166 at VBS last night! We have had four great nights of VBS and I am looking forward to tonight as we wrap up VBS 2009 and announce our theme for VBS 2010. Now on to today's hero . . .
Esther. Esther was a young Hebrew girl raised by her cousin in exile. Eventually, Artaxerxes, King of Persia is in need of a new queen. He decides to launch a year-long competition to select his new queen. Esther is eventually chosen to be that queen.
Yet, this is not the answer to her people's plight. There is an enemy at the gate or to be more specific, the enemy is at the king's side -- Haman by name. Haman despises the Jews, specifically because Mordecai (Esther's cousin) would not bow to him.
Haman, in retribution, convinces Artaxerxes to declare the elimination of the Jews. Mordecai learns of the plan and eventually convinces Esther to go before the king at her own great peril and speak for her people. She does and after a couple of dinner parties, tells the king her life and the life of her people is in danger because of Haman. The king turns on Haman and God through Esther saves his people.
There is a very interesting statement in Esther 4:13-14. Here Mordecai sends word to Esther concerning her hesitation to go before the king. "Do not think to yourself that in the king's palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews. For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father's house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?" (ESV). This is a statement of God's ways and means.
Joey Sparks spoke the adults about Esther and in a very eloquent way discussed our tendency to ascribe things to God and His plan for us that God may not be specifically concerned about. Notice what Mordecai says to Esther " . . . if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place . . ." Mordecai was not 100% sure Esther was the one, but he knew she had to try. Sometimes we say or think, "this is God's plan." You may be right or you may not be. The lesson is this: God's plan is for me to always do what is right and to serve Him in my life, whatever I might do and where ever I might be.
What are your reactions to Esther? Mordecai? Haman?