Well, it happened.
Yup...you know the last thing you would ever want to happen during the week, the last problem you would want with two babies underfoot and daddy off at work...
An overflowing toilet!
And then it subsided by the time Daddy got home, and all was well, right? No!
The next morning, the basement had a huge leak, and daddy was in his suit trying to fix the problem and clean up the mess before heading out the door...mommy was forced to try to call the plumber, and waited, and waited, and waited for them to arrive, as no one was allowed to flush any more toilets!
The plumber came and fixed the problem...
only to discover a much bigger, much much worse, much much much more expensive problem...
And this is when I ask God, "Why is this happening?"
Why now? Why today? Why us?
And then our plumber starts asking me about God...and we start talking about the Bible and we start talking about church, and how just because you love God or believe in God doesn't mean all your problems on earth are washed away, even though we would really like a problem free life, wouldn't we?
And we wonder, "What is God's plan?"
Well, last Friday it was God's plan for a plumber named Joe to come to my home. Last Friday it was God's plan for John to go in late to work. Last Friday it was God's plan for us to shell out over $3,000 to fix our plumbing issue. But you know what?
God always has a plan, and God's plan always has a purpose.
Do we understand all of the reasons why? Absolutely not.
Do we always enjoy the plan or agree with the plan...ummm no. Trust me I had great plans for last Friday with my kids and the sunshine, but sometimes God stops our plans to show us HIS plan and He refocuses us and shows us what is truly important.
We have been reading in the tiny book of Esther, all about God's awesome plan to save the Jewish people from the evil edict of Haman.
Last week we read Esther Chapter 7: Coincidence or Providence post and we learned that God was not going to let Haman get away with his evil plot against the Jews. We learned that Queen Esther was brave enough to stand up for her people. And we saw that Haman ended up being hanged on the gallows he had made for Mordecai.
Let's look at God's Word and learn from Esther Chapter 8 together!
The King’s Edict in Behalf of the Jews
1 That same day King Xerxes gave Queen Esther the estate of Haman, the enemy of the Jews. And Mordecai came into the presence of the king, for Esther had told how he was related to her. 2 The king took off his signet ring, which he had reclaimed from Haman, and presented it to Mordecai. And Esther appointed him over Haman’s estate.It must've been surreal to Esther and Mordecai being given their great enemy, Haman's estate. And for Mordecai to receive the King's signet ring and to be promoted to a position of such honor must've been awesome! It just goes to show you that obedience to God is always the right thing to do. Sometimes we are rewarded on earth for our obedience and other times we will have to wait until we meet the Lord, but either way, being faithful to God and obeying God never goes unnoticed. God is always watching His people. He is always glorified when we do what is right.
3 Esther again pleaded with the king, falling at his feet and weeping. She begged him to put an end to the evil plan of Haman the Agagite, which he had devised against the Jews. 4 Then the king extended the gold scepter to Esther and she arose and stood before him.
5 “If it pleases the king,” she said, “and if he regards me with favor and thinks it the right thing to do, and if he is pleased with me, let an order be written overruling the dispatches that Haman son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, devised and wrote to destroy the Jews in all the king’s provinces. 6 For how can I bear to see disaster fall on my people? How can I bear to see the destruction of my family?”
What I love about Esther is that even though the King honored her and her uncle she never forgot about the plight of her people. You must remember once an edict is written and signed by the King it can not be reversed! Esther's people are still in danger from being attacked and murdered on a very specific day that Haman had picked out. Just because Esther might have been protected as Queen she still cared about the well being of her people. She still pleaded with the King to help her save them.
7 King Xerxes replied to Queen Esther and to Mordecai the Jew, “Because Haman attacked the Jews, I have given his estate to Esther, and they have impaled him on the pole he set up. 8 Now write another decree in the king’s name in behalf of the Jews as seems best to you, and seal it with the king’s signet ring—for no document written in the king’s name and sealed with his ring can be revoked.”
9 At once the royal secretaries were summoned—on the twenty-third day of the third month, the month of Sivan. They wrote out all Mordecai’s orders to the Jews, and to the satraps, governors and nobles of the 127 provinces stretching from India to Cush.[a] These orders were written in the script of each province and the language of each people and also to the Jews in their own script and language. 10 Mordecai wrote in the name of King Xerxes, sealed the dispatches with the king’s signet ring, and sent them by mounted couriers, who rode fast horses especially bred for the king.
11 The king’s edict granted the Jews in every city the right to assemble and protect themselves; to destroy, kill and annihilate the armed men of any nationality or province who might attack them and their women and children,[b]and to plunder the property of their enemies. 12 The day appointed for the Jews to do this in all the provinces of King Xerxes was the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month of Adar. 13 A copy of the text of the edict was to be issued as law in every province and made known to the people of every nationality so that the Jews would be ready on that day to avenge themselves on their enemies.
The King hears Esther's plea and allows her to send out a new edict that the Jewish people have every right to defend themselves, to bear arms, and they are warned about the harm that is present. The letters are sent out to all of the provinces near by...but what is God's plan? Will the Jewish people still be killed? What if they are attacked, will they be able to defend themselves? What is God's plan here?
15 When Mordecai left the king’s presence, he was wearing royal garments of blue and white, a large crown of gold and a purple robe of fine linen. And the city of Susa held a joyous celebration. 16 For the Jews it was a time of happiness and joy, gladness and honor. 17 In every province and in every city to which the edict of the king came, there was joy and gladness among the Jews, with feasting and celebrating. And many people of other nationalities became Jews because fear of the Jews had seized them.
The Jewish people are so happy! The King is on their side! They will now be able to defend themselves and protect themselves against their enemies? And more people are added to the Jewish faith! There was feasting and celebration! Apparently God had a plan to save the Jews all along. God really DOES have a plan! Even when we feel like it could only be negative, or our situation is hopeless, we forget that nothing is hopeless with God, we forget that God can make all things new, we forget that God is our Jehovah Jireh, our provider. Nothing is too difficult for Him!
Next week we conclude our study in Esther as we read Chapters 9-10!