Esther for This Time # 2 – The Queen, the Refusal & the Bad Advice

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.
The Queen, the Refusal & the Bad Advice

Vashti Dethroned

Queen Esther ~Refusal of Bad Advice

What can you learn from Queen Esther? Do you need more wisdom and less bad advice in your life?  Today, we will encounter the outrageous King Ahasuerus, who regrets the outcome of his bad decision based on bad advice! Join us as we discuss the true wisdom from God that does not disappoint.

The Party (Esther 1: 1-8)

Welcome to Esther for This Time: Prayer, Reversals & JOY Episode #2 based on my book Esther For Such a Time As This: Prayer, Reversals and JOY.  The Book of Esther in the Old Testament was written so that even 2500 years later, we can still relate it to our culture. We can learn so much from Queen Esther.

Today, we continue in Esther Chapter 1 with our introduction to the pompous and extravagant King Ahasuerus and the opulent six-month party he threw in the capital city of Susa (modern-day Iran) in the third year of his reign. Ancient historians suggest over 15,000 men came to the party, which lasted 187 days. Amid the grand party, the king received and followed bad advice. In the podcast today, we will cover these points.

Vashti’s Refusal (Esther 1: 9-12)

  • Queen Vashti was throwing a grand party herself for the wives of governors, nobles, and officials who came to the king’s celebration when the king called her to appear before an unruly, intoxicated horde of men to show off her beauty.
  • She refused to come for reasons we might guess.
  • When she refused, she did not expect the king’s boiling rage!

The Bad Advice to the King (Esther 1: 13-21)

  • King Ahasuerus’ wise men, led by their spokesman Memucan, advised the king to dethrone and remove Vashti forever. Guided by his wounded pride, with no respect for his wife, the king followed this bad advice and dethroned Vashti.
  • The Scriptures teach women to honor and respect their husbands and men to love their wives (Ephesians 5: 25, 3). But the king was a pagan consumed with pride and self-indulgence who did not know God’s commands or God’s ways.
  • Greek Historian Herodotus records that King Ahasuerus won a great battle after this feast but later suffered a terrible loss to the Greeks during the four years that occurred between Esther Chapters One and Two.
  • The King returned home from battle and likely consumed himself with even more indulgence and sensuality, only to find he missed a lasting relationship with his lovely wife.

Personal Reflection

Where do you need wisdom today? Our historical story teaches us

  1. Be cautious when taking counsel from worldly advisors who stroke your ego or are motivated by a desire for power.
  2. Be courageous and maintain your integrity in difficult situations.
  3. Anger and violence do not demonstrate strength in a husband or a leader.

Application

  1. Read Proverbs 3: 5-7, James 1: 5, and Proverbs 3:17.
  2. These verses instruct us to ask God for wisdom, who promises to give it generously and ungrudgingly.
  3. So, ask God to lead YOU and clear the road for YOU to follow.

Links

 

Esther for This Time: Prayer, Reversals & JOY – The Backdrop & the Party

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Prayer, Reversals, and JOY

Have you studied the book of Esther? Do You Need Reversals in Your Life? Are you struggling to find faith and courage? Esther will show you how. Join our newest series based on the Book of Esther.  It’s a  wonderful study for Lent.  It is about trusting in God, intercessory prayer, and receiving strength to stand firm amid life’s challenges. It is about gentle leadership, discernment, and how God can give you reversals and joy in situations and relationships. Esther is a book of faith, hope, and joy!

[Don’t forget the Joy podcast series here.]

This is the Time

Welcome to Esther for This Time: Prayer, Reversals & JOY Episode #1, based on my book Esther For Such a Time As This: Prayer, Reversals, and JOY.  When we wonder, “Where is God in our lives or our families or communities,” Esther reminds us that God never abandons us. He is faithful. Now is a good time to start if you have never read or studied Esther. You cannot depend on movies depicting Esther because some are more fictional than historically accurate. You will gain so much more by reading it yourself, as the lessons from Esther are so encouraging. And, of course, there is a JOYFUL ending. Today, we will cover these points:

The Backdrop for Esther (Esther 1: 1-3)

  • The days of Ahasuerus (Esther 1:1) refer to the reign of King Ahasuerus, who historically ruled the world as King of the Persian Empire from 486 to 465 BC. In Greek, his name was Xerxes.
  • The Persians, led by Cyrus the Great, the grandfather of Ahasuerus, had defeated the Babylonian Empire of King Nebuchadnezzar, who had taken the Jewish people captive to Babylon beginning in 605 BC. Cyrus the Great had a relaxed attitude toward the Jewish people and allowed them to return to Jerusalem or move to other places. Some went back to Jerusalem. Some scattered throughout Europe. Some stayed in Persia and learned to fit into its culture. This is where we meet Esther.

