The Ask

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There’s a famous quote by Charles Stanley which says “The shortest distance between our problems and their answers is the distance between our knees and the floor.”

Yes, God delivers and is Deliverer. We must listen, act, trust. And He knows the solutions more that we know even what the problems really are.

Perhaps God wants to hear us praise Him before we even bring up problems. 

It’s all in the ask. It’s “what” we ask, “when” we ask, it’s in “how” we ask, and it’s in “why” we ask… and in our follow up, it’s then in how we DO what is asked of us… Will we trust? Can we have faith? I HOPE SO!

Prayer… Petition… Putting ourselves out there…

Many warrior kings won the battles by fierce fighting. But Queen Esther won the lives of a whole generation of people by prayer, fasting, asking, and sticking her neck out to ask the King a question without the normal  chain of events, to identify that she was Jewish, that her people were in death’s danger by decree, and to be in that dinner WITH the person who wanted her dead before even knowing who she was. Hmmm…. (that last part is so Jesus-like, having dinner with Haman then accusing him like Jesus accuses Judas. Haman and Judas wanting the death of someone before knowing their true identity. Esther and Jesus going up against governing rulers to set their people free, Esther to life and Jesus to death)…

Esther did an unusual thing, she asked the king Xerxes and Haman to come to dinner twice, she put a pause in the middle. Meanwhile king Xerxes couldn’t sleep and while reading his history found out or refreshed his memory that Mordecai previously had saved him. Meanwhile Haman, all puffed up and pompous saw Mordecai and wanted to kill him. But the tables were turned and Haman’s downfall started. And the Queen waiting until that 3rd opportunity to ask (original approach plus 2 dinner banquets) got to both save her people and see that Haman was incriminated. The TRUTH set them free with the king’s NEW decree.

Esther’s TIMING was key, the time was given for the king to process all that was going on. God knew how to bring down a bad man and save a people. God’s continued motivation to save the Jews was to keep David’s line, the root of Jesse, as a Light in the Darkness, from where Jesus earthly family paved the way to the Way.

Esther’s ask and save becomes celebrated in the Jewish feast of Purim, which usually lands in February or March. We all should celebrate joyfully the triumph of courage and how we all know God is a God who saves. A strong woman and brave, Esther reminds us to ask God and give God time to work on the situation. We must be willing to do what God needs. If He asks us? You know He has a plan! King Xerxes would have given Esther half the Persian kingdom. God’s son Jesus held onto the WHOLE of the HEAVENLY KINGDOM and DELIVERED. 

Mordecai reminds Esther that if she doesn’t act, God would still get His Plan accomplished in another manner, but how awesome it is for her (and for us) to be a member, a doer, an instrument of God’s Peace. 

God’s BIG ASK for us is to resist the devil and to be a part of His Peace. 

As for me and my peace,  I will ASK the Lord. 

Amen!


Esther 5-6-7

Esther’s Request to the King

On the third day Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the palace, in front of the king’s hall. The king was sitting on his royal throne in the hall, facing the entrance. When he saw Queen Esther standing in the court, he was pleased with her and held out to her the gold scepter that was in his hand. So Esther approached and touched the tip of the scepter.

Then the king asked, “What is it, Queen Esther? What is your request? Even up to half the kingdom, it will be given you.”

“If it pleases the king,” replied Esther, “let the king, together with Haman, come today to a banquet I have prepared for him.”

“Bring Haman at once,” the king said, “so that we may do what Esther asks.”

So the king and Haman went to the banquet Esther had prepared. As they were drinking wine, the king again asked Esther, “Now what is your petition? It will be given you. And what is your request? Even up to half the kingdom, it will be granted.”

Esther replied, “My petition and my request is this: If the king regards me with favor and if it pleases the king to grant my petition and fulfill my request, let the king and Haman come tomorrow to the banquet I will prepare for them. Then I will answer the king’s question.”

Haman’s Rage Against Mordecai

Haman went out that day happy and in high spirits. But when he saw Mordecai at the king’s gate and observed that he neither rose nor showed fear in his presence, he was filled with rage against Mordecai.  Nevertheless, Haman restrained himself and went home.

