Am I living in my happy little palace, unaware of what is happening around me?
What crisis must God allow to get my attention?
Week 1 DAY 3
- LOOK at Esther 4:4-5.
- LEARN ‘how‘ to incorporate GODcha’s tools along the way.
- LISTEN to God speak to us as we focus on GODcha’s LEARN/LIVE question –
Open GODcha to the Book of Esther
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Do you remember. . .
Why Was Esther Written?
To Find the Purpose of Esther
Scan the Overview in GODcha to refresh your memory!
Let’s Begin With Prayer
And Continue With an Attitude of Prayer
Perhaps. . .
Oh Lord, may we come to Your Holy Word with fresh eyes. Help us to move away from indifference as we look at Mordecai and Esther today. May we grasp what You are saying and what it is You want us to think about so that we would be refreshed and renewed after seeing and hearing You speak to us today!
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 left off with our focus on Mordecai. Nobody knew he was a Jew because he had been lukewarm, neither hot or cold. But now he is identifying with God’s people. Everyone knows, because he is at the king’s gate dressed in sackcloth and ashes and wailing bitterly and loudly. Something has happened to Mordecai. There has been a definite change.
Now, we know if there has been a change in a person’s life to be bold (Pro 28:1); (Act 9:27) and identify with God’s people, then somewhere along the line faith and belief have taken place. Let’s stop and take a LOOK, because as believer’s we really should be able to explain to others what true faith is.
Check the Word Meaning
Use GODcha’s Word Search: type in ‘faith’, ‘believe’, and ‘believed’. Every Scripture where these words are found will appear.
STOP and Learn more> to understand how to use the Word Search to do your own investigation, checking out both words in the Hebrew and Greek. (The Old Testament was written in Hebrew and some Aramaic and the New Testament was written in the Greek.)
In the Old Testament
You will see in Gen 15:6, “Then he (Abraham) believed [āman – belief, in the sense of receiving something as true and sure (Gen. 15:6] in the LORD; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness.”
This was the day of Abraham’s salvation. Gal 3:16 is our commentary telling us Abraham believed in Christ. It is important to understand that those in the Old Testament were saved just as those in the New Testament.
Those in the OT believed by looking forward to the coming of Christ, the Messiah. While those in the NT, and on, believe, looking back at the coming of Christ and His work on the cross.
And you will see Hab 2:4. “Behold, as for the proud one, His soul is not right within him; But the righteous will live by his faith.”
Those who believe, who have received God’s righteousness [meaning they have been made right before God] live by faith. Rom 1:17; Gal 3:11; and Heb 10:38 repeat this important Truth.
In the New Testament
Eph 2:8-9 tells us, “For by grace you have been saved through faith [pístis – firm persuasion, conviction, belief in the truth]; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
And Joh 1:12 says, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe [pisteúō – to be firmly persuaded as to something, to believe, followed] in His name,”
Faith and believe come from the same Greek root word.
– Faith is pistis, a noun, and
– Believe is, pisteuo, a verb.
To believe is to have faith!
Now, to understand faith so we can live by it, we need to understand the three vital elements of faith.
I want to give you the definition I learned years ago, that comes from the Vine’s Bible Dictionary showing that faith is so much more than an intellectual assent.
The Vine’s Bible Dictionary tells us:
“there are 3 main elements in faith in relation to the invisible God, as distinct from faith in man and are especially brought out in the use of this noun and corresponding verb.”
1. “a firm conviction producing a full acknowledgment of God’s revelation of truth. e.g. (2Th 2:11-12)”
A Firm Conviction: of who God and Jesus are, and who and what I am, a sinner in need of a Savior;
2. “a personal surrender (a total abandonment to God), (Joh 1:12)”
An Absolute Total Surrender – Commitment: to Jesus as Lord and Savior.
3. “a conduct inspired by such a surrender, (2Co 5:7).”
A Conduct: that gives evidence to one’s conviction and commitment.
Understand: True faith not only believes, it behaves!
Understand: Faith is more than an intellectual assent!
I would encourage you to jot these notes somewhere in your Bible.
Okay, Let’s Get Back to Esther.
We don’t know when Mordecai finally surrendered to God, but now we are seeing his commitment through his conduct. Mordecai is letting everyone know what is going on, identifying himself with the Jews.
Today: Esther’s Change
Begin LOOKING By READING
READ Esther 4:4-5, and ask the who, what, where, when, why and how questions.
Remember: Reading with purpose slows us down to really see and hear God.
Reflect on the events that demonstrate God’s hidden hand.
Let’s Focus on Verse 4.
Watch Esther, who has also been lukewarm.
Reflect on what Esther does.
Did you see the contrast?
Up to this point we have not seen Esther express herself in any way. She has been silent.
Not only that, but all kinds of things were happening around her and everything had been decided for her. We have not seen her make any kind of choices and/or decisions.
LISTEN to the Holy Spirit
Am I silent?
Is it time for me to start speaking up?
Is it time I start doing for the Lord?
What Esther does is key.
What Does ‘writhed in great anguish’ Mean?
