right, not back down, and remember that we are called to fast, pray, and stand for truth in the darkness of the age we live in.
Because Esther was obedient to the call God had placed on her life, the enemy’s greatest plan to destroy the children of Israel did not come to pass. The edict against the church has not changed, satan still wants to destroy us, but the church has been given a triumphant victory over the kingdom of satan, and we don’t have to fall under the sword of satan’s schemes, but we can stand strong, and defend ourselves. This is a time of rejoicing, feasting, and giving of gifts. It is a time of thanksgiving, praise, and glory to God for the incredible turn of events that took place at Calvary. No longer do we have to live in fear of death, but we now have been given tools to overcome, fight back, and stand our ground.
Our battles with the enemy’s schemes continue to this day, but there is a marked difference. Because of Calvary, we have been given tools to fight back, to stand our ground, and stand victorious against the wiles of the enemy.
Even as the Jews rejoiced because of how their lives had been spared, so we too should rejoice.
But the other Jews that were in the king's provinces gathered themselves together,
and stood for their lives, and had rest from their enemies,
and slew of their foes seventy and five thousand, but they laid not their hands on the prey,
17 On the thirteenth day of the month Adar; and on the fourteenth day of the same rested they,
and made it a day of feasting and gladness.
18 But the Jews that were at Shushan assembled together on the thirteenth day thereof,
and on the fourteenth thereof; and on the fifteenth day of the same they rested,
and made it a day of feasting and gladness.
19 Therefore the Jews of the villages, that dwelt in the unwalled towns,
made the fourteenth day of the month Adar
a day of gladness and feasting, and a good day, and of sending portions one to another.
22 As the days wherein the Jews rested from their enemies,
and the month which was turned unto them from sorrow to joy,
and from mourning into a good day:
that they should make them days of feasting and joy,
and of sending portions one to another, and gifts to the poor.
The Jews celebrated the miraculous turn of events with three days of rest, feasting, and gladness. Indeed, they also sent good portions (gifts) one to another and sent gifts to the poor. Because of the incredible way God sent redemption and protection to the Jews, forever they gather on Purim to remember and celebrate what the Lord did for them.
There is great cause for celebration and joy that continues in the church today, because we have been set free from the death sentence of the enemy, and instead we can overcome with power and victory to face the onslaught of the enemy in his attempt to destroy the church. He will never succeed in his attempt.
The story does not end here, but there is a beautiful day coming when the church will fight its last battle and will no longer have to defend itself against the enemy. The warfare will cease when Jesus will come and reign triumphant over the kingdoms of this world and the church/Esther will be completely restored to peace, joy and love.
Someday Christ, the type of Mordecai, is going to sit at the king’s gate and judge the world.
For Mordecai the Jew was next unto king Ahasuerus,
and great among the Jews, and accepted of the multitude of his brethren,
seeking the wealth of his people, and speaking peace to all his seed.
The rule of Mordecai speaks to the eternal kingdom of Christ, when he will rule and reign the earth forever.
And I saw no temple therein:
for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.
23 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it:
for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.
24 And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it:
and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.
25 And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day:
for there shall be no night there.
26 And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it.
27 And there shall in no wise enter into it
any thing that defileth,
neither whatsoever worketh abomination,
or maketh a lie:
but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.
There is a great comfort to be found in the book of Esther because it is an incredible picture of the church through the ages. Mordecai is a type of Christ – always standing for truth, being ridiculed, scorned, hated, and a death sentence sought, which would have been the final death sentence for all mankind. Yet, in the end, despite the enemy’s plans of deception and destruction, through the church/Esther there is a mighty triumphant warfare that has now been enabled to take place that has turned the tide of death into victory, the trading of sackcloth, ashes and mourning for rejoicing, for victory in spite of a death sentence, for yes, even revenge on the enemies who have tormented. That day is promised when the warfare will cease, the victory will have been completed, and satan will be in his rightful place, forever. That day is upon the horizon, and we are in the most triumphant age of the church.
As we begin to see world events come to pass, with the enemy escalating his attacks against the church, in the darkest nights of the battle, we have been promised a glorious resounding victory over the attacks of the enemy.
It is remarkable to note that the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, and yet they supersede the weapons of the enemy. The enemy may use fear, lies, deceptions, guns, bombs, and warfare to carry out his mission, but the church has been given greater tools that supersede any weapon in the enemy’s toolbox.
For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal,
but mighty through God
to the pulling down of strongholds.
We have been given tools that supersede any weapon in the enemy’s arsenal. The overcoming armor of God has been given to us to protect ourselves and fight back against the cunning of the enemy… most of all to stand our ground.
Put on the whole armour of God,
that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood,
but against principalities, against powers,
against the rulers of the darkness of this world,
against spiritual wickedness in high places.
13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God,
that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day,
and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth,
and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16 Above all, taking the shield of faith,
wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit,
which is the word of God:
18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit,
and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.
Someday we will lay down our weapons of spiritual warfare and all battle will cease. But until that great Day of the Lord arrives, we continue on with a triumphant battle cry, remembering that in the darkest of the night, we are still victorious in the end.
Never fear! The enemy’s tactics, schemes, and plots will be brought to light, exposed, and God’s law will triumph, supersede, and yes, trump any law that the enemy has in place to destroy us. The church will remain triumphant through the blood of Jesus shed at Calvary, and we are promised a day when we will lay our weapons down an d do battle no more. But until that day, we can rejoice, because we are still the overcomers. No matter how the enemy gloats, plots, schemes, and plans… he is destined for failure, and the TRUTH, Jesus Christ will reign supreme in the end.
Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him,
and given him a name which is above every name:
10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
|(Our weather here today is full of gentle white beauty) |
Many sweet and precious blessings to all of you :)