When did I change?

Week 1 DAY 1 and 2


We will spend 2 days:

  1. LOOKING at Esther 4:1-3.
  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

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Or, use your hardbound Bibles and follow along.

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

Why Esther Was Written?

Understand: Everything written in this book points back to the purpose.

The Purpose Was To:

Reveal how the Jews, living in exile throughout all the king’s provinces, were protected and delivered from annihilation by God’s divine power and control even though He is never mentioned in this book.

NOTE: Esther is a historical account of how imperfect people were used by God’s divine power to save the Jewish people from being destroyed.

Let’s Begin With Prayer

And Continue With an Attitude of Prayer

Perhaps. . .

Oh Lord, Mighty Savior, we come to You and ask that You unfold Your Word to us today as only You can do. We ask that You give us understanding.  May we live in the light of what You show us and teach us today. Thank you Lord, (Psalm 119:130).

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.


CONTEXT is the setting that Rules Interpretation.

Context Tutorial >

Esther Chapter 1

There is a king chasing after his own glory; 3 parties; and the queen is banished.

Esther Chapter 2

The king plays the Bachelor taking over 400 women’s virginity;

There is no sign that Esther and Mordecai are walking with God as Esther sleeps with a man that is not her husband, and is crowned Queen of Persia.

Mordecai saves the king’s life.

Esther Chapter 3

The king promotes Haman, an Agagite. As the Agagites are a long-time enemy of the Jews, Mordecai refused to bow down to Haman his new boss, thus provoking Haman to anger, who plots to destroy Mordecai and ALL the Jews.

We left Chapter 3 with the king giving Haman his signet ring, meaning unlimited authority, to write his plan into law. The date was set for the death sentence; the decree was sent out and proclaimed to all the peoples in every province so they would be ready for the day of annihilation; and Mordecai was powerless to do anything about it.



It makes no sense that about 15 million would be killed, because 1 man refused to bow. This is like Hitler’s genocide of the Jews.

LISTEN to the Spirit

What doesn’t make sense in my life right now?

What crisis has God allowed in my life?

What lessons am I learning?

How am I growing?

How do I trust in the Lord and not lean on my own understanding, Pro 3:5-6?


THINK some more:

This could be compared to Adam, through 1 man sin entered this world, Rom 5:12. And God sent forth a decree that the person who sins will die, Eze 18:20, for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, Rom 3:23.

LISTEN to the Spirit

How do I respond to God’s decree that all who sin will die?

Don’t Forget:

Now We Don’t Just LISTEN,

But, We Speak to God!

Respond, Talk to God. . .And Live It Out!

Now You Talk To Him>

Let’s see what happens next, and learn much.

Remember: Esther has been married to the king for about 5 yrs, taking Mordecai’s instruction not to let anyone know she was a Jew. But things change.

Some Reminders and How To’s.

3 EASY Steps 

To Put into Play

1st LOOK 

At What God Says

Open GODcha’s LOOK Section

Learn more>


READ Taking Small Bites.

This Narrows Your Focus

Focus on a Paragraph at a Time

Esther Chapter 4 is Broken Down Into Paragraphs








READ With Purpose 

As You READ, Ask Questions


READ the 1st paragraph, Esther 4:1-3, and ponder.

As you do, ask the who, what, where, when, why and how questions. THINK.

Help Reading Esther 4:1-3>

This is the most critical skill you can learn!



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


Now, let’s unpack a Verse at a time.

Focus on Verse 1.

Chapter 4 begins with a Time Phrase, ‘when’.

How did Mordecai react when he heard about the decree and all that had been done?



For KEY Words

Because theyunlock’ the meaning to what God is saying.

In GODcha Scroll Down To:

Key Words

Learn More>

What Mordecai did is very key.

GODcha suggests we check out ‘sackcloth because it is key. So let’s do it.

You also might check out ‘tore clothes’ and ashes’.


TIP: You should know by now if you need help, GODcha’s there to help.

