Monday, December 3, 2012

Esther - Lesson One

Thanks to Beth Moore we have a guideline for understanding the book of Esther.  Hope you enjoy the journey as much as I do.

The first thing I have learned from taking various studies is to ask God to clear your head of anything but Him and to ask Him for his guidance so you will glean what He wants you to take from this amazing story of one of His chosen Queens.

FACTOID: If the Persian Jews had been annihilated, our Savior Jesus Christ never would have been born. 

It reminds us how important every person is in the world.  We just don't really know what His plan is for us and we may never now on this side of heaven.  Our contribution might be like Queen Esther, who because of her live and the way she lived for God we were blesses with His Son Jesus Christ.

My hope during this week I am hoping to uncover some of the answers to a few questions.
1.  What was the timing and political climate of the story Esther would soon enter?
2.  In Esther 1, who attended Xerxes' banquet?
3.  From your perspective, for what three possible reasons might Vashti have refused King Xerxes' order?
4.  What did Memucan advise the king to do?
5.  How might the thought that "it;s tough being a woman in another woman's shadow" have proved especially true for wives all over Persia?

Let's begin today by reading Esther Chapter One and see what we can learn about this amazing Queen.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Book of Esther

The first book on my journey is going to be the Book of Esther.  I had picked up a study written by one of my favorite Bible teachers Beth Moore about two years ago and it has just sat so I thought what a perfect book to start with.  Before I start I wanted to review some of the history a facts about this book,  Thanks to my NIV Study Bible and the good ole internet this is what I have come up with.

The Book of Esther

The book of Esther is one of only two books in the entire Bible named for women, the other being Ruth. This is the story of a beautiful young Jewess who risked her life to serve God and to save her people.
Esther lived in ancient Persia about 100 years after the Babylonian captivity. When her parents died, the orphaned child was adopted and raised by her older cousin Mordecai.
One day the king of the Persian Empire, Xerxes I, threw a lavish party. On the final day of the festivities, he called for his queen, Vashti, eager to flaunt her beauty to his guests. But the queen refused to appear before Xerxes. Filled with anger, he deposed Queen Vashti, forever removing her from his presence.
To find his new queen, Xerxes hosted a royal beauty pageant and Esther was chosen for the throne. Her cousin Mordecai became a minor official in the Persian government of Susa.
Soon after, Mordecai uncovered a plot to assassinate the king. He told Esther about the conspiracy, and she reported it to Xerxes, giving credit to Mordecai. The plot was thwarted and Mordecai's act of kindness was preserved in the chronicles of the king.
At this same time, the king's highest official was a wicked man named Haman. He hated the Jews and he especially hated Mordecai, who had refused to bow down to him.
So, Haman devised a scheme to have every Jew in Persia killed. The king bought into the plot and agreed to annihilate the Jewish people on a specific day. Meanwhile, Mordecai learned of the plan and shared it with Esther, challenging her with these famous words:
"Do not think that because you are in the king's house you alone of all the Jews will escape. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father's family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?" (Esther 4:13-14, NIV)
Esther urged all of the Jews to fast and pray for deliverance. Then risking her own life, brave young Esther approached the king with a plan of her own.
She invited Xerxes and Haman to a banquet where eventually she revealed her Jewish heritage to the king, as well as Haman's diabolical plot to have her and her people killed. In a rage, the king ordered Haman to be hung on the gallows--the very same gallows Haman had built for Mordecai. (Some translations read "impaled on a pole" rather than "hung on the gallows." In ancient Persia the precursor to Roman crucifixion was done by impaling the body and hanging it on a wooden pole or stake.)
Mordecai was promoted to Haman's high position and Jews were granted protection throughout the land. As the people celebrated God's tremendous deliverance, the joyous festival of Purim was instituted.
The author is unknown, some think it was written by Mordecai and others suggest Ezra because of their similar writing style.  nobody knows for sure.
It is also suggested that is was written between B.C. 460 and 331. Before the rise of Alexandra the Great.
Tomorrow we start with lesson One.  We will start by reading 1:1 - 2:1.  Happy Reading

Friday, November 30, 2012

Welcome to My Journey

Here is the bottom line for this blog:  To get back in touch with God, My Lord and Savior.

I have drifted away from Him for far to long and I have an amazing desire to return to His safety.  I won't get into the reason for my drift now, maybe later down the road.

I have a great passion for not only the Lord but for writing so as I am sitting here tonight, stuck in bed with a herniated disk, (can anyone say God is trying to get my attention and making me sit still to listen to Him.)  Anyway I thought what a better way to combine my two passions, God and writing.

The plan is to study each book over the next ... who knows how long this might take and journal what I have learned and discovered about my God and myself.  I am hoping that I will have fellow Christ followers join me on this journey.

If you do join me please add comments of what you have learned or discovered along your own "travel"  We all need to remember there are no right or wrong answers to any Bible Study so if you are worried about not getting the "right answer" please put that thought out of your mind.  All God wants from us is our love, devotion and well our everything.  He wants us to love Him as much as He loves us.  Right where we are. There is no need to clean up for God.  Once you have a personal relationship with Our Lord Jesus Christ He will do the cleaning, from the inside out.  Trust me, I know you don't know me from the dark side of the moon but I use to think God could never want anything to do with me after all the awful things I had done.  Luckily I met a lady through my children s elementary school, another mom who was a helper during the lunch hour who mentioned she was starting a Bible Study the next day.  I don't know what possessed me to ask to join but I did and she was overjoyed with my request.  Long story short I arrived the next day with nothing but a vision of what a "church lady" was suppose to be like and I wasn't it.  After that first class I knew I was in the wrong place.  I didn't belong there with those godly women.  They had all the right answers to all of these godly questions.  I told my friend the next day I would not be back that just wasn't for me.  She said she understood.  Little did I know she prayed for my return everyday for that whole next week and little did she know that during that week something kept me up at night and that was the week I gave myself to the Lord to do as He saw fit.  I know I told you this was the long story short and I promise it is.  When I arrived back the next week to class she began to sob and told me how she had been praying I would return.  I then, once the tears slowed down, told her I had given my life to the Lord the day before.  God knew what He was doing,  He knew I would be back.  When I got to my spot from the week before there was a wrapped box waiting for me.  It was my first study Bible and every woman in that class had signed it.  I used that Bible to this day.  That was ten years ago and not a day goes by I don't think about her or that group.  Now you know a little about me or at least my testimony   I hope we do go on this journey together whether we ever meet face to face.

I will try to let you know what section or book I am currently studying and/or what study guide I am following.  My prayer is that I will not be the only person to benefit from my journey into God's word and His desire for our lives.

May God Bless you and yours and I hope we all learn and remember how much God loves us, just the way we are, His.