Promises, Promises

Esther 5:5 – 6 “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.”

This reminder to Haman makes me smile one of those cat-ate-the-canary smiles. Take that, Haman! He may have been a powerful man. He may have been a cruel, hateful man. But Esther, a Jew, still outranked him. She was the queen, and the king made sure that Haman knew it. Haman had to do as the queen requested.

Actually, the whole passage makes me smile, for I know what is coming. Ah, the brilliance of the plan! Xerxes has already promised Esther – publicly – to give her anything she wants. He has offered her a blank check. Now, at this wonderful banquet, he asks her again what she wants, and promises to give her anything. That is twice now that he has made this public promise.

Esther knows his pride. She knows he doesn’t like to lose face. If he has promised it publicly, he will do it. After all, remember Vashti? He had promised his guests that she would appear. When she refused, it made him look bad. He didn’t like to go back on his word – he was too much of a politician.

Esther is working her husband brilliantly, in my opinion. Yet, it wasn’t really Esther at all. She wasn’t a worldly, manipulative woman. She was a simple girl, even with all her jewels and crowns. She was simply doing what God led her to do.

God was at the control panel all along, though Esther, trembling and demure, surely had her doubts. Listen to this verse:

Proverbs 21:1

“The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord;

He directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases.”

Friends, no matter our circumstance, God is in control. We, like Esther, may not have a clue what will come next. We may be taking each step in trembling faith, but we can know that our God, who loves us more than life itself, will take care of us. And unlike Xerxes, who had a history of pride and the temper of a child, our God is always loving, always kind, always generous. Xerxes’ promise to Esther was unusual for him, but God’s promises are unfailing and unchanging. He has good things in store for us, even if we have to go through some difficult, scary times to get there.

And He is always, always in control.

Dear Father, Thank You for your promises to me. Thank You that I can depend on those promises, and that I can always enter Your presence without being afraid of You. You are good and kind and loving.

Thank You.


11 Responses to Promises, Promises

  1. July 7, 2008 #

    Yea! Go, God! (IOW – Amen!)


  2. July 7, 2008 #

    Sending pom poms and a megaphone your way, Jean! 😉

  3. July 7, 2008 #

    Just EXACTLY the message I needed this morning. I believe that God sent this to me. Thanks for being the willing courier.

  4. July 7, 2008 #

    I am working my way back to last week and just got to listening to America. It is so – soooooooooooo beautiful. Thanks!

  5. July 7, 2008 #

    Thanks, Mom. I always need to be reminded of God’s promises, too.

  6. July 7, 2008 #

    I LOVE this line: God was at the control panel all along.

  7. July 7, 2008 #

    Thanks, Lillie!

  8. July 7, 2008 #

    ‘Surely God is my salvation.
    I will trust and I will not be afraid’. (Isa. 12:2)

    Can you tell I’ve been with the Methodists again this morning?!

    Hey Renae, you did a picture on your 4th July post – there will be no stopping you soon!

  9. July 7, 2008 #

    We’ll make a Protestant of you yet, Jackie! 😉

    There is just one problem with the picture. I copied and pasted the whole thing from Jean’s blog, and the picture just came along! I have no idea how that happened, or how to put my own here.

    I keep telling you to send the Fixer over here for a tutorial!

  10. July 7, 2008 #

    Another great post, Renae! (I bet you are getting tired of me saying that, but it is true!)

    What is striking to me is that God is completely in control, and yet He chooses to withdraw and let us do our part, too, sometimes things that are dangerous and take all the guts we have.

  11. July 7, 2008 #

    You’re right, Jeanette. He wants us to follow Him and trust Him. Ultimately, He will have His way, but He wants our obedience. When we don’t do our part, we miss out on the blessings He has for those who stay close to Him.

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