– In the LOOK Section check out the Words/Phrases that are Key, to be Reflected on, and/or Defined, along with the Cross References.

– The LEARN and LIVE Questions have been designed to help you see what is Key and ask the 5W’s and H questions.



At GODcha’s Dictionary

 Word Meanings

Learn More>

TAP ON tore’ and the other key words in your Bible in GODcha. 

Do you see the definitions pop open?

TORE CLOTHES, qāra‘; It refers to ripping apart a piece of clothing, sometimes it was a sign of mourning or fear (Gen. 44:13; 1 Sam. 4:12).


SACKCLOTH, saq; a sack. It refers to a material of poor quality made of goat hair (2 Sam. 21:10). It was worn traditionally to demonstrate mourning or despair; to convey the message dramatically. It might be placed only on one’s loins (Gen. 37:34). Persons might tear their clothes as well, especially at the death of a son.


ASHES, ēper; soil, ashes, dust. It describes loose soil or dirt put on a person’s head to indicate mourning (2 Sam. 13:19; Ezek. 27:30).

This was a symbol of humility and acknowledged that we come from the dust of the earth.” Dr. Rod Mattoon


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.


Today: Mordecai ‘s Change 


At GODcha’s Cross References

About Mourning


God Uses Truth to Explain Truth


In GODcha’s LOOK Section

Scroll Down To:

 Cross References (aka CR)

Learn more>

It couldn’t get much darker than this. Mordecai is the reason for this edict of death. And there was no where to turn. No one to help. Can you imagine how you would feel?

1. What kind of sorrow brings ‘tearing of clothes’, [mourning]? Why?

2Sa 1:11-12

Joe 2:13

Psa 34:18


2. Why was Mordecai mourning?

The text says, when he learned all that had been done’.

a. Perhaps Mordecai was mourning over the death that was coming to all the Jews, including his daughter.


b. Or, perhaps Mordecai was mourning over his actions that were the cause of this edict.

LISTEN to the Spirit

What has caused me to mourn and grieve?

When, why and how have I mourned and grieved over the death of a loved one?

How did I express my mourning outwardly? 

When has my heart been broken over my actions and sin, that has caused God’s edict?

How do I mourn inwardly?

Is my heart literally broken and crushed over my actions that have caused others heartache and death?

If so, do I turn to our gracious and compassionate Lord in repentance? 

Yes, Talk To God!


There is always much to examine about ourselves.

Let’s keep LOOKING. . .

Back to the Cross References (aka CR)

What do you discover about sackcloth and ashes? 

1. What is connected to sackcloth and ashes?

Job 42:5-6

LISTEN to the Spirit

When and how has God moved me past hearing of Him to finally seeing Him for who He really is, causing me to repent and mourn over my sin? 


Mat 11:21

LISTEN to the Spirit

When and how has the Lord warned and nudged me to repent?


Jer 6:26

Psa 51

LISTEN to the Spirit

What happens when I am broken in spirit, mourning in repentance over my sin?


2. How did Daniel seek the LORD?

Dan 9:3

LISTEN to the Spirit

How often do I give my attention to the Lord in prayer with fasting and mourning? What do I mourn over?


3. What will the LORD do with our mourning?

Psa 30:11

LISTEN to the Spirit

How has the LORD turned my mourning into dancing and gladness?

Don’t Forget:

Respond, Talk to God. . .And Live It Out!


Today: Mordecai’s Change 


At Verse 2

READ the 1st paragraph, Esther 4:1-3, again, asking the 5W’s and H questions.

Help Reading Esther 4:1-3>

Remember: reading and re-reading helps to bury God’s Word down deep in our hearts.



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


Now, Focus on Verse 2.

Where did Mordecai go?


Where Mordecai Went is Key.


Check out the Cross References about ‘the king’s gate‘.

What does Nehemiah help us understand about the king’s gate?

