Thursday, October 4, 2012
Welcome to Day 277 of our Life Journal!
Before you comment or read what I have posted, please read the following passages for yourself and complete your own S.O.A.P. exercise… How does this work?
S.O.A.P = Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer
Interesting fact about the book of Esther… in 167 verses, does not mention the name of God. This causes some to unnecessarily doubt its authenticity.
Simple outline for today’s readings from Esther:
A. [Queen] Vashti’s Insubordination (1:1–22)
B. Esther’s Coronation (2:1–18)
Esther 1:20, “Then when the king’s edict is proclaimed throughout all his vast realm,
all the women will respect their husbands, from the least to the greatest.”
Sidenote: Positional authority never works well… He is reacting to his wife, Queen Vashti’s refusal to come when he summoned her. (Esther 1:10-12.)
So the King is presented with a plan to replace her…
Esther 2:2, “Let a search be made for beautiful young virgins for the king. 3 Let the king appoint commissioners in every province of his realm to bring all these beautiful girls into the harem at the citadel of Susa. Let them be placed under the care of Hegai, the king’s eunuch, who is in charge of the women; and let beauty treatments be given to them. 4 Then let the girl who pleases the king be queen instead of Vashti.”
This advice appealed to the king, and he followed it.”
Psalm 150:6, “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.”
Luke 17:1, “Things that cause people to sin are bound to come… but woe to that person through whom they come.” (I am not going to focus my O or A on this verse, but I love the practicality of this verse.)
Are you kidding me? “This advice appealed to the king, and he followed it.” The most beautiful girls from the entire region… to be brought to him… after a year of beauty treatments? Paraded in front of him? Seriously?
Makes me think of the line from the Mel Brooks movie, “History of the World Part 1.” “It’s good to be the king.”
Great “advice” he was following. (Didn’t they have more important matters to attend to?)
This would have made a great reality TV show… Oh, wait, it already has been done. (“The Bachelor.”)
Yet, after Esther’s coronation, she saved his life, and, ultimately prevented the extermination of the Jews at the hand of Haman the Agigate…
(SPOILER ALERT: He gets his in the end, as we will soon read… By being hung on the gallows which he had constructed… Also, Esther was not allowed to simply “show up” and have an audience with the King. She was only allowed if she were… you guessed it… “summoned.” In chapter 5, however, the King granted her an unannounced visit… at which time he granted her a request, up to half his kingdom… BEFORE he knew what her request was… Not very wise… but it worked out well for Esther, Mordecai and all the Jews…)
And keep in mind, she is a Jew (which that little fact was kept from the King… So much for six months of pre-marital counseling. He didn’t do a very good job of vetting the next queen. Justsayin’.)
Did Esther deceive the King? By not revealing her heritage… that she was a Jew?
Was that OK?
Makes me think of “All things work together for good…” Romans 8:28.
It’s amazing to me, this journey through the Bible, what jumps out at me. I think given my commitment to daily blogging my SOAP (in such a public way,) causes me to pay closer attention and to dig deeper than ever before. I am catching nuances about stories and putting pieces of the puzzle together much more… deliberately?
Thank you Lord for what you are doing as we read your Word!