The Lavish Party (Esther 1: 4-8)

  • King Ahasuerus resided in Susa, one of the three royal cities in the Persian Empire.
  • He threw the lavish party, mostly to inspire patriotism and show off his wealth and splendor to his military leaders so they would support him for going to war against Greece, as history tells us.
  • An old tradition stated that the rest of the party could drink only as the king drank, but at his party, all were instructed to drink freely. The golden goblets used for serving the wine may very well have been the sacred goblets seized from the Jewish temple in Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar in 605 BC (see Daniel 1). Now, they were being used in a very unholy way by a very pagan king!

Personal Reflection.

  • King Ahasuerus was trying to make himself a god in power, prestige, and more.
  • He did not know or refused to acknowledge the truth that God loves us dearly but as Proverbs 15:3 points out: “The eyes of the Lord are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good,” or Hebrews 4:13, saying: “And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”
  • Consider these questions for reflection today:
    • Do you wonder where God is when you see the world focused on self-image, power, and prestige?
    • Do you get discouraged when it appears God is silent about all the evil taking place in the world?
    • When God seems silent, do you turn your attention to the party—that is, to the worldly distractions that draw you away from God, faith, and family?

Prayer Response

  1. Read and pray with Psalm 103: 15-22. Try to memorize the verse that speaks most to you.
  2. Seek God. When you think he is silent as the world parties on, open yourself more to God. Remember that only God, our heavenly Father, Jesus, our Savior, and the Holy Spirit can offer you the true Joy, Peace, Love, and Fulfillment that the world is seeking, as epitomized by King Ahasuerus.
  3. Ask for your needs. When you are lonely, confused, or frustrated, talk to Jesus from your heart.  Ask Him for what you need. Remember Jesus’ words in John 15: 11: As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.   (You may want to listen to my podcast season #1 series, Finding JOY.)

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Esther & Turnaround JOY #8 – Reversals Begin

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.
Do you need reversals in your life? Let Esther encourage you. God loves reversals! Today in our podcast, we encounter three reversals in Chapter Seven of the Book of Esther. This is God’s providence bringing dramatic changes in circumstances in response to the prayers of His people. Be assured it can happen again and it can happen in your life too.|#podcast #Catholicpodcast #Christianpodcast #BookofEsther #TurnaroundJOY #joy #joypodcast #karendwyer #wrapyourselfinjoypodcast #wrapyourselfinjoy #ForSuchaTimeasThis #ScriptureStudy #prayer #Esther

Image: Esther reveals Haman’s plot to the King by Jan Lievens, 1623

Do you need reversals in your life? Let Esther encourage you. God loves reversals!

Three Reversals

Today in our podcast, we encounter three reversals in Chapter Seven of the Book of Esther. This is God’s providence bringing dramatic changes in circumstances in response to the prayers of His people. It can happen again and it can happen in your life! Join us today as we cover these points:

God’s Intervention

  • When King Ahasuerus could not sleep, he reads his chronicles and discovers that Mordecai’s service had never been rewarded.
  • The king asks Haman what can be done to the man whom the king delights to honor, Haman replies, the honored person should wear the king’s clothes, ride the king’s horse, and be proclaimed for service throughout the streets.

A Peripety

  • Haman hated Mordecai so he is humiliated when the king tells him to do those very things for Mordecai.
  • It is a peripety – a great reversal of circumstances or turnaround of intentions written in heaven.
  • When Haman told his friends and wife Zeresh about the Mordecai incident, they warned him saying: “If Mordecai, before whom you have begun to fall, is of the Jewish people, you will not prevail against him but will surely fall before him.”

