Subscribe to receive each blog post via email:

Bookmark and Share

November 2019

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Books for the Journey:

Statistics, Feeds, Copyrights & Email:

« August 19th readings | Main | August 21st readings »

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

I am new to this site and I pray that the Lord teaches me his words.

Welcome Florice to our daily Bible Study gang. Stick with it and you will find that it's one of the highlights and great blessings of your day.

God Bless!
Pat

The thing that jumped out at me this morning while reading in Esther 9 was that even though the Jews were given permission to plunder (take for themselves) the property of their enemies, it says "they did not lay a hand on the plunder." Just because something is legal today doesn't make it a right thing or a good thing for a Christian to do or partake of. We should obey the laws of the land but we should live by the laws of our Lord. They will never lead us down the wrong path.

God Bless you on this Sunday - the Lord's Day!

Pat

RE: spiritual gifts

I commented on yesterday's post with a link to a gifts inventory for the person who wanted to know what their gifts were.

Re: Purim

I think it's such a great holiday. I always think I want to try to celebrate it with my kids, but I never remember when Purim is! I think that kind of celebration (with masks and drama and parties) can really make spiritual education come alive.

Esther 9 (NKJV)
3
And all the officials of the provinces, the satraps, the governors, and all those doing the king’s work, helped the Jews, because the fear of Mordecai fell upon them.
4
For Mordecai was great in the king’s palace, and his fame spread throughout all the provinces; for this man Mordecai became increasingly prominent.

NOTE:
This is so excellent. Even the officials, satraps, governors, and all others in the palace doing the king’s work helped the Jews. (By the way, I wondered what a “satrap” is, so I looked it up. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satrap):
“Satrap was the name given to the governors of the provinces of ancient Median and Persian Achaemenid empires”

THANK GOD that, in our weakness, God is our strength—if we will let Him be Who He is even when we feel so tempted or so weak that we cannot stand. We can be who God created us to be in Christ, and we can do God’s will. We just have to stand, or abide, in Christ and NOT MOVE from there! (Of course… only by grace!)

Esther 8 (NKJV)
2
So the king took off his signet ring, which he had taken from Haman, and gave it to Mordecai; and Esther appointed Mordecai over the house of Haman.

17
And in every province and city, wherever the king’s command and decree came, the Jews had joy and gladness, a feast and a holiday. Then many of the people of the land became Jews, because fear of the Jews fell upon them.

NOTE:
Even Queen Esther could do nothing without the signet ring of authority from the king. Certainly, Mordecai could do nothing without the signet ring of the king.

Christ is our Signet Ring, and we are under His authority.

You and I can really do nothing of ourselves. I need to meditate more on the following verses in the Amplified Bible:

Romans 8 (Amplified)
16
The Spirit Himself [thus] testifies together with our own spirit, [assuring us] that we are children of God.
17
And if we are [His] children, then we are [His] heirs also: heirs of God and FELLOW HEIRS WITH CHRIST [SHARING HIS INHERITANCE WITH HIM]; only we must share His suffering if we are to share His glory.
~~~

Christ, by taking on our sin and giving us His righteousness through the Cross, Resurrection, and Ascension has literally shared with us His very own authority.

Of course, He will never approve or allow that authority to be used for selfish purposes. God will answer our prayers if we live for His glory.

We are literally: FELLOW HEIRS WITH CHRIST [SHARING HIS INHERITANCE WITH HIM]. And of course, we can only walk in this as we follow, obey, and suffer as we face opposition in doing God’s will.

John 15 (NKJV)
7
If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.
8
By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.
~~~

Many people saw God’s favor on the Jews, and they became Jews. May you and I so walk in the divine favor that God has already bestowed on us in Christ that many would see the beauty and authority of the Lord Jesus in our lives, suffering, and witness.

