How do I make decisions?

Week 1 DAY 4 

Today 

We will:

  1. LOOK at Esther 3:7, just one verse.
  2. LEARN ‘how‘ to incorporate GODcha’s tools along the way.
  3. LISTEN to God speak to us as we focus on GODcha’s LEARN/LIVE question –

Open GODcha to the Book of Esther

You Can Open GODcha and GODchats together

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NOTE:

If you don’t have GODcha Get It>

Or, use your hardbound Bibles and follow along.

You can print off this week’s posts and put in a notebook!

Do you remember. . .

What is the Purpose of Esther?

Remember: Everything written in Esther points back to the purpose.

 

Let’s Begin With Prayer

And Continue With an Attitude of Prayer

Perhaps. . .

Oh Lord, thank You for this book of Esther, that is Your Holy Word that is powerful and piercing. As we come to Your Word today, quiet our hearts and open our eyes to see and understand what You are saying and why. Help us to understand how we are to think and live. Please help us live according to Your Word. Thank you Lord, (Psa 119:169).

If you get STUCK at any point in your discovery, stop, and pray!

GOD, your Creator, loves you and desires to reveal much to you.

We Need To Consider CONTEXT

CONTEXT is the setting that Rules Interpretation.

Context Tutorial >

What happened in Ch 3:1-6? 

After Mordecai saved the king, the king promotes Haman, an Agagite.

Now Haman, an Agagite, an enemy of the Jews, becomes Mordecai’s new boss. Mordecai decides to take a stand, refusing to bow down to Haman, publicly humiliating Haman!

So now … what’s Haman going to do?

Take a LOOK 

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Remember: Begin LOOKING By READING

READ the Next Paragraph, Esther 3:7 and reflect on what God is saying.

This isn’t hard, but it does take time to develop this skill, which by the way is the most important skill any of us could learn to accurately see God’s Word.

Help Reading Esther 3:7-11>

1.  We have a Time Phrase. Notice the when‘.

2. What happens?

 

Remember:

Reflect on the events that demonstrate God’s hidden hand.

LOOK

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READ verse 7.

Help Reading Esther 3:7-11>

 

What Might Be Key?

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As you can see, it would be helpful to understand what a Pur, a lot is? 

 

LOOK at the Meaning

Learn more>

Tap on Pur‘ in your Bible?

Do you see the definition pop open?

PUR, pûr; a lot cast to make decisions; in plural, Purim, a Jewish feast day. It refers to the Jewish feast day celebrating the great deliverance of the Jews under the Persian Empire (Esth. 9:24, 26, 28, 29, 31, 32). The pur was an object used in deciding a matter seemingly by chance (Esth. 3:7).

Understand: Haman and his advisors are pagans who superstitiously cast lots to make decisions.

DON’T STOP THERE! 

NOTE: Take what you have learned back to the text, to see what it means in its CONTEXT.

TIP: I would encourage you to note this in your hardbound Bibles.

 

“What a strange thing to interject here! This casting of lots to determine a lucky day on which to do something was a common practice in oriental kingdoms. It was similar to the practice today of shooting dice in order to determine an appropriate, propitious day. This account does not mean that for a whole year they shook dice in front of Haman. It means that every cast they made stood for a different day. They would cast the dice out and name the cast for a certain day of the calendar year. If it was a propitious number then that day was a lucky day. Thus they went through three hundred and sixty-five casts before this man — a whole year’s time before they found a lucky day, and when they found it, it was in the twelfth month which is the month of Adar.

This is nothing but the rankest superstition! All superstition is a form of fear, and fear is the enemy of faith. Fear is the opposite of faith. Superstition, then, is a sign of distrust of God. Why is it that whenever we acknowledge that our business has been good, or our health has been good, we like to knock on wood? We really do it to frighten away the jealous spirits which we think may take our prosperity away. We distrust the gods. It’s strange, isn’t it, how many Christians resort to these superstitious practices? They smile and joke when they do them, but down underneath there is a lingering suspicion that they had better do them or they might bring bad luck. This is simply fear of the jealousy of God. The tempter has planted in our hearts the feeling that God is not really interested in our welfare, that we must take care of all things ourselves. We have begun to distrust the goodness of God.” Ray Stedman

 

Let’s Check Out Some Cross References (aka CR)

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Remember: As you read the CR, keep asking the 5W’s and H questions.

