Tuesday, March 1, 2011

It’s Time to Realize God is in Control

Esther Chapter 1

Have you ever wondered if you could really be used by God to do something great? Has something ever happened in your life, and at the time you did not understand it, but later you realized that it was God moving? I think we all have wondered if God could use us like He does someone else. I think we all would have to say that we have experienced those times of uncertainty, only to later realize God was working in our lives.

Each chapter of the book of Esther seems to have one main theme. The theme of chapter one seems to be “It’s Time to Realize God is in Control”. Throughout the book of Esther you can clearly see the hand of God moving on behalf of His people. The hand of God is very obvious in chapter one.

God uses men to accomplish His will

Throughout the Bible we see that God sets up and takes down men in order to accomplish His will. When Daniel stood before king Nebuchadnezzar he stressed this fact to him.

“Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God forever and ever: for wisdom and might are his: And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, knowledge to them that know understanding.”   Daniel 2:20, 21

The same is true with you and I. God has every one of us exactly where he wants us. You are where you are today because that is where God wants you to be. So many times we think that if we were someone else, or somewhere else, then things would be better. God made you the way He wants you, and wants to use you just like you are to accomplish His will. Don’t try to be someone else. Be yourself, you are how God wants you to be.

In Esther chapter one God uses a wicked king to bring about His will. This wicked king is referred to as “Ahasuerus” in the book of Esther. This was not the kings’ real name, but rather a title given to the king. The title “Ahasuerus” means “high father.” Just like the Romans called their leader “Caesar,” the Persians called their leader “Ahasuerus.” The king mentioned in the book of Esther is probably the Persian king Xerxes.

In this chapter we see that the king is having a lavish celebration, bringing the princes from his 127 provinces into his kingdom. Xerxes purpose was to display his wealth, impress the people, and ultimately gain their approval to invade Greece. For 181 days these men are brought by rotation into the kingdom, pampered and convinced that they could overtake Greece. Xerxes father, Darius I, had invaded Greece and was shamefully defeated. Now it was up to his son to do what the father could not.

At the end of the six month feast the king holds a seven day celebration for the people of Shushan. These were heathen people and they acted like it. They drink and drink and drink. Then the Bible tells us that in the middle of this drunken feast the king does something that he normally would not have, had he been sober. The king calls for the queen to come to the party and display for everyone how good looking she was. For a woman to come to the feast of the men would be against custom and not acceptable.

I don’t care if you believe it is a sin to drink or not. We must all agree that alcohol has caused too many people to do too many stupid things. Yet every year in America thousands of people are killed by drunk drivers. Every year in America, wives and children are beat, and killed by drunken husbands and fathers. Why does the government not step in? Why are we not in an uproar over the use of alcohol?

A Japanese proverb says “first the man takes a drink, then the drink takes a drink, then the drink takes the man.”

God uses matters to accomplish His will

We may not understand every situation we are put in. We may not know why God has allowed us to suffer while someone else seems to have it easy. We may not understand, but we need to remember that God is in control.

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”    Romans 8:28

God is about to use a matter that seems silly and juvenile to save the lives of millions of Jews.

Can you imagine the way this goes down? The king tells everyone that he is going to call for his wife, the queen, because he wants everyone to see how good looking she is. In a few minutes one of his servants comes and whispers into the king’s ear, “She said that she is not coming.” Imagine how embarrassing the king was to stand up and tell all those people that his wife refused to come.

At this point the whole thing gets out of hand. The queen would not come and show off for the king, so his cabinet members have to get involved. They come together to determine what they are going to do to the queen for not coming. It is obvious that there was no law forcing her to come, so they have to make something up.

The queen is put aside. They pass a law that every wife must honor her husband. It is interesting that they had to pass this law. Obviously this was not one of the laws of the Persians. Women obviously had a lot of freedom in Persia.

The stage is now set for two characters to enter the scene; this being Haman, the man who hated the Jews, and Esther, the woman who would save her people from certain doom.

It’s time that we realize that God is in control. Every day God is working in your life. This work may take you through a series of ups and downs, but never forget that He is working in your life. The bible is clear in its teaching that “all things work together for good to them who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”

Maybe one of the best things to do is get out of God’s way and let Him work. Or figure out what He is doing, where He is going, and get on board.

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