God Reverses Evil (Esther 7: 1-8)

  • Esther dishes up sweet words to the King.
  • She knew when it was NOT time to speak and when it was time to speak her request to the king.
  • She used the exact words from the edict so that the king knew he was hearing the truth.

Persian Culture

  • In Persian culture,
    • Diners ate at a table while reclining on a couch.
    • Men could not come within seven steps of a woman who was in the king’s charge or harem.
  • Haman came close to Esther’s couch to beg for mercy – he had overstepped his bounds by 7 feet.
  • To the king, he was assaulting Esther. So, he had a face cloth put on the Haman.
  • In the Persian culture, a facecloth covers an enemy of the king so the king would not have to look upon the one he condemned.

The Lord Loves Reversals  (Esther 7: 9 – 8: 2)

  • Harbona, one of the king’s chief consultants, appears to know of Haman’s hatred for the Jews and of the gallows he built in his backyard to execute Mordecai. He suggests that Haman be hung on his own gallows.
  • Oh, how the Lord loves reversals! His divine providence reversed three evil events for today.
    • The gallows built in Haman’s backyard for Mordecai were used instead to hang Haman.
    • The king’s signet ring, indicating “a second in charge” position, was removed from Haman and given to Mordecai.
    • Haman’s decree to plunder all the property of the Jews was transposed and the king gave Haman’s property to Queen Esther.
  • What the study of literature calls peripety—an event that suddenly brings a reversal of fortune and dramatic change in circumstances, is what Christians call a miracle.

Personal Reflection

  • Romans 15: 4 reminds us: “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction so that by steadfastness and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope.” Let Esther give you hope.
  • Today, Esther teaches us:
    • God can reverse the evils around us.
    • Gentle leadership with prayer and God’s discernment accomplishes much.
    • Teachers of drama or literature call it a peripety, a reversal. Christians call it a miracle.
  • What miracle or turnaround do you need today?  How will you pray for a turnaround based on what you observed from Esther and Mordecai?
    • Read Psalm 37: 1-5 and notice all the “do not fret” but instead “trust in the Lord” phrases. He will act as you delight in Him and commit your way to Him.
    • Ask Jesus to again bring laughter and joy to your life.

Links

Esther & Turnaround JOY #7 – God-Designed Comedy

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.
Esther| A God-designed comedy reverses calamity in Esther! Don’t you wish every tragedy turned into a good laugh instead? Sometimes, we think God doesn’t have a sense of humor. Today in our podcast on Esther, we cannot help but see the comedy from the hand of God that reverses a tragedy. |#podcast #Catholicpodcast #Christianpodcast #BookofEsther #TurnaroundJOY #joy #joypodcast #karendwyer #wrapyourselfinjoypodcast #wrapyourselfinjoy #ForSuchaTimeasThis #ScriptureStudy #prayer #Esther

Image: Mordecai led through the city by Haman, Azor masters ca., 1430

God-designed Comedy

God-designed comedy can reverse calamity! Don’t you wish every tragedy turned into a good laugh instead? Sometimes, we think God doesn’t have a sense of humor. Today in our podcast on Esther, we cannot help but see the comedy from the hand of God that reverses a tragedy.

In Between Dinner Parties

In our last study, Esther asked the king to come with Haman to a festive banquet dinner she prepared. At the end of the dinner, Esther invited the king and Haman to a second dinner the next day. She delayed the real request because her discernment through prayer and fasting told her the timing was not right.  In between the two dinner parties, Haman bursts with pride to family and friends at being asked to dine twice with the king and queen of Persia. However, his joy disappears at the sight of Mordecai who refuses to stand up in his presence. Today, we join the king, whose sleeplessness, ordained by God, leads to a reversal of circumstances. We cover these points:

The Sleeplessness of the King Results in a Peripety (Esther 6: 1-12)

  • The King can’t sleep so he entertains himself by reading his annals – large volumes that recorded the history and accomplishments of a king’s reign.
  • The King’s sleeplessness begins the peripety (pronounced “pe-rip-e-tē”). The term is used in dramatic arts to define a sudden reversal of fortune where there is a change in direction.
  • In a tragedy, the plot changes the fortune of a lead character into ruin.
  • In a comedy, the reversal changes tragedy into comedy.
  • In Esther Chapter Six, we see both kinds of peripety.