1. Who, when and how is the lot cast?

GODcha tells us the 1st month, Nisan, is the time period March/April . . . and the 12th month, Adar, is the time period Feb/March. 

Almost one year. . .did you catch that?

The month and day to destroy the Jews was set by casting the lot. We discover this specific date is almost a yr, actually 11 mths, before Haman would attack.

 

2. Who is sovereign over the casting of the lot?

Pro 16:33

Understand: God is in control of every lot cast, every roll of dice. God rules over everything!

Do you see God’s hand working behind the scenes?

Even though Haman, a pagan, whose casting of lots was divination, demonic, God who rules over everything was controlling when, where, and how the lot landed.

If the disposal of the lot is the Lord’s, whose is the arrangement of our whole life? If the simple casting of a lot is guided by Him, how much more the events of our entire life.” C. Spurgeon

 

3. God’s people would cast lots to determine God’s will.  How did casting a lot reveal God’s decision?

Jos 14:1-2

1Ch 26:14

Neh 10:34

Act 1:26

Understand: When God’s people cast lots we know God is the One who was really controlling those lots to reveal His will.

Understand: Today we determine God’s will through his Word by His Spirit!

What Did You LEARN 

If you need help

Check Out GODcha’s #4 LEARN Question(s) 

#4. How does Haman determine the date to destroy the Jews, CR? (v7)

SUM It Up!

We LEARN:

It is the 12th yr of the king, probably around 474 BC. And in the first monthwhich is the month of Nisan (March/April), Pur, a lot, was cast before Haman from day to day and from month to month, until it fell on the twelfth month, that is the month of Adar (February/March).

We Discover:

The date was set by casting the lot.

For pagans, to cast lots was divination. But God’s people cast lots in the OT to determine God’s will.

Act 1:26 is the last biblical mention of the lots as the coming of the Spirit made it unnecessary to cast lots.

God’s hand was at work by controlling the lot to give the Jews almost a year before the attack.

LISTEN to God Speak

And LIVE it out!

Check out GODcha’s #4 LIVE Question(s).

#4. How do I make decisions? (v7)

Respond to God. . . LIVE it out!

Now You Talk to Him>

 

Today: Haman’s Evil Plot

Keep LOOKING

Unpack Verse 8

READ Esther 3:7-11 again.

Help Reading Esther 3:7-11>

There is no substitute for reading and re-reading.

Try reading aloud. Hearing repeated readings will help store the Word in your memory.

 

Focus on verse 8. 

Once the date was set, what did Haman do?

How does Haman refer to God’s people?

Do you see how he carefully avoids calling them by name?

We best check history, isn’t this what Hitler did? He gave each individual a number eliminating their identity.

What does Haman suggest the problem is?

Did you see how cunning and devious Haman was?

What does Haman say so the king will think God’s people are a threat to him and his throne?

What was Haman’s recommendation?

 

What Might Be Key?

If you don’t understand a certain people scattered and dispersed, then check it out.

 

Look at  GODcha’s Cross Reference (aka CR)

What had God told His people through Moses about being scattered and dispersed?

Deut 4:23-29

 

Keep LOOKING

What Else Might Be Key in verse 8?

What did Haman say about their laws?

THINK and REASON:

Yes, their laws were different, but their laws would not prevent them from keeping the king’s laws.

Were God’s people really following God’s laws? Didn’t we see that most, including Mordecai and Esther, had become comfortable with the Persian way of life? The king didn’t even know his wife was a Jew.

 

Today: Haman’s Evil Plot

Keep LOOKING

Unfold Verse 9

READ Esther 3:7-11. Yes, again.

Help Reading Esther 3:7-11>

 

Focus on Verse 9.

What does Haman suggest to the king?

Last but not least, what is the icing on the cake for the king? How did Haman convince the king that this was a wonderful business deal?

 

What Is Key?

 What about 10,000 talents of silver?

 

LOOK at the Meaning

Tap on  in your Bible?

Do you see the definition pop open?

TALENT, kikkār; Something round, such as a coin (a talent); a unit of weight, a talent (ca. 75 lbs.) (1 Kgs. 9:14; 10:10; 20:39).

DON’T STOP THERE! 

You know what to do.

 

Check the Cross Reference (aka CR)

Do you know what 10,000 talents of silver is worth?