WRITHED IN GREAT ANGUISH: ḥûl; to whirl, to shake, to fear. Can be either physical, as when Saul was wounded in battle (1Sa 31:3), or emotional, as when Jeremiah grieved in anguish over Jerusalem’s refusal to grieve (Jer 4:19).
DON’T STOP THERE!
You know what to do!
What do you learn from the Cross Reference about ‘anguish’?
What Do You LEARN
If you need help
Check Out GODcha’s #9 LEARN Question(s)
#9. Where is Esther? What happens? How does Esther react to Mordecai’s mourning? What did she send? Why? (v4-5)
SUM It UP!
According to verse 2, Mordecai went as far as the king’s gate.
Was this to get the king’s attention?
Or maybe more likely, Esther’s attention?
Remember: Mordecai does not enter the gate because this was forbidden. The king wanted to keep a distance between himself and sadness.
Esther’s maids and eunuchs came and told her about Mordecai.
Esther has been living in the palace, in her own little world, obviously not at all aware of the decree because she doesn’t understand why Mordecai is behaving the way he is.
Esther writhed in great anguish . . .
– Writhed in great anguish means to shake, to fear. It can be either physical, or emotional.
– We see in Luke that Jesus was in agony, great anguish, when in the Garden asking the Father to remove the cup. To the point that He sweat drops of blood.
And Esther sent clothes for Mordecai to change into, but he refused.
Why send Mordecai a change of clothes?
Was Esther embarrassed because of Mordecai?
– Esther knew he couldn’t enter the palace dressed as he was, so she sends him clothes to change into so she might be able to talk to him.
– But the contrast is that Mordecai said no.
LISTEN To the Spirit
Take what you learn. . .
And turn it into a personal question(s).
Check Out GODcha’s #9 LIVE Question(s)
#9. Consider how I am like Esther and what I must do.
a. Am I living in my happy little bubble, a palace so to speak, oblivious to what is going on around me that could greatly affect my family, God’s people and me?
b. When have I been in anguish over those closest to me? Do I relieve my distress, and theirs, with a change of outward things? Or, do I turn to the Lord?
Perhaps. . .
THINK a bit more about:
Consider a change of clothes to enter the king’s palace.
LISTEN to the Spirit
How do I try to enter into God’s palace, His Kingdom, His throne room?
Am I dressed in filthy garments, Isa 64:6 ? Or, am I dressed in righteous garments, Isa 61:10; Psa 132:9?
THINK a bit more:
God has given a decree of death for sin. How could an outward change of clothes ever bring us peace and save us from death?
Do I think an outward change such as a change of habits; religious ceremonies – baptism, communion, joining a church, etc. can bring me inner peace from God’s death sentence?
Or do I realize Someone else, Another, took my judgment for my sin?
What has freed me and satisfied my soul to know that I am not under the ban of God’s edict?
Respond to God. . . LIVE it out!
Now We Don’t Just LISTEN,
But, We Speak to God!
Oh chat with God, your Creator who loves you! He is waiting, desiring this intimate communication with you.
That’s It For Today!
Oh, I pray you have engaged with God in a very special way as you LISTENED to Him speak to you personally.
Meditate on everything God is teaching you. “For the one who meditates on God’s Word is blessed,” (Psalm 1:1-2).
What have you learned about yourself?
Is there some action God is requiring of you?
Do you need to confess and repent?
Put this Review and Summary
in Your Notes
If you will take the time to put this Review in your Notes, you can return to it anytime and anywhere. You will be so glad you did.
If short on time, copy and paste into your Notes.
Let’s Bow Before the Father
FATHER GOD, BLESSED LORD JESUS, and HOLY SPIRIT – GOD in three persons, we praise You! We thank you that we can humbly draw near to You, and let You speak Truth to our hearts and minds. As we come to You right now Father, the King who rules over ALL, and look at Mordecai and Esther, help us to examine ourselves.
-When did we change? When did we truly believe, having a conduct that gives evidence to that firm conviction and commitment?
Oh, do we now mourn and weep over our sin?
-How do we enter into Your presence, LORD?
May we truly ponder how we are dressed. Show each one of us if our garments are filthy or righteous.
-Have we been silent, not speaking, just going with the flow, quiet about our faith?
Are we living in our own happy little bubbles? Are we guilty of being oblivious to others?
Oh Father, what must You do to get our attention? What crisis must You allow in our lives to move us and shake us?
Father God, please grant us ears to hear Your voice to us. Please remove any and all blinders. May we all understand that an outward change is not what You desire because nothing outward can bring us the inner peace we need and salvation from Your edict. No religious ceremonies, baptisms, communions, church membership, works – nothing outward can save us from Your death sentence for sin.
Oh Lord Jesus, KING of every king, and LORD of every Lord, thank you for taking the judgment of our sin! Thank you for freeing and satisfying our souls. Thank you that we no longer have to be distressed over God’s edict of death. We are so grateful that You are indeed willing and able to change us from the inside out!
I pray You would do just that to any and all who are here learning Truth today, and not surrendered to You! Oh change us Lord as You changed Mordecai and Esther. Touch us, move us, and stir us Lord. We ask these things in Jesus’ name. Amen!
You did great today! Keep pressing forward!
Next: We’ll look at the the next paragraph, Esther 5:6-12.
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