Neh 2:1-2

Scholars suggest that Mordecai did not enter the gate, for this is forbidden for a mourner. The king wanted to keep a distance between himself and sadness. It was not popular with kings to have sorrow expressed in their court. Kings in medieval times did not have “court mourners,” only court jesters.

Aren’t you glad you can come to the King, our Lord and Savior, when you are sad?

LISTEN to the Spirit

Am I like this king? Do I only want good news, and not the bad?

Engage With God


Today: Mordecai’s Change 

Let’s LOOK

At Verse 3

READ the 1st paragraph Esther 4:1-3, again, asking the 5W’s and H questions.

Help Reading Esther 4:1-3>


According to verse 3, what did the Jews in each province do?


What the Jews Did is Key.

GODcha suggests we check out ‘fasting‘.


What does God mean when He talks about fasting?

FAST, ṣûm; A verb meaning to abstain from food, to fast. It is ideally a form of worship and recognition of God. It means to refrain from eating food for various reasons: as a sign of mourning and distress, seeking God’s mercy (Judg. 20:261 Sam. 7:631:132 Sam. 12:16). It is purportedly in some cases done also to please the Lord, but evidently not with purity of motive (Zech. 7:5).

FASTING, ṣôm; It refers to the act or time of fasting, an act of worship in mourning, despairing while entreating God: a fast itself (2 Sam. 12:16); a public fast (1 Kgs. 21:9, 12). Some fasts were observed regularly (Esth. 9:31; Zech. 8:19). A fast could bring on weakness of body (Ps. 109:24).


You know what to do!


Check out the Cross References about ‘fasting’.

1. What do you learn about fasting?

Jdg 20:26

Joe 2:12

1Sa 7:6

Ezr 8:23

Isa 58:5-12

Mat 4:1-2

Mat 6:16-18

“As we fast, we deliberately weaken the powerful bond with our flesh and strengthen our relationship with God, spirit to Spirit.” Chris Hodges


“But it is an exchange. There is less of us and more of Him. That is always going to be a good deal. Fasting is like turning the volume knob down on our flesh, and turning it up in the spirit. We gain authority, clarity, and closeness with God.” One With Israel


LISTEN to the Spirit

Is fasting a normal practice in my life?

How often am I willing to deny my flesh, and concentrate more on God and His will?

Do I seek the Lord with the right heart and attitude, a repentant heart and humility, when I fast?

What is the result?

Don’t Forget: Talk To God


Check out the Cross References about ‘weeping’.

1. Who was grieved and why?

Gen 6:6

LISTEN to the Spirit

How have I grieved the Lord?


2. Who wept?

Joh 11:35


3. What are we to do?

Rom 12:15

LISTEN to the Spirit

No matter my situation, am I able to rejoice, be glad in the blessings and honor of others? Or, am I jealous? 

Am I sensitive and compassionate, and weep with others when they are suffering hardships and sorrows?


4. What do you learn about God and weeping?

Psa 30:5

LISTEN to the Spirit

When have I wept over my sin, and then experienced God’s promise of joy in the morning?


We see that when something bad happened, God’s people let you know. Right? They change their clothes putting on sackcloth, they put ashes on their head, and they go out in public and wail (scream and cry) and weep with fasting.

What do we do?

LISTEN Further

Do I want to escape the grief and pain of life?

How do I deal with grief and pain?

Do I run to a bottle, pills, sex?

Or, do I run to the Lord?

What do I do when bad things happen?

Do I hide from reality?

Do I tell others, ‘all is fine’, when all really is not fine?

Am I of the mind set I can’t lose it; I can’t weep and show my emotions? 

Or, do I allow myself to grieve? Am I open when in despair?

Don’t Forget:

Respond, Talk to God. . .And Live It Out!


What Did You LEARN


Act 17:11

Scroll down to GODcha’s Deeper Discovery Section and find the #8 LEARN Question(s). 

Here it is for you. . .

