Saturday, June 27, 2015

God Uses Little People And Unconventional Means

There come those moments in our lives when we take stock of what we have accomplished that will have any lasting significance and often times it can become a rather depressing exercise. Usually everything we have striven for has been with ourselves in mind and often times that is the crux of our problem. God can use those who are willing to work out His plan for mankind. Often times the person He uses is simply a sinner with a repentant heart.

Moses had slain one of Pharaoh’s men who had been abusing the Hebrews and he buried him in the desert sand, but knowing it was wrong he ran away and hid for a time, sorrowful for what he had done. God called out to him knowing that he had a heart for the Hebrews and gave him powers to do mighty signs and wonders whereupon he led the Hebrew nation to freedom.

Paul formerly known as Saul of Tarsus was a Pharisee and a temple priest. He became incensed over how his fellow Jews were suddenly following this new Christian sect and sought to put an end to what he considered apostasy pulling new Christian believers out of their homes and murdering them in the streets. But God knowing that Paul had a heart for God and was doing what he thought was the righteous thing to do to protect the Jews, struck him blind one day on the road to Damascus and Paul later became one of the greatest Christian preachers of all time. So we see here that God was able to use two people who had essentially become murderers, turning their lives around and using them for His glory.

The authors of the four gospels were just every day people. Matthew was a tax collector and Mark is believed to be a young man who later traveled with Paul. Luke was a physician and a man of letters, and John a Greek speaking Christian who may have lived in a mostly Gnostic community during the second century. 

This is a story of magnificent courage and of how Esther saved the Jewish people from certain annihilation.
Esther was a beautiful young Jewish woman, an orphan who had been adopted by Mordecai and his wife, as their own daughter. She had become a member of the Persian King’s harem during the Babylonian captivity of the Hebrew nation. Queen Vashti had insulted the King in front of many dignitaries, satraps and nobles, so she fell into disfavor and he sought a new queen from a number of his concubines.
When it was Esther’s turn to go before the king, she asked for nothing except what the king’s eunuch, who had charge of the women, advised. Esther found favor in the eyes of all who saw her. And when Esther was taken to King Ahasuerus into his royal palace the king loved Esther more than all the women, and she found grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins, so that he set the royal crown on her head and made her queen instead of Vashti.”

Meanwhile while sitting at the gate, Mordecai had overheard two men conspiring to harm the king and he reported it to Queen Esther who in turn imparted it to the King who had both men hanged. Now there was a man named Haman who was a rather despicable character that the King had elevated to high office and he hated Mordecai who continually refused to bow down to him so he conspired to have Mordecai hanged and the Jews who he also hated killed. Mordecai, who was Esther’s adoptive father apprised Esther of what was about to happen and along with the other Jews requested that she speak to the king on their behalf. She was fearful as the king was unapproachable without being officially summoned to see him. She said, “all the king’s servants and the people of the king’s provinces know that if any man or woman went to the king inside the inner court without being called, there was but one law; all alike would be put to death, except the one to whom the king holds out the golden scepter that he may live. And I have not been called to come in to the king these last thirty days.” Then Esther asked Mordecai to gather all the Jews in Susa, and hold a fast and pray on her behalf. Afterward Esther approached the King and mercifully he held out the golden scepter to her as she found favor with him. She then proceeded to request that he and Haman come to a dinner she would prepare in a few nights. Later while unable to sleep the king was thinking of Mordecai and how he had exposed the plot against him, he decided that this man should be rewarded. Now Haman had just entered the outer court of the king’s palace to speak to the king about having Mordecai hanged on the gallows that he had prepared for him. So the king’s servants told him Haman was standing in the court and the king said, “Let him come in.” So Haman came in, and the king said to him, “What shall be done to the man whom the king delights to honor?” And Haman said to himself, “Whom would the king delight to honor more than me?” And Haman suggested some great honors to be bestowed, then to Haman’s dismay the king said to Haman, “Make haste, take the robes and the horse, as you have said, and do so to Modecai leaving out nothing that you have mentioned.” So Haman took the robes and the horse, and he arrayed Mordecai and made him ride through the open square of the city, proclaiming, “Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delights to honor.”
Then Mordecai returned to the king’s gate while Haman hurried to his house, humiliated and mourning with his head covered. 

So the following day the king and Haman went in to feast with Queen Esther, and as they were drinking wine the king again said to Esther, “What is your petition Queen Esther? It shall be granted you. And what is your request? Even if it’s half of my kingdom, it shall be fulfilled.” Then Queen Esther answered, “If I have found favor in your sight, O king, and if it please the king, let my life be given me at my petition, and my people at my request. For we are sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be slain, and to be annihilated. If we had been sold merely as slaves, men and women, I would have held my peace; for our affliction is not to be compared with the loss to the king.” Then King Ahasuerue said to Queen Esther, “Who is he and where is he who would presume to do this?” And Esther said, “A foe and enemy, this wicked Haman!” So they hanged Haman on the gallows which he had prepared for Mordecai. And the King put Mordecai over all of Haman’s house and fortunes and authorized the Jews to slay all of their enemies in his kingdom and all who had sought to destroy them.

Thus God elevated a young orphan woman of no particular means, a concubine and Hebrew captive of the Babylonian Empire to do His will and save Israel from certain destruction.  

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