Purim–Persecution

Illustration to Nikolai Gogol's %22Dead Souls%22Illustration:  “Illustration to Nikolai Gogol’s ‘Dead Souls’,” by Marc Chagall, etching on paper, 1923.

“If I have found favor in your sight, O king, and if it please the king, let my life be granted me for my wish, and my people for my request” (Esther 7:3).

Esther gave heed to Mordecai’s request and his admonition that she must use her royal position on behalf of her people.  Esther chose the path of faithfulness to God’s people.

On any given path you walk, there are choices to make. Some choices are more difficult than others. For Esther, the path she chose is a harrowing one indeed. The easier, more traveled path beckons her to keep her secret. But the path less traveled calls her to reveal herself and place herself on the mercy of the king. She approached him with trepidation but nevertheless, interceded for her people to her king. The path she traveled has made all the difference. Her intercession is accepted and the king spared the lives of her people. She is favored and lived.

Esther may have been afraid, but she was also very smart.  She invited the king and Haman to a banquet she prepared especially for them.  At the banquet, after King Ahasuerus had drunk a little wine, Esther made her request.  First, she requested that the king spare her people.  Since he loved Esther, he readily agreed.  Than, Esther identified Haman as their persecutor, revealing herself as a Jewish woman.

The path you follow is the path that Jesus has walked. He also had to reveal Himself to people who threatened to kill Him.  He is the Messiah, the Son of God. He also approached the King, as He cried out in the garden of Gethsemane to be spared. We lived under a death sentence for our sins, but as Esther interceded for her people, so Jesus interceded for you and me. Our death sentence is not simply an agreement made between men and easily changed. Our sins are crimes against a just God, who demands a payment. And the One who intercedes says, “Father, take My life for them and may their penalty be forever paid.” Just as Ahasuerus was moved by love for Esther, so God is moved by love for His Son and all of His children. He allows Jesus to die, and in His mercy lifted our death sentence.  God raises His Son up from death as the first of His children to be resurrected, giving us a promise of life to come.

Prayer: Dear Lord, You know my struggles and the weakness of my flesh. Help me today to see Your choices for me, and to live according to them. In Y’shua’s name, Amen.

Ponder the Path:  What choices are you struggling over? Often the easier solution is not the better one. Pray that God would guide you today through your Intercessor, Jesus.

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