God’s Reversals and Turnarounds (Esther 6: 12)

  • The king turns in his annals to an event that occurred five years earlier, only to discover that Mordecai’s service had NEVER been rewarded.
  • Just then, Haman arrives at the inner court after constructing 75-foot-high gallows for hanging Mordecai.
  • Haman lusts for power and hopes to wear the King’s robe.
  • The ancients attached great significance to wearing a royal robe. It was considered a mark of great favor and honor.
  • Haman tells the king  what could be done to the man whom the king wants to honor.

Haman Humbled (Esther 6: 13-14)

  • Haman hated Mordecai and was greatly humbled in proclaiming the greatness of Mordecai while he wore the king’s robes and crown and rode on the king’s horse.
  • God’s hand seems to create a peripety: Haman once honored as second in power to the king was humiliated, and Mordecai in sackcloth and ashes was exalted in the king’s robe and attire.
  • Haman’s friends and wife Zeresh realize that the Jews worshipped a God, who seemed to be intervening.
  • Haman did not know the warnings of Proverbs 16:18 and Matthew 23: 12.
  • Proverbs 16: 18. Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. NRSV-CE or
  • Matthew 23: 12. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. NRSV-CE

 The Greatest Peripety of All (Ephesians 2: 4-6)

  • The greatest reversal of all God planned since creation was our redemption from sin and eternal death through Christ’s passion, death, and resurrection.
  • It was the greatest REAL peripety of all.

Personal Reflection

  • In this Esther Chapter 6, we begin to see God’s hand at work reversing many situations. Which of the following principles do you find most helpful?
  1.  Wait for God’s timing and guidance: He can intervene in your life with a miracle that changes everything.
  2.  God intervenes in history when His people call out to Him with prayer, repentance, and fasting.
  3.  Jesus Christ is your reversal of fortune—He died out of love for you to forgive your sins and offer you eternal life. Now is the time to accept His forgiveness as His plan for your life.
  4.  I will try to remember these verses to remind me of God’s ability to intervene in the worst of circumstances:
  • Isaiah 59:1. See, the Lord’s hand is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear.
  • Jeremiah 32: 27. See, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh; is anything too hard for me? NRSV-CE

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Esther & Turnaround JOY # 5 – For Such a Time as This

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.
Esther | Do you have a mission for such a times as this? You surely do, and this podcast will help you! Join us today as Queen Esther trusts the power of God in prayer, gains courage, and discovers her mission. |#podcast #Catholicpodcast #Christianpodcast #BookofEsther #EstherandTurnaroundJOY #joy #joypodcast #karendwyer #wrapyourselfinjoypodcast #wrapyourselfinjoy #ForSuchaTimeasThis

Image: Mordecai & Esther by Aert de Gelder, 1685 – Mordecai urges Esther’s Intervention

For Such a Time as This.

Do you have a mission for such a time as this? You indeed do and this podcast will help you!  Join us today as Queen Esther trusts the power of God in prayer, gains needed courage, and discovers her mission.

A Passover Turned to Weeping

In Esther Chapter 3, Mordecai refused to bow down and pay homage to Haman.  Enraged Haman hatred for Jews and cast Purim (somewhat similar to our dice) to determine the date for the killing of all Jews throughout all of Persia. The king agreed and the announcement for the annihilation of all the Jewish people was distributed throughout the kingdom on Passover—the very day Jewish families commemorate annually the time God delivered them from slavery in Egypt and saved their firstborn.

Now, their joy-filled Passover celebration was turned into a time of wailing. Could you imagine this happening to you, your family, or your church family on a celebration like Easter?

The words For Such a Time as This, come directly from Chapter 4 of the Book of Esther. Today, we cover these points:

Sackcloth and Ashes (Esther 4: 1-4)

  • Mordecai heard of the edict and he sobbed greatly, tore his clothes, and put on sackcloth and ashes. He wailed and wept bitterly on the city square at the palace gate.
  • For all Jews, the happy celebration of Passover with family, friends, traditions, and food quickly turned into wailing, fasting, and prayer. According to Scripture, the Jewish people always linked prayer and repentance with fasting.
  • Sackcloth, made from grain bags was scratchy, could cut the skin, and served as an act of penance and pleading with the Lord. Ashes, worn on the head or sat in, were a sign of self-humiliation and deep sorrow often over a national disaster. See Joel 2:12 and 17 to summarize this Biblical purpose for fasting, weeping, and penance.

