Esther: The Voice that must be heard

We live in a culture where everyone wants to be heard but we also live in a culture where so many voices can be heard.  Every article, blog or video has a comment section and people love to say what they think and feel.  People are short on listening and long on making their opinion known even if that opinion comes without research or truth.

In the world we now live in there are many voices who are shouting for attention and spreading their beliefs but in the midst of the other voices the truth must be heard even if it is unpopular.

In chapter one of the book of Esther we see that the King threw a 6 month party to impress people by his wealth. Toward the end of the event he wanted to show off his queen but she embarrassed him by refusing to come out. The King was showing off his wealth and his palace and she was not willing to be another one of his prize possessions.

Everything from the design of the building to the throne were all created to show that the King was the most important person in the Kingdom. Everything pointed to him and so you can imagine how arrogant he had become to even treat his Queen as another object that he possessed.

The Queens name was Vashti means best or beloved. As we will see in the story I think he truly loved her but in his embarrassment in front of the people he was trying to impress he made a rash and foolish decision.

In his embarrassment the King was given some bad advice that he took instead of thinking through the entire situation and seeing how he was embarrassing his Queen. The Kings advisors tell him that he needs to kick her out and do a beauty pageant to find a new queen and the king liked the idea if you read Esther 2:1 it seems that he regretted making that decision.

We all have to be careful to not listen to fools (Prov .13:20) and the King made an emotional decision because of the advice of those who surrounded him. Who you listen to is very important because they can cause your life to go down a path that you never intended.

Because of this decision and the decision to have a beauty pageant we now see Esther enter the picture and how God put her in the place where He needed her.

Read Esther 2:5-11, 16-23

1)   Our Voice must be heard because of the evil in the world

Esther won the beauty contest after 12 months of being pampered and prepared and so now she is the new Queen.  Four years had passed since the King kicked Vashti out of the kingdom so this was not a quick process of finding a new Queen.

Esther  did not reveal she was a Jew because the Jews were there because they were taken into captivity. So this woman who was taken into captivity and was raised by her uncle was now the Queen.

Somewhere along the way Esther  must have promoted her uncle Mordecai because he was able to sit at the Kings Gate. The Kings Gate shows that Mordecai was in an official capacity for the King and the Kingdom. It was because he was there that he was able to overhear an assassination plat and so Mordecai was able to report and stop an assassination against the King. Mordecai stood up for the King not because he liked the King but because it was the right thing to do. In a society that tends to look out for only themselves we need to be a people that speak for the things that are right regardless of recognition or reward.

Proverbs 21:15 When justice is done, it is a joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers.

Silence does not guarantee peace and Mordecai knew it was better to speak up for what was right than to be silent and see how things worked out. Evil people will plot to do evil deeds and when those who see them stay silent then the world suffers.

Read Esther 3:1-11

Haman becomes a leader above all the others second only to the King. Haman, being a prideful man,  is angry that Mordecai would not bow to him like the others and show that he was superior to them.  There was no reason for Mordecai to not bow down to him because it was customary to bow to those in a position above you or out of respect and honor for the other person. The only thing we can guess is the Modecai did not like him and there must have been some earlier hostility we do not know about.

Haman, who overreacts to the situation accuses all the Jews living in the land  of being ones who did not obey the laws of the land. Haman then lets the King know that the Jews  do not profit the kingdom in any way and should be exterminated.

Haman, who was there to serve the King,  had no desire to benefit the King he only spoke to benefit himself by trying to relieve his bruised ego. Many times we react to people not out of thought of what is really important but out of selfish pride because they did not do things the way we thought they should be done.

Haman’s talk was filled with half-truths and lies that would benefit himself and that is the pattern of anyone who is trying to twist the story so it sounds favorable for their position. Haman wanted to punish Mordecai without it looking as though he was the bad guy.

Annihilating the Jewish race is something that has always been a part of history. We can still watch today as there is a growing distain for the Jewish people in the Middle East and around the world. We can see why Satan would want to annihilate the Jews back then because if he could then he could keep Jesus from coming into the world but even today Satan will use people to try and destroy the very people that God used to bring salvation to the entire world.

We live in a very selfish society and people do not care who they destroy in the path of vengeance or fortune. We have to watch our Voices to see if we are using them for our own benefit or for the benefit of others.

Proverbs 8:13 The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil   and perverted speech I hate.

Pride is what drove Haman to try and destroy an entire race because of his hatred for Mordecai. Perverse speech is how he set out to accomplish it. These things have no place in the lives of those who fear God and who are following Him.  To Fear God means that we want to please Him more than ourselves even if our pride gets hurt along the way.  We are not afraid of God but we live our lives in reverent respect for who He is by  honoring  him with our lives.