GODcha tells us today 1 lb of silver is worth $206.51. 10,000 talents of silver would be worth close to $157, 000, 000.

According to Herodotus, the Greek Historian, the regular revenue of the Persian king consisted of 14,560 silver talents; so that, if the same talent is intended, Haman’s offer would have exceeded two-thirds, of one year’s revenue of the entire empire.

Where do you think this silver would come from? 

Haman’s plan was to kill all the Jews, and we will see later in verse 13 he will plunder all they have, and then there would be a vast sum of money for the king’s treasury.

 

We See: Through Haman’s craftiness, he was able to convince the king to put this horrific plan into action.

LISTEN to the Spirit

How am I like Haman?

Is there someone I truly hate? Why?

Jesus tells us in Matthew 5 that murder and hatred are one in the same.

Have I ever given an account of something so it would be to my advantage?

LISTEN to the Spirit

Do I have any ‘Hamans’ in my life, who hate me, and lie about me, and have tried to destroy me?

What will I do to remember that even though in this life I will have trouble, Jesus has overcome the world, Joh 16:3?

 

Today: Haman’s Evil Plot

One Last LOOK

At Verses 10-11

READ Esther 3:7-11 again. 

Help Reading Esther 3:7-11>

 

Focus on Verse 10-11.

What did the king do?

Are you surprised what he decided to do?

 

What Is Key?

Perhaps the ‘signet ring‘.

What is a signet ring?

 

LOOK at the Meaning

Tap on  in your Bible?

Do you see the definition pop open?

SIGNET RING, ṭabba‘at; It designates a signet ring with a seal on it (Gen. 41:42; Esth. 3:10, 12).

Ancient kings used signet rings to designate authority, honor, or ownership. A signet contained an emblem unique to the king. Official documents were sealed with a dollop of soft wax impressed with the king’s signet, usually kept on a ring on his finger. Such a seal certified the document as genuine, much like a notary public’s stamp today. 

https://www.gotquestions.org

LISTEN to the Spirit

How am I like this king?

How many decisions do I make that are based on producing more money for me?

Am I guilty of believing things such as criticisms, talk, etc. about people that I don’t even know, without doing my homework, investigating, and checking out the facts?

 

“Every election year, the signet ring goes on our finger, and the case is made through partial truths. If you have wealth, vote for this person to lower your taxes, more money for you. If you’re poor, vote for the other person. They’ll tax the rich and give more of the wealth to you. And it’s all about misinformation and personal, financial gain.” Mark Driscoll

Keep LOOKING

At Verses 10-11

Learn more>

What Else Is Key?

We must remember Haman, an Agagite is an enemy of the Jews.

 

Look at  GODcha’s Cross Reference (aka CR)

1. Threats against God’s people are not new.

Who is the enemy of God’s people?

What does he do?

How is he described?

1Pe 5:8-9

Gen 3:1

Joh 8:44

Luk 22:31-34, 54-62

 

2. What are we to remember and do?

Joh 16:33

Eph 6:10-13

Jam 4:7

LISTEN to the Spirit

Knowing I have an enemy, what will I do to stand firm against him?

 

What Did You LEARN 

If you need help

Check Out GODcha’s #5 & 6 LEARN Question(s) 

#5. Then, who does Haman go to, and what does he do?

a. What things does God hate in (Pro 6:16-19)? Which of these things compare to what you have learned about Haman?

b. How does Haman manipulate the king? What does Haman say about the Jews?

c. What does the king do? (v8-11)

 

#6. Consider what you learn from Haman that helps you understand the tactics of the enemy of God and His people?

SUM It Up!

We LEARN and See:

After the date was set, then Haman tells the king there is a problem. He gives half truths, exclaiming: ‘these certain people‘  were scattered and dispersed, and because they have their own laws, they don’t obey the king’s laws.

We Discover:

Haman conveniently omits the name of these people that are suppose to be different.

Haman is very cunning and devious to convince the king that God’s people are a problem.

Yes, they had been scattered and dispersed throughout the king’s kingdom just as God forewarned through Moses.

Yes, they had different laws, but they weren’t following these laws, and if they were, the laws would not cause them to be disobedient to the king.

We LEARN:

So Haman’s plan to fix the problem is to destroy these people.

And pay 10,000 talents of silver to those who have charge of the king’s business, to be put into the king’s treasuries.

