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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Esther - Woman Of Beauty And Courage

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The book of Esther is one of the best known and loved books of the Bible, yet it is the only book that never mentions the name of God. However, from Esther's actions, we can tell that she believed that it was only through God's help that she could overcome the battle that was raging against her and her fellow Jews.

Esther Becomes Queen

Esther was raised by her uncle Mordecai after her parents died. Esther was very beautiful and through Mordecai's initiative, she was presented to King Xerxes who was looking for a wife. The king immediately fell in love with Esther, married her and she became queen. Esther now passed from a season of being a poor orphan to a season of royalty. Who could hope for more? But shortly after becoming queen, her uncle Mordecai sent her a message that Haman, one of the king's aides, was planning to kill him and all the Jews because he, Mordecai, would not bow to him.

Esther's Dilemma

Esther was dumbfounded. As queen she carried a certain amount of influence, but not even she could go into the king's presence uninvited and she had not seen him in thirty days. Furthermore, Xerxes didn't even know she was a Jew. No sooner had she sent this message to Mordecai, than he sent back another one, saying, "Do not think that because you are in the king's house you alone of all the Jews will  escape. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arrive from another place ... And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?" (Esther 4: 12-14).

Esther's Act Of Courage

Mordecai's answer spurred Esther to action and she instructed him to gather all the Jews in Susa to fast for her for three days while she and her maids also fasted, and at the end of that time she would go into the king. She ended with the now famous words, "And if I perish, I perish" (v 16). Esther's actions resulted in Haman being hanged, the king revoking his decree against the Jews and giving them the authority to kill and annihilate any armed forces that attacked them.

Victory Through Fasting

Wasn't that a supernatural victory? There comes a time when beauty, position, wealth or any other resources we may have is not enough to wage war againt the enemy. Esther realized that she needed supernatural strength to enter the king's courts and secure a victory for her and her fellow Jews. And so she used the powerful weapon of fasting. The Bible records other instances where people fasted for spiritual reasons. God Himself says about fasting, "Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?" (Isaiah 56: 6). When Jesus' disciples asked Him why they could not cast out a demon from a little boy, Jesus replied, "Because you have so little faith ... Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting" (Matthew 17: 20-21) KJV.

Are you in a spiritual battle? Do you need supernatural strength to wage war against the enemy? Then pray and fast and victory will be yours. You can read more about Esther here in this excerpt from my book Women For All Seasons. And if you subscribe to this blog between now and the end of the year, you can win a copy of the book.


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