Devotional Week 45 Tuesday
Today’s Text and Thought of Encouragement:
II Chronicles 13: 12
“Oh, for trust that brings the triumph
When defeat seems strangely near!
Oh, for faith that changes fighting
Into victory’s ringing cheer
Faith triumphant, knowing not
defeat or fear!”
“Courage, it shall be well; we follow a conquering general; yea, who hath conquered already; and He that hath conquered for us shall ever conquer in us.”
Today’s Study Text:
“Then the King Ahasuerus answered and said unto Esther the queen, ‘Who is he, and where is he, that durst presume in his heart to do so?’ And Esther said, ‘The adversary and enemy is this wicked Haman.’ Then Haman was afraid before the king and the queen.”
Esther 7: 5, 6
“Nurturing The Embers of Hope”
“Then the Queen Spoke” Part 50 B
“Good words are worth much, and cost little.”
Have there been times in my life when I needed to speak truth to power?
In what ways have I witnessed the way words have definitely changed a situation?
“Be humble and gentle in your conversation; and of few words. I charge you, but always pertinent when you speak.”
“Little keys can open big locks. Simple words can express great thoughts.”
William Arthur Ward
There are times when every person I know has felt they’ve encountered a situation where truth is being slaughtered. Honesty, which is a personal trait our heavenly Father
addresses repeatedly throughout Scripture, has sadly appeared to have taken a back-seat in our modern society. Lying is the norm and truthfulness is considered naïve.
Thus, it is very important that we recognize how very brave Queen Esther was when she courageously spoke truth to those who wielded the power in Medo-Persia. The fact is that she wasn’t only speaking to the king of the land, but when she chose to share her petition, the number two man in the leadership chain was sitting right before her as well.
After her first sentence, informing King Ahasuerus that her life was on the line, as were the lives of all the other Jews in Medo-Persia, the king demanded to be told who was the despicable person behind this vicious plot. Please notice the fact that Ahasuerus, when questioning Esther about the instigator of this murderous plot, repeatedly use a “male” pronoun: “Who is he?” “Where ishe?” “Who presumes in his heart?” I doubt the king was, by this point in time, completely unaware of “who” the culprit really was. He may well have had steam coming out of his ears as his fury had been ignited at the thought of losing his gorgeous queen.
What was very quickly revealed by Esther was exactly “who” the offender was. In Esther 7: 6, the queen “unloaded” to put it mildly! What’s more, she didn’t just point at Haman or motion toward him. No, this bold daughter of God aimed her words at the evil Haman. And she did this by using thee words that described perfectly the evil Haman. In fact, she called evil by its right name.
It would do us well to take a look at the way Esther chose to identify Haman the murderer who was dining in her home and at her table. “Esther said, ‘The adversaryand enemy is this wicked Haman.’”
I find it interesting that she didn’t refer to Haman as “my adversary.” She didn’t call him, “the adversary of all the Jews.” Instead, she broadened her language by calling Haman “the adversary and the enemy.” And she finished off her description of Haman by calling him “wicked.” In the Hebrew, the word “tsar” or “adversary” means foe, which is defined as a wartime enemy. Esther’s heavenly wisdom is on display for she chooses a descriptive word completely understood by King Ahasuerus who was himself a man of war. He knew exactly what a “foe” was for he had not too long before this event been at war with Greece.
However, Esther hardly had time to catch her breath when she informed the king that not only was this Agagite Haman a foe, he was also an enemy or as the Hebrew translation enlightens us, Haman was a “hater” because he was of an opposing tribe or party who was hostile to Medo-Persia. It was as if Esther was quietly giving the king a subtle history lesson, reminding him that Haman wasn’t loyal to king and country for he was a foreigner who wasn’t trustworthy. And then Esther really put the target on Haman by calling him “this wicked Haman.” The Hebrew word “ra” or “rah”, in my Strong’s Concordance, contains nine descriptive lines of copy which are definitions in the Hebrew. Here are a few of the words which I found extremely pertinent to Esther 7: 6 – “exceedingly hurtful, wickedly wretched, mischief maker, and finally “bad and evil.” In other words, there was nothing redeeming about this horrid man named Haman.
Saturated with the wisdom of God as her Guide, Esther’s words were chosen with such precision that it was evident that she was looking out for not only the welfare of the Jews, but also King Ahasuerus and the entire population of Medo-Persia as well. It didn’t take King Ahasuerus long at all to recognize the fact that his queen was not only a woman of beauty, but also a woman with brains. Her concern for him only endeared her to the king even more and it placed Esther in a position of trust.
However, Esther 7: 6 doesn’t stop with Esther’s well-spoken words. There’s one more sentence: “Then Haman was afraid before the king and the queen.” There’s nothing like getting caught in the act to make a person tremble. Haman knew he had nowhere to go. It was two against one and obviously the look on Haman’s face was only another nail in his coffin for if he had not been guilty, there would have been nothing for him to be afraid about.
In the descriptive words of author George Dickinson regarding Esther’s words about Haman:
“The exposure, the slashing denunciation, terrified Haman. Proud and haughty no longer, he cringed in abject terror. Instead of the hunter he was the hunted, tracked down by a relentless queen.”
“The despotism of hate had been brought to justice. The wolf who would devour men and plunder their possessions for the greed of his depraved appetite was brought to bay. The game was up, and Haman knew it. He must face the music he himself had played by another tune.”
In her Psalm of Praise to Heroines, Miriam Therese Winter writes;
“Remember Esther, our sister Hadassah,
and the courage of her deed.
We praise you, Esther…
and all women
who use their (words) and status
to foster life.”
A Quiet Tongue
“Lord, a revealing fact
Began to surface today:
I talk more than I listen.
I seem to be thoroughly convinced
That my ideas
My inspiring experiences
My bits of wisdom
Are exactly whall all my friends need.
Too often I break into conversations
Confident that my enlightened insight
Will solve the predicament
Whatever it is.
Obviously, I feel more comfortable
When I’m expounding.
But this morning at a Bible study
I cringed when I read Your command
In the first chapter of James:
That it is best to listen much
Speak little, and not become angry.’
At first I wanted to run.
But as the words kept battering away
At my guilty heart
I finally circled them with red ink.
Now, Lord, please help me to obey them.
Remind me daily, hourly
That listening is a discipline
And a discipline always costs.
I know I must pay a price.
The price for me
Is a listening ear
And a quiet tongue.”
Ruth Harms Calkins
“Understand this, my beloved, Let every (person) be quick to hear, a ready listener, slow to speak, slow to take offense.”
James 1: 19
“God has given us two ears, but one tongue, to show that we should be swift to hear, but slow to speak. God has set a double fence below the tongue, the teeth and the lips, to teach us to be wary that we offend not with the tongue.”
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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