Persian Palace Life (Esther 4: 5-12)

  • Esther lived in the plush environment of the palace, but she may have become secluded from the world around her. She was not aware of Haman’s edict.
  • She tried to send clothes to Mordecai. Only when he refused the clothes did she ask what was wrong. Mordecai gave her the evidence of the edict but she indicated she could not go to the king as he had not called for her in over 30 days. She could be put to death if he did not reach out.

National Fasting (Esther 4: 13-17)

  • Esther called a day of national fasting.
  • Throughout Old Testament history, fasting meant fervently calling out to God with a heart of repentance, sorrow, submission, and supplication to seek his help or protection, provision, and forgiveness. For example, refer to Judges 20, Deuteronomy 9, Joel 1-2, 1 Samuel, and Jonah 3.
  • Every year, according to Leviticus 23, all of Israel fasted on the Day of Atonement and a scapegoat would be driven into the desert to represent the sins of the people (a foreshadowing of what Christ would do on the cross for us). As they prayed, repented, and humbled themselves, their sins would be taken from God’s sight on the scapegoat.
  • See Esther 13 and 14 for examples of how to intercede/pray for a nation from Esther and Mordecai’s prayers (e.g., praising God’s goodness, repenting for your sins and the sins of your nation, pouring out your heart to God, asking for God’s intervention).

Planning a Fast

  • Fasting is about relationship. It is about aligning ourselves with God—drawing close to Him, worshiping Him, hearing from Him, repenting (turning), and changing our ways.
  • Fasting takes planning for most of us, but most importantly it involves replacing our time spent eating or running around in “busyness,” with prayer and time seeking the Lord.
  • A fast, drinking only water or juice, can last a meal, until nightfall, a full day or more. Fasting can also involve refraining from certain foods (see Daniel 10: 2-3). or refraining from distractions like media or television, internet usage, shopping for a certain amount of time, etc.).
  • For the plan, you may want to take five steps: (1) write down your objective, (2) decide how you will fast, (3) schedule time in adoration & personal prayer, (4) read God’s Word & ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you (e.g., John 14 and 15), and (5) believe that God will answer with wisdom, direction, and/or a miracle.
  • In Esther’s case, an extreme response would be required for her to safely go to the King, so she called for an extreme fast— three days of abstaining from food and water for the entire nation!

Personal Reflection

Today, our story teaches us:

  • At first, Esther was not aware that God had a mission for her—God planned to use her powerfully. With Mordecai’s help and the providence of God, she discerned her mission but was afraid and at first denied it.
  • Esther needed fellow pray-ers. She asked her entire Jewish nation to pray, fast and repent, and seek God’s intervention. Only after three days of prayer and fasting did she find the grace and strength to proceed in her mission- to be used by God to save the Jewish People
  • What is God’s mission for you at your place and time? The Lord Jesus has a mission for you. ASK in prayer. Often, it involves bringing the love of God and a testimony of Him to those around you. But, sometimes, it may be more than you ever thought possible.
  • Finally, consider praying with St.  John Henry Newman’s Prayer I Have a Place. Start with praying these few sentences:  “I have a place in God’s counsels, in God’s world, which no one else has; whether I be rich or poor, despised or esteemed by man, God knows me and calls me by my name. God has created me to do Him some definite service. He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another. I have my mission…” The rest is in a free bookmark on my website WrapyourselfinJOY.com.

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Esther & Turnaround JOY #4 – Unwavering Resolve & the First Edict

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Do you ever have unwavering resolve? Have you pondered when to be resolute or when to compromise? In relationships, compromise is used for cooperation and keeping the peace, so we need to negotiate our desires with the positions of others. Nonetheless, there are some situations where we must stand firm, determined, and unshakable.  Join us today in the Book of Esther where we learn unwavering resolve in difficult times.

Persia, 474 BC – Five Years After Esther’s Banquet

Welcome to Esther & Turnaround Joy Episode #4: Unwavering Resolve & the First Edict, where we encounter Esther and Mordecai five years after King Ahasuerus sponsored the beauty contest, crowned Esther as queen, and celebrated with Esther’s banquet.