Calling together his friends and Zeresh, his wife, Haman boasted to them about his vast wealth, his many sons, and all the ways the king had honored him and how he had elevated him above the other nobles and officials. “And that’s not all,” Haman added. “I’m the only person Queen Esther invited to accompany the king to the banquet she gave. And she has invited me along with the king tomorrow. But all this gives me no satisfaction as long as I see that Jew Mordecai sitting at the king’s gate.”

His wife Zeresh and all his friends said to him, “Have a pole set up, reaching to a height of fifty cubits, and ask the king in the morning to have Mordecai impaled on it. Then go with the king to the banquet and enjoy yourself.” This suggestion delighted Haman, and he had the pole set up.

Mordecai Honored

That night the king could not sleep; so he ordered the book of the chronicles, the record of his reign, to be brought in and read to him. It was found recorded there that Mordecai had exposed Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king’s officers who guarded the doorway, who had conspired to assassinate King Xerxes.

“What honor and recognition has Mordecai received for this?” the king asked.

“Nothing has been done for him,” his attendants answered.

The king said, “Who is in the court?” Now Haman had just entered the outer court of the palace to speak to the king about impaling Mordecai on the pole he had set up for him.

His attendants answered, “Haman is standing in the court.”

“Bring him in,” the king ordered.

When Haman entered, the king asked him, “What should be done for the man the king delights to honor?”

Now Haman thought to himself, “Who is there that the king would rather honor than me?” So he answered the king, “For the man the king delights to honor, have them bring a royal robe the king has worn and a horse the king has ridden, one with a royal crest placed on its head. Then let the robe and horse be entrusted to one of the king’s most noble princes. Let them robe the man the king delights to honor, and lead him on the horse through the city streets, proclaiming before him, ‘This is what is done for the man the king delights to honor!’”

“Go at once,” the king commanded Haman. “Get the robe and the horse and do just as you have suggested for Mordecai the Jew, who sits at the king’s gate. Do not neglect anything you have recommended.”

So Haman got the robe and the horse. He robed Mordecai, and led him on horseback through the city streets, proclaiming before him, “This is what is done for the man the king delights to honor!”

Afterward Mordecai returned to the king’s gate. But Haman rushed home, with his head covered in grief, and told Zeresh his wife and all his friends everything that had happened to him.

His advisers and his wife Zeresh said to him, “Since Mordecai, before whom your downfall has started, is of Jewish origin, you cannot stand against him—you will surely come to ruin!” While they were still talking with him, the king’s eunuchs arrived and hurried Haman away to the banquet Esther had prepared.

Haman Impaled

So the king and Haman went to Queen Esther’s banquet, and as they were drinking wine on the second day, the king again asked, “Queen Esther, what is your petition? It will be given you. What is your request? Even up to half the kingdom, it will be granted.”

Then Queen Esther answered, “If I have found favor with you, Your Majesty, and if it pleases you, grant me my life—this is my petition. And spare my people—this is my request. For I and my people have been sold to be destroyed, killed and annihilated. If we had merely been sold as male and female slaves, I would have kept quiet, because no such distress would justify disturbing the king.”

King Xerxes asked Queen Esther, “Who is he? Where is he—the man who has dared to do such a thing?”

Esther said, “An adversary and enemy! This vile Haman!”

Then Haman was terrified before the king and queen. The king got up in a rage, left his wine and went out into the palace garden. But Haman, realizing that the king had already decided his fate, stayed behind to beg Queen Esther for his life.

Just as the king returned from the palace garden to the banquet hall, Haman was falling on the couch where Esther was reclining.

The king exclaimed, “Will he even molest the queen while she is with me in the house?”

As soon as the word left the king’s mouth, they covered Haman’s face. Then Harbona, one of the eunuchs attending the king, said, “A pole reaching to a height of fifty cubits stands by Haman’s house. He had it set up for Mordecai, who spoke up to help the king.”

The king said, “Impale him on it!”  So they impaled Haman on the pole he had set up for Mordecai. Then the king’s fury subsided.

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