Ch 4 #8. Now, we see Mordecai moving from being silent to speaking. Who do you see Mordecai finally identifying with? How do he and the Jews respond to the edict?

a. Do you suppose Mordecai realized he was the 1 who  prompted this edict?

b. What do you learn about mourning and fasting, CR?   (v1-3)


Let’s Bring it Home!


After hearing what had been done, Mordecai moves from being silent to:

tearing his clothes in public, and

– putting on sackcloth and ashes.


This would clearly identify him with the Jews.



– Mordecai is in pain, broken, grieving openly in the city of Susa, at the gate of the king.

– He may realize this decree has much to do with the conflict he personally had with Haman.

– He knows his people are about to be destroyed, including his daughter, and he is powerless to do anything about it.

We Discover:

The tearing of clothes was an external way to show an inward mourning, and often times fasting was done.

Many did as Mordecai. David tore his clothes, mourned, wept and fasted when he found out Saul and Jonathan had fallen by the sword, 2Sa 1:11-12.

God would rather our hearts be torn, than our clothes, and that we would return to Him, Joe 2:12.

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit, Psa 34:18.

We Discover:

Sackcloth and ashes were signs of mourning, humility and repentance.

One commentator says, that sackcloth was heavy, thus expressing how one felt emotionally. And ashes was a way of relaying how fragile life is, even death itself.

Job: Finally had eyes to SEE God after all he had gone through, and the result was a humble repentance in dust and ashes, Job 42:5-6.

Jeremiah: Warned God’s people who had turned from God to put on sackcloth and ashes, repent, for God was sending the destroyer from the north, Jer 6:26.

Daniel: Sought the Lord in prayer with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes, Dan 9:3.

Jesus: Warned Chorazin and Bethsaida about repenting in sackcloth and ashes, Mat 11:21.  

Psa 51 is a prayer of repentance.

The result of repentance: The Lord will turn our mourning into dancing; And loosen our sackcloth and gird us with gladness, Psa 30:11!


Mordecai went out into the midst of the city and wailed loudly and bitterly.

He only went as far as the king’s gate, because no one could enter the king’s gate clothed in sackcloth.

We Discover:

Evidently anyone who entered the king’s presence was expected to have a cheerful countenance, Neh 2:1-2.

How terrible kings had to be hidden from the reality of the real world of suffering.



In all the provinces where the king’s decree went, the Jews did as Mordecai, they mourned with fasting, weeping, wailing and sackcloth and ashes.

Scholars tell us this would have been about 15 million Jews.

We Discover:

Fasting is the act of worship in mourning, despairing while entreating God.

Fasting is 1st mentioned in Judges in the context of sin when God’s people finally became desperate turning to Him, Jdg 20:26.

Fasting involves genuine repentance, returning to the Lord, with weeping and mourning, Joe 2:12; 1Sa 7:6.

Fasting is seeking the Lord, as Ezra did for protection, Ezr 8:23.

Fasting is more than outward, it is all about what is inside.

A genuine fast that is acceptable to the Lord to loosen the bonds of sin and the oppression of others is to take care of othersfeed the hungry and help the afflicted, Isa 58:5-12.

 Jesus, when tempted by the devil, fasted 40 days and nights, Mat 4:1-12.

“Fasting was a way to declare mastery over His human nature so that He would live every moment directed by the “power of the Spirit” (Luk 10:21). He set the example for us who “are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit” (Rom 8:9). If the Son of God did not rely on His flesh to live in obedience to God, then we can’t either.” Got Questions,org

Fasting is assumed to be a normal practice of one’s spiritual life and associated with gloom; prayer; helping others; and seeking the Lord in secret, Mat 6:16-18.

We Discover:

God was grieved in his heart and was sorry that He made man, Gen 6:6.

Jesus wept over Jerusalem and when Lazarus died, Joh 11:35.

We are to weep with those who weep, Rom 12:15.

There is a time to mourn, but we don’t stay there. Weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning, Psa 30:5.

Did you know God catches our tears, Psa 56:8? What does that say to us?

