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God's Economy III - Esther

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God’s Economy III – Esther – nv32209am

OS: 1 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 - We can confidently walk by faith in the midst of any circumstance knowing that God is working out His plan for our good.

I.      Series

A.   Economy  = The management or regulation of the parts or functions of any organic whole; an organized system or method.

                 1.     “Economy” Greek term found in the NT 9 times.

B.    2 God’s Economy = God’s management, arrangement, order and plan for humanity from before creation into eternity.

C.   Ephesians 1:7-12

                 1.     Vs. 10 - This plan, GNT

                 2.     Vs. 10 - as a plan for the fullness of time, ESV

                 3.     a long-range plan MESSAGE

TS] 3 What does God’s economy (administration, plan, working) look like in the lives of His people? Joseph – When you live within the economy of God…life’s circumstances will not keep you down; you have a set of transcendent principles to live by; you live beyond the traps of past regret and bitterness. But, how do you do that? Maybe Esther/Mordecai can help us with that.

II.   8Esther

A.   The story of how the Jewish race was delivered from inhalation during the time of their exile. It is the background for the Jewish celebration of Purim.

B.    God’s name is not found in this book, but God obviously fills the pages.

C.   The idea of “time” stands out to me in this most recent study. The term itself is found 12 times in the nine chapters that make up the book of Esther.

TS] Reminder: God is very much a part of people’s life and the small seemingly insignificant things of today may turn out to be vitally crucial for a distant tomorrow.

III.           The Story of Esther.

A.   During the time of Xerxes, king of Persia

                 1.     Story begins much earlier – It just so happens that a fellow by the name of Kish was one of 10,000 Jews relocated from Jerusalem to Persia by Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon.

                 2.     Kish’s great grandson was a man by the name of Mordecai who, it just so happens, served in some sort of official capacity under the system of Xerxes.

B.    Xerxes wasn’t the smartest cookie in the batch. (A few fries short of a Happy Meal)

                 1.     Debacle with Vashti. (“Get out from under that bed and fight like a man!”)

                 2.     Debacle with Grecian war.

                 3.     Returned to remember he had no queen to consol him – “let’s have a beauty pageant.”

C.   Mordecai had a cousin by the name of Hadassah (Esther), whom he had raised as his own daughter because she was an orphan. Esther was very beautiful, and she won the pageant becoming queen.

D.   Esther 2:21-23, Mordecai learns of a conspiracy to assassinate the king, tells Esther, who tells the king and his life is saved. Xerxes did not reward Mordecai – (not smart in that day).

E.    Enter Haman – He hated Mordecai and thus all Jews because Mordecai was the only official who refused to bow down to Haman. (plan, pur, edict from the king)

F.    4 5 Esther 4:12-17

G.   6 Banquet 1 (Haman & Xerxes) come back tomorrow.

                 1.     That night – (6:1) that night the king could not sleep.

                 2.     That night – Haman sees Mordecai, goes home angry, has gallows built and approaches the king to ask permission to hang Mordecai that morning.

                 3.     Before he can ask the king commands him to honor Mordecai because he had saved his life some time ago.

H.   Banquet 2 (confronted Haman, Xerxes infuriated, Haman is hanged on the gallows he had prepared for Mordecai.)

TS] How do you live according to God’s Economy?

I.      7 Like Esther/Mordecai you view your life as personal to God. God has a personal plan for you.

A.   “Who knows, for such a time as this.” Tendency – no I came to this royal position because of my extraordinary beauty – most beautiful in all the land.

B.    Imagine how Esther must have felt…

                 1.     Orphan, raised by an uncle – non respected race.

                 2.     imagine the warmth she must have felt when she discovered that she was personal to God.

C.   God is a personal God. He knows your name-everything else.

                 1.     You are not just a face in the crowd, a number on a report, or a name on a role – you are personal to God.

                 2.     8 Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. Luke 12:6-7

                 3.     9 O Lord, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Psalm 139:1-3

                 4.     “All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” Psalm 139:16

                 5.     10 Genesis 16 – Hagar, “You are the God who sees me”

                 6.     Genesis 28 – Jacob, “Surely the Lord is in the place and I was not aware of it.”

D.   for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. Philippians 2:13

II.   11 Like Esther/Mordecai you view your life as personal to God, and you base your actions on that relationship.

A.   Like: why didn’t Esther say something the first day? Could it be she was sensitive to God’s timing – the connection due to previous days of fasting and prayer focus.

B.    Personal – Some don’t like to think of God as One who is that personal; why? Because a personal God demands risks. Think of Esther – If wrong…die.

C.   Church = view our existence in this place as personal to God, and base all our decisions on that connection.

                 1.     Here? Not by accident, not for our comfort, but His Work.

What you are going through today may very well be preparing you for ‘a time such as this’. Life is like an enormous puzzle. We can only visualize one part at a time. We sometimes get a glimpse of what we think the finished product should be, but each piece has to be put in its place one at a time.

Let God use you or be set aside.

Look for opportunities to experience ‘a time such as this’

Be sensitive not only to what God wants, but also to when God wants it.

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