Read Esther 4:1-14

2)   Our Voice must be heard no matter the cost

Esther’s uncle Mordecai knew what was happening because of his position in the kingdom that all the Jews were going to be annihilated. He immediately knew that the situation was dire and he began a process of mourning.

Are you heartbroken about the situation our country is in? When is the last time you wept because upcoming destruction of so many people?

Esther knew that she could not go and see the King unless he called for her and the King had not called on Esther in a month. Maybe the King was missing Vashti but whatever reason Esther knew that he was not going to call on her soon. If you  entered the Kings chambers without being summoned the King would determine if you lived or if you died.

For Such a time as this”

This is the famous line that so many people focus on and with good reason. None of us are where we are by accident but we have been placed by God for a specific purpose. Christians should always trust that God has a plan no matter how bad the circumstance or problems we face. We are not where we are by accident and God is going to use us in every situation no matter how bad it can seem. God has strategically placed you in peoples lives to lead them to Him.

Psalm 139:16 Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

“Do not think you will escape this”

Staying silent does not solve the problem and it does not keep us from suffering the consequences of the evil that is prevailing. Whatever fate America faces one of the things I think we will look back on is that so many Christians thought that being silent would bring peace. Being silent is not always an option and we need to learn to not only speak up but also how to speak up properly where we will be heard.

Read Esther 4:15-17

3)   Our voice must be heard after fasting and prayer

Esther knew her strength came from God and she was not about to put her life on the line without seeking Him first.  Esther also knew that she needed others to pray for her because what she was getting ready to do was going to affect all of them.

Philippians 4:13-14I can do all things through him who strengthens me.14 Yet it was kind of you to share[a] my trouble.

It is God who gives the strength but Christianity is not about us walking these roads alone. Many times we do not speak up because we have not sat silent in front of God. We rely on our own strength and our own wisdom instead of seeking God who is all knowing and all powerful.

We are a noisy generation who likes to talk a lot without listening and for Christians that means that we have to stop and seek God on the issues we are facing individually, as a church and as a nation. If we want to make an impact on our nation and the world then we have to begin by seeking God in prayer.

(Fasting is giving something up in your daily routine to get your heart more prepared to hear God. It can be food but it can also be T.V., music, or anything else in order to devote more time to God in prayer)

Read Esther 5:1-8

Because of prayer and fasting Esther was able to walk in wisdom and she did not tell the King  her request or rush to try and fix the situation but she walked cautiously and strategically with the King to get him to see her point of view.

Read Esther 5:9-14, 6:1

At this moment Haman thinks that because he was ordered to the banquet that the King loved him more than all others. Haman was all about Haman and everything that was done evolved around him (in his mind) His plot to get rid of Mordecai is working and since he is getting special meals with the King and Queen he thought that he was a very important person.

The King could not sleep

The king was not be able to sleep one night   so he had one of his attendants read the book of memorable deeds that was meant to make him tired and fall asleep.  The attendant read the part about Mordecai saving the Kings life by revealing an assassination plot against the King. The King then asked if anything had been done for Mordecai and the answer was no.

The King asked Haman what he would do for someone who deserved to be honored by the King. Haman, being a self centered person thinks that the King is talking about him so he comes up with this elaborate scenario that would basically make the person seem like the King for the Day. In a plot twist Haman honors Mordecai by allowing Mordecai to experience all that he wanted to experience. Haman gave Mordecai the perfect day that he wanted to experience.

Read Esther 7:1-6

Haman’s selfish plot was revealed and he faced the punishment he wanted to inflict on Mordecai. One day all the wrongs will be made right when God finally says that the time has come for Him to end this world we live in. Whether you see justice served while you are on earth or not does not mean that justice will not one day be given out by our Creator. Your job is to trust God through whatever circumstance knowing that in the end He will make all things right and that everything you have gone through has served some Divine purpose.

4)   Our Voice is what God wants us to use to tell the world about Him

Mark 16:15 And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.

Romans 10:13-14 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard?[c] And how are they to hear without someone preaching?

Haman used his voice to promote himself. Esther used her voice for the sake of others. How do you use your voice?

We cannot believe as Christians that all we have to do is live good lives without speaking up.  Yes we must do it first in love and with discernment but at some point we have to use the voice and the platform we have been given by God. You do not have to be a Queen or even a person of any type of authority because we have all been strategically placed by God to speak up to tell others about Him and to speak up on behalf of others. You might be the one voice that God wants to use to save many lives so never underestimate how God can use you.

 

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