He sees our mourning and cares;

He is our refuge, Psa 91:1-2, and;

He works all things together for good for those who are called and love Him, Rom 8:28.

STOP a minute.

As we LOOK at God’s Word and LEARN, we see there is:

No ‘guessing‘;

No I think, or I believe‘;

We are learning how to answer the LEARN questions straight from the text.

I want you to see God has spoken very clearly.

So we sheep can see His Word and come to understand it!

GODcha Helps Us


Mordecai has been silent, perhaps quiet, or maybe a bit spineless up to this point. But now we see a change. A big one! What happened? We aren’t told, but we know something has happened because now Mordecai is being very public, through mourning, and it is in such a way that he now is identifying himself as one of God’s people, a Jew.


What might God be saying, asking you personally?

LISTEN to God Speak

And LIVE It Out!

God Talks – We LISTEN!

We Talk – He LISTENS!

Engage With God > 

GODcha’s #8 LIVE Question(s) in the Deeper Discovery Might Help!

#8. How am I like Mordecai? Is it time to go public (‘into the midst of the city’) about my identification with Jesus? If a man, why am I embarrassed to weep in public?

a. What have I done that resulted in dreadful consequences for myself, and others?

b. What do I do when I feel stuck, trapped, misunderstood, and/or in horrible despair? Do I bring my pain to the Lord with fasting, to empty myself physically and spiritually, to seek God’s will and wisdom? If not why not?

Respond to God . . .

LIVE it out!

Now We Don’t Just LISTEN,

But, We Speak to God!

Now You Talk to Him>

Hopefully you came to God today with a heart of submission with an expectation of experiencing Him and His presence. And now what He has shared with you, it all comes to a head, and you chat with Him!


Let’s Call It a Day!

Soak in all God is saying and teaching you about a change that others see.

Meditate on this change that involves mourning and fasting in repentance over our sin.

 Chat with God!

Have that constant, conscience, communion with God all day today!

NOTE Your Discovery!

You’ll be glad you did!

Video Tutorial>  Notes Tutorial >

Take the time to journal your discovery. And if you can, jot some notes in your hardbound Bibles. You will be so glad you did.

If you have any questions,

write them down,

He will answer them.

Also enter the personal things God has touched you with.


Let’s Bow Before the Father

OH HEAVENLY FATHER, BLESSED LORD JESUS, and HOLY SPIRIT – GOD in three persons, we praise You! FATHER GOD in Heaven, we so love You in spite of what it may look like! We thank you that You are not like this earthly king who expected a cheerful countenance. Oh Father, we bow before You, and thank you that we can enter Your presence anytime and pour out our hearts to You, whether it be good, or bad. Because we are Your children and You are our Father, You are there to hear, catching our tears and always ready to help us. 

Thank you Father for this Word to us today! We are so grateful that You Holy Spirit are right here to lead us and guide us into all Truth. Show us when and where we have been silent, perhaps cowards regarding our walk with God. Oh, forgive us Lord. May we have hearts that truly mourn over that sin, and any other sin that we allow in our lives. May we be quick to confess and repent, knowing that when we do, You are faithful to forgive us of our sins and cleanse us of all unrighteousness, 1Jo 1:9. We thank you for this sweet time and reassuring Word as we see Mordecai and the change in him. May we consider if indeed a change has taken place in our hearts and minds. We pray others can see the change in us. What an encouragement to many of us today!

Again, I ask that You help us not miss a thing Father God about You being the Most High God, who rules and reigns over the realm of mankind, over every circumstance of our lives. Help us to see that You are The KING over all the earth, our Lord and Savior. That You are so wonderfully good, and right here working in our lives, orchestrating Your plan and will to be done. We are so grateful and pray these things in Your name, our beloved Christ. Amen!


Awesome! Do you realize you are doing the one thing that is necessary, learning to sit at the feet of Jesus, letting Him explain Truth to you by the power of His Spirit. 

Next: We’ll look at the the next paragraph, Esther 4:4-5.

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