Day 4 - Esther 7:1-3, 8:3-6
Pride and Petitions
Pride is a killer. Proverbs 16:18 says, “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” Haman had both. When Mordecai showed no fear of him, he went to his wife and friends to brag about his greatness. And they told him exactly what he wanted to hear. It’s uncomfortable to identify with the villain, but don’t we all do that? When our pride is hurt, we go to the people who bolster it, no matter if they’re right or not. When Haman approached Xerxes, he found that a great reversal of power had taken place. Just when Haman thought he would be killing Mordecai, the king forced him to parade Mordecai around the city shouting, “This is what is done for the man the king delights to honor!” Now, that’s a detour. And what about Esther? Well, the time has come to inform the king of Haman’s evil plan.
7:1So the king and Haman went to Queen Esther’s banquet, 2 and as they were drinking wine on the second day, the king again asked, “Queen Esther, what is your petition? It will be given you. What is your request? Even up to half the kingdom, it will be granted.” 3 Then Queen Esther answered, “If I have found favor with you, Your Majesty, and if it pleases you, grant me my life - this is my petition. And spare my people - this is my request.
This isn’t the first time the king has asked Esther for her petition. In fact, it’s the third time. When you read this book you find yourself squirming the first two times he asks her, because why isn’t she just saying it? But we learned yesterday that Esther and Jews fasted and prayed. Fasting is pretty popular right now, but often it has nothing to do with prayer. It’s about metabolism and weight-loss, but the purpose of Biblical fasting is to connect with God.
Have you ever fasted to pray? If so, what was your experience?
In Esther’s time of fasting, God gave her answers about how to approach the king. She waited until the moment was right, until Haman was present and the king was ready to listen.
8:3 Esther again pleaded with the king, falling at his feet and weeping. She begged him to put an end to the evil plan of Haman the Agagite, which he had devised against the Jews. 4 Then the king extended the gold scepter to Esther and she arose and stood before him. 5 “If it pleases the king,” she said, “and if he regards me with favor and thinks it the right thing to do, and if he is pleased with me, let an order be written overruling the dispatches that Haman son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, devised and wrote to destroy the Jews in all the king’s provinces. 6 For how can I bear to see disaster fall on my people? How can I bear to see the destruction of my family?”
Xerxes wanted to give Esther gifts, but what she really needed was protection for her people. Xerxes is the perfect example of human love. He wanted to honor his wife, but he was flawed. He was too busy giving her things he valued to listen to what she needed.
Do you have anyone in your life who would rather just buy something than have a genuine relationship with you? How does it make you feel?
Our Heavenly Father isn’t like that. His love isn’t flawed. It’s perfect and He longs for a genuine relationship with us. Stick around for the end of this journey with Esther. Let’s see what her Heavenly Father does to show his perfect love.
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