Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Wednesday, 8 March 2023:
Esther 7:2, 7 — And on the second day, as they were drinking wine after the feast, the king again said to Esther, “What is your wish, Queen Esther? It shall be granted you. And what is your request? Even to the half of my kingdom, it shall be fulfilled’….” And the king arose in his wrath from the wine-drinking and went into the palace garden.
Drinking leads to rash and emotional decision-making. Remember, drinking led the king to dishonor his wife queen Vashti at the beginning of this book, which ruined his marriage and led to a national crisis. In Proverbs 31, King Lemuel is warned by his wise mother, “It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine, or for rulers to take strong drink, lest they drink and forget what has been decreed and pervert the rights of all the afflicted.” Christians must never allow substances, emotions, or anything else control their decisions.
Esther 7:4 – If we had been sold merely as slaves, men and women, I would have been silent.
All governments are unjust to some degree; yet the Bible commands us to obey government unless the commands of government go against the demands of Christian conscience. We should expect to incur abuses under government, but there is a limit to how much should be considered acceptable. In Esther’s situation, lives were on the line.
Esther 7:5 – Then King Ahasuerus said to Queen Esther, “Who is he, and where is he, who has dared to do this?”
Governments often don’t realize the destructive consequences of their policies.
Esther 7:10 – So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai.
God arranged circumstances such that Haman received the death he had planned for Mordecai. God will treat you in accordance with how you treat others. This way of God is revealed throughout the Bible.
Acts 20:26, 27 – Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all, for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God.
Paul felt tremendous conviction as well as great burden of responsibility and obligation, to declare “the whole counsel of God” to the people around him. In fact, he understood he would stand accountable before God for the blood of those with whom he didn’t share the Gospel. Paul was merely reconfirming what God had said to Ezekiel and what the Bible reaffirms in many other places –
- Ezekiel 3:17-21 — “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me. If I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, in order to save his life, that wicked person shall die for his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. But if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, or from his wicked way, he shall die for his iniquity, but you will have delivered your soul. Again, if a righteous person turns from his righteousness and commits injustice, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die. Because you have not warned him, he shall die for his sin, and his righteous deeds that he has done shall not be remembered, but his blood I will require at your hand. But if you warn the righteous person not to sin, and he does not sin, he shall surely live, because he took warning, and you will have delivered your soul.”
- Acts 13:47 — For so the Lord has commanded us, saying, “‘I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.’”
- James 4:17 — So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.
- Proverbs 24:11, 12 — Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, “Behold, we did not know this,” does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it, and will he not repay man according to his work?
Does God’s word convict you to prioritize sharing the Gospel above all else?
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 8 March 2023: Pray that God will convict your heart and empower you to share the Gospel with those around you, regardless how you think they might respond. “And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’” (Matthew 28:18-20)