Everywhere I turn the past week I am running into studies of Esther.
I selected it as my next reading plan on the YouVersion Bible app (and the way I stumbled across reading plans is because I was trying to sign up for the all-church study we are doing and I have yet to find it on my phone…but I have been enjoying a couple of good ones in the meanwhile…)
About Day 4 of it, I realized I was seeing posts from other people on Instagram based on the same study and I realized it was from Love God Greatly and there is study in progress for those who order through them.
Today it popped up in another devotional email and so I am thinking God is speaking out into the cosmos about Esther right now and I don’t want to miss an opportunity for sharing some nuggets I have uncovered and have you miss out on the refining of His word in YOUR life so…
Here is one gem I got that hit me fresh from a book of the Bible that I would have thought I had read and studied to the point that I could say I got all there was to get out of it…but as the donkey would say to Shrek…it’s like an onion….there are many, many, many layers to all people but more importantly to God’s Word and there is no end to learning that we can find when we take time to sit at His feet and let His Spirit teach us.
In the second day of the study, I found this perspective on the King that gave me a new angle on what God is showing us about us and about Himself in the book of Esther:
Based on the opening passages in Chapter 1, we see the King hosting a huge and luxurious and extended banquet and in the midst of all the partying he calls for the Queen to be brought out and displayed.
And all the empowered women of the modern world shouted “Amen sister!” but please, as we label this King a male chauvinist pig, don’t miss the lesson about our own humanity and struggle with pride that can play out in equally ugly ways.
The King responds with fury and then adds to his inappropriate response the seeking out of poor counsel and the whole thing ends with a complete banishment of this queen from his presence.
The study sheds light on what happened:
“The King wanted what he wanted, and when he didn’t get it, he became furious and burned with anger.”Love God Greatly: Esther, Day 2 devotional
As I pondered the study and the Scriptures and looked at that phrase and let it sink in, I wrote in my journal
“Selfish motives that respond in anger are indications of a need for repentance.”
The devotion points out that instead of overlooking the insult, the King responded with anger. Anger fueled by pride in who he was and what he possessed. Pride in his reputation and his status.
His wants had been denied and his pride and selfishness overruled his reason and wisdom.
If we get past the whole debauchery of the party and the men and the thought of parading his wife in front of a bunch of frat boys gone wild…and we just focus on that phrase for a minute…
and fill it in with our own name..so here, I will go first….
Laura wanted what she wanted and when she didn’t get it, she became furious and burned with anger.
How about a real life application?
Laura wanted to receive an apology from the company who slightly overcharged her for an item, even after she had been honest about the fact that they had sent it without knowing and then they charged her the full amount and not the discount and didn’t even thank her for her integrity. And when they, instead, insulted her for being petty about such a small overcharge…she became furious and burned with anger.
That’s what we are talking about here.
We are talking about the rehearsing of an insult and the growing anger as we plan the rebuttal, or the letter, or the actions we will take to justify ourselves to the one we feel wronged us.
Because it’s easy to look at the King in Esther’s story and see what a jerk he is.
But the point of Scripture is to turn that spotlight back on our own hearts and let God show us who we really are so we can worship Him for who He is.
His example through Christ was to overlook an insult. To forgive those who have not even asked for forgiveness. This is our model for life and our desired response when we sense anger is burning within us <3