We Discover:

Basically, Haman appeals to the king’s fear of revolt by scheming to get rid of those who do not obey him, and get rich at the same time for doing it. It would be a win, win, deal for the king!

There are 7 things God hates, that are actually an abomination to Him and all apply to Haman.

Haughty eyes,

A lying tongue,

Hands that shed innocent blood,

A heart that devises wicked plans

Feet that run rapidly to evil,

A false witness who utters lies,

And one who spreads strife among brothers.

We LEARN:

The king said great. He didn’t investigate, check things out to get both sides of the story. He just gave his signet ring (which represents the king’s authority and signature) to Haman, an enemy of the Jews, so he could stamp the documents for the destruction of the Jews.

We Discover:

A signet ring

As God’s signet ring, Zerubbabel was  given a place of honor and authority to re-build the temple.

 

Throughout Esther, Haman is repeatedly referred to as a foe, an enemy of the Jews. He is evil being used by Satan.

We Discover:

God’s People have an adversary, the devil who:

Was the serpent in the garden,

Is a murderer from the beginning,

Does not stand in truth,

Is a liar,

Is the father of lies.

The devil is:

Crafty,

Prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour,

Demands to sift us like wheat as he did with Peter.

Those who don’t believe:

Are of their father the devil,

do the desires of their father.

Believers are to:

Be alert,

Resist the devil by being firm in our faith, 

When we submit to God, then we are resisting the devil, and he has to flee.

Be strong in the Lord, in the strength of His might,

Put on the full armor of God,

So we will be able to resist in the evil day,

Do everything to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.

Remember:

Our struggle is not against flesh and blood,

Our struggle is against rulers, powers, world forces of darkness, spiritual forces of wickedness in heavenly places.

We will have tribulation, but we can take courage that Jesus has overcome the world.

Jesus is praying that our faith will not fail.

LISTEN to God Speak

And LIVE it out!

Check out GODcha’s #5 and 6 LIVE Question(s).

#5. When and why have I ever schemed an evil plot against someone?

a. Am I guilty of the 7 sins God hates, (Pro 6:16-19)? What will I do?

b. When and why have I been deceived and manipulated? What was the result?

c. Am I experiencing attacks of hatred for being God’s child? (v8-11)

 

#6. As a servant of God, who is my life long enemy, my adversary?

a. Do I feel unseen, as if my enemy has the upper hand?

b. What must I do to stand firm, persevere, and walk by faith in the strength of the Lord, (Eph 6:10-13)?

Respond to God. . . LIVE it out!

Now You Talk to Him>

 

Take a Deep Breath!

Meditate on all God is teaching you about evil horrible Haman, and this king who cares only about himself.

Reflect on how God is working behind the scenes.

God wants you to  “consider what He is saying and let Him give you understanding in everything,” (2Ti 2:7).

 

Remember

NOTE Your Discovery!

Video Tutorial>  Notes Tutorial >

Put the Definitions and Cross References (CR) in your Notes.

Don’t forget to jot it all down in your Hardbound Bibles.

Include how God has stirred your heart.

 

Let’s Bow Before the Father

GRACIOUS FATHER GOD, LORD JESUS, AND WONDERFUL HOLY SPIRIT, we are indeed blessed, knowing You love us! We stand in the wonderful confidence that You could never love us any more, or any less! Thank you! We are most grateful that You are right here with us, and that You are strengthening us and helping us to persevere in this world with all its evil. Oh may we remember this world is not our home! And as we look at Your Word today help us to understand that evil was way back in the beginning, and we know Your enemy, the devil, the serpent of old, the adversary, is our enemy too, and he is prowling around using others to try to destroy us. No matter how trapped we who follow You Lord Jesus may feel with the Haman’s in our lives, and in our circumstances, and/or relationships, our hope is not in this world or those who love this world. Help us to to bear in mind in the midst of rivalries, abusive power, being ridiculed for our faith, political leaders who care only about themselves, You Lord God are our hope, our only hope! May we depend on You and cling to You by doing everything to stand firm in Your strength, putting on Your armor daily. Help us to be alert to the enemy’s schemes and remember as we resist the devil by humbly submitting to You, he has to flee. No matter what our persecution or trial, may we make every opportunity one in which we honor and glorify You. Thank You Father God! Amen!

 

Next: We’ll look at Esther 3:12-15.

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