Now, the providential hand of God becomes more evident as we see why God put Esther in a position of influence—even before the Jewish people faced the prospect of annihilation.  Now it’s 474 BC  we join Mordecai as he stands near the palace gate and overhears a plot to kill the king. I hope you enjoy these points:

Mordecai at the Palace Gate & Assassination Plot Foiled (Esther 2: 19-23)

  • Mordecai is “sitting at the gate” checking on Esther, and likely working in a government position.
  • Mordecai told Esther not to reveal her nationality.
  • While at the gate, Mordecai overheard a plot to kill King Ahasuerus and reported it to Esther, who told the king. The villains were hanged.
  • The would-be assassins Bigthan and Teresh were hanged.
  • Acts of loyalty like Mordecai’s were officially recorded so the king could reward the hero.

Mordecai is Resolute (Esther 3: 1-6)

  • Mordecai stood firm with unwavering resolve which means firm, determined, not shakable, and displaying unwavering loyalty. (Vocabulary.com dictionary).
  • He refused to bow down to Haman because God had commanded the Jewish people not to bow down in adoration to anyone (e.g., Exodus 20: 3-6).
  • Haman was the king’s top advisor and “an enemy of the Jews” (Esther 3:10).
  • Haman was an Agagite, a descendent of King Agag of the Amalekites, who was of a fierce nomadic tribe that made their living by raiding settlements, killing the men, women, and children, and then taking their possessions. They had a “blood-feud” with Israel, which demanded total extermination of the Israelites (see Exodus 17 and Deuteronomy 25).

The Pur, the Plan, and the Drink (Esther 3: 7-15 & Esther 13)

The Pur

  • Mordecai stood firm in his faith and obedience to God’s law and would not bow to Haman.
  • Infuriated Haman in April 374 BC cast the purpurim is the plural form.
  • The purim were similar to our dice and were thrown to help make decisions and choose dates.
  • Esther 3:7 indicates the pur fell on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month of Aadar, March 7, 374 BC, for destroying all Jews.

The Plan

  • Haman offered the king 10,000 talents or about 375 tons of silver, which of course he hoped to acquire by killing Jewish families and plundering their homes.
  • King Ahasuerus gave Haman his signet ring, which was his signature used to stamp the wax on an official letter from the king.
  • Haman summoned the scribes to draft the edict on the day before Passover- April 17th, 474 BC (Esther 3:12).
  • The announcement was sent out to the 127 provinces of the Persian Empire on Passover—the very day Jewish families annually commemorated God delivering them from slavery (see Exodus 12). The date was chosen to dishearten and terrorize the Jewish people.
  • The Passover celebration with family and friends quickly turned into a day of confusion and weeping. How ironic! The day of the announcement would fall on a commemoration of God’s deliverance. Could God again deliver them from destruction? It would be only God who could!

The Drink

  • To Haman and the king, it was just another day to celebrate their power, so they had a drink.
  • Haman’s heart was hardened with generational hatred so he rejoiced in the genocide of the Jews.
  • Hebrews 4: 13 reminds us: “before him [God] no creature is hidden, but all are naked and laid bare to the eyes of the one to whom we must render an account.”
  • Little did Haman know that the God of heaven was in control.

Personal Reflection: Unwavering Resolve

  • We witnessed a good example of unwavering resolve with Mordecai. It reminds each of us that there is a time for unwavering resolve when we must follow God no matter the cost.  We cannot deny God’s commandments ever.
  • Mordecai refused to bow in worship to anyone other than the God of heaven and earth. He was following Exodus 20, “You shall have no other gods beside Me…You shall not bow down to them…”
  • Psalm 119: 2-4 reminds us: “Happy [blessed and joyful] are all who search for God and always do his will, rejecting compromise with evil and walking only in his paths. You [O God] have given us your laws to obey.
  • My unwavering resolve and devotion to God may be met with persecution, but I can choose to be strong in the Lord and keep his commandments. 1 Corinthians 16: 13-14 says: Be watchful, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.
  • Please ask God, ”Where do you want me to have unwavering resolve?”  Then ask for his help to be resolute. He will give it.

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