April 17, 2009

God the Faithful

I just laid my pen down as I finished the last lesson in the study of Esther. Tears have fallen and I have thanked God over and over for this book. The book of Esther is a wonderful story, Queen Esther draws in little girls and big girls alike, we are all taken by her beauty and personality that wins favor each way she turns. I can remember being a little girl and wishing I would be a princess, hoping that I could live in a castle and wear beautiful clothes, to be Queen Esther. Now that I have spent months in study of Esther I adore her even more. Not for her beauty, not for her castle, but for her ability to be brave when called upon. Brave when she didn't think she could be brave. The true love story in Esther is not between Esther and Xerxes, but between God and His people who had all but forgotten Him. God's name is not written once in Esther. The Jews in the book of Esther blended in with the other people of their cities, nothing about them was notably different than their neighbors. Esther was made queen and no one even knew her heritage, she looked like all the other pretty young ladies. But the story of Esther is about God's faithfulness to His nation.

The story of Queen Esther shows itself in my life, God was faithful to me when I did not deserve it. He was faithful to me when I never praised His name, but even sickeningly used it as a curse. God forgave me for turning away. He wasn't even ugly to me when I returned, He rejoiced with me. I am sure that this applies to many, most or all of God's people in one degree or another. We serve a God of redemption who loves to turn our story around.

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I love this paragraph in the last lesson of Esther:

"One day on the hillside of the New Jerusalem, surrounded by a crowd of glad hearers, the divine Narrator will tell the story of one woman's life. It will not be Esther's. It will not be your teacher's. It will be yours.
The story will begin something like this: 'Once upon a time, in the days of the great and glorious Jesus, King of the vast empire of heaven and earth, there was a little girl who thought she was forgotten. Her name was ____________ but the king called her _____________. This is the story of how she won His favor.' And with all the drama and emotion a great story teller can muster, the Rabbi will read the congregation your whole Megillah. The listeners will groan. Bite their nails with suspense. It will be a raucous affair. With every mention of the villain's name, the crowd will heckle and jeer. Then at the height of the story, when hope seems lost and her life and loves most threatened, He will say these words to the crowd: "But if she'd only known, she had come to the royal position for such a time as this!'" By faith alone, to her face she will fall...then to her feet she will rise, ready to do what deliverance demands. Then the Rabbi will quote her resolve: 'And if I perish, I perish' and the crowd will stand and cheer! For what if she does perish? Is that the worst this world's wicked Haman can threaten? On the day that she does, this is what will happen: She will put on her royal robes and stand in the inner court of the palace, in front of the King's hall. The King will be sitting on his royal throne in the hall, facing the entrance. When he sees his queen standing in the court, he will be pleased with her and hold out to her the gold scepter that is in his hand. And she will approach. And cast her crown at His feet.

"God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes" (Ps. 18:24, The Message).

Amen and Amen.

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