Romans 5 (NKJV)
17
For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.)
~~~

I Corinthians 13 (J B Phillips New Testament)
13:4 –
This love of which I speak is slow to lose patience - it looks for a way of being constructive. It is not possessive: it is neither anxious to impress nor does it cherish inflated ideas of its own importance.

13:5-6 - Love has good manners and does not pursue selfish advantage. It is not touchy. It does not keep account of evil or gloat over the wickedness of other people. On the contrary, it is glad with all good men when truth prevails.

13:7-8a - Love knows no limit to its endurance, no end to its trust, no fading of its hope; it can outlast anything. It is, in fact, the one thing that still stands when all else has fallen.

NOTE:
1. Slow to lose patience
2. Eager for being constructive
3. Not possessive
4. Not anxious to impress others
5. Not cherish ideas of my own importance
6. Has good manners
7. Does not pursue selfish advantage
8. Is not touchy
9. Does not keep account of evil
10. Does not gloat over the wickedness of other people (“They had it coming; they deserved it”)
11. Chooses to be glad with all good men when truth prevails
12. God’s Love knows no limit to its endurance
13. God’s Love has no end to its trust
14. God’s Love has no fading of its hope
15. God’s Love can outlast anything.
16. God’s Love is the one thing that still stands when all else has fallen.

When I think of this list, I immediately realize how many ways I fall short of who God is and of being filled with the Holy Spirit of God’s Love.

On this list, in particular I note numbers 8, 9, and 10.

How many times have I been touchy?
How many times have I been kept account of the times I have been hurt by someone and nurtured it?
How many times have I been happy that other people were hurt because they had committed evil (or either in my mind I believed they had committed evil)?

We cannot function the way God wants and do God’s will without being filled with God’s Love. I like this quote by Andrew Murray from “With Christ In The School of Prayer”:

“NINTH LESSON – ‘Pray the Lord of the harvest’ or ‘Prayer provides labourers’

Solemn thought! O why is it that we do not obey the injunction of the Master more heartily, and cry more earnestly for labourers? There are two reasons for this. The one is: WE MISS THE COMPASSION OF JESUS, WHICH GAVE RISE TO THIS REQUEST FOR PRAYER. When believers learn that to love their neighbor as themselves, that to live entirely for God’s glory in their fellow-men, is the Father’s first commandment to His redeemed ones, they will accept the perishing ones as the charge entrusted to them by their Lord."

"And, accepting them not only as a field of labour, but as the objects of loving care and interest, it will not be long before compassion towards the hopelessly perishing will touch their heart, and the cry ascend with an earnestness till then unknown: LORD! send labourers.”

Psalm 37 (Amplified Bible)
1
FRET NOT yourself because of evildoers, neither be envious against those who work unrighteousness (that which is not upright or in right standing with God).
2
For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.
3
Trust (lean on, rely on, and be confident) in the Lord and do good; so shall you dwell in the land and feed surely on His faithfulness, and truly you shall be fed.
4
Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart.
5
Commit your way to the Lord [roll and repose each care of your load on Him]; trust (lean on, rely on, and be confident) also in Him and He will bring it to pass.

NOTE:
I particularly like this chapter as rendered in the Amplified Bible.

In these rich and wonderful verses, I find a way to help me walk in the LOVE OF GOD that is so eloquently and beautifully expressed by the Holy Spirit in I Corinthians 13.

I am called by God to avoid keeping account of evil and do not gloat over the wickedness of other people. How do I do this?

I simply need to focus on this:
a.
FRET NOT MYSELF BECAUSE OF EVILDOERS, NEITHER BE ENVIOUS
b.
DELIGHT MYSELF ALSO IN THE LORD
c.
STAY BEFORE THE LORD UNTIL I AM ABLE TO ROLL AND REPOSE EACH CARE OF YOUR LOAD ON HIM
d.
LEAN ON, RELY ON, AND BE CONFIDENT IN THE LORD JESUS

By the way, I like a further note in the Amplified Bible regarding the concept of “leaning on the Lord” from Hebrews chapter 6:

12
In order that you may not grow disinterested and become [spiritual] sluggards, but imitators, behaving as do those who through faith (BY THEIR LEANING OF THE ENTIRE PERSONALITY ON GOD IN CHRIST IN ABSOLUTE TRUST AND CONFIDENCE IN HIS POWER, WISDOM, AND GOODNESS) and by practice of patient endurance and waiting are [now] inheriting the promises.

Again, how can I possibly do be who God wants and do what God wants without spending quality time with Him? Only Jesus can live His life through me. I may be able to do many things, but I cannot do even walk in the tiniest part of God’s Love without Jesus.

Galatians 2 (NKJV)
20
I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
21
I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.”

Vance


1Cor12:1-26

I think it best for me not to get caught up in the gifts of the Spirit and how to discern your gift. There will be other opportunities to discuss those points.

In chapter 11 early verses Paul's main concern was about the separation and distinction of the genders, and the authority structure in the church and families. At that time, Head coverings were a manifestation of those concerns.

Likewise, here in Chapter 12 I believe the main concerns regard once again "divisiveness" in the Church. This concern centers around the Corinthian Christians' attitude toward spiriutal gifts.
======================================================
WHAT IS GOING ON?

Mentioned in earlier posts, the Corinthians, as did the ancient Greeks, devalued the body, and emphasized the Spirit (of man). Apparently becoming Christians, the Corinthians really became enamored with the Gifts of the Spirit. It fell right into their prior beliefs and attitudes of man's Spirit as to importance. Here they were getting gifts from God through the Holy Spirit of a spiritual nature.

COOL! What gifts did I get? Is my gift a great gift or little? I am better than him because I got this gift, and he got that gift.

Apparently the hierchy put "tongues" at the top of the list. If you spoke in "tongues" you were da' bomb! This was an outgrowth from the attitude of local pagan worship where the people were rather wild and boisterous during sacrificial rites at Venus' (Aphrodite's) temple. The wilder, more frenzied - the better.

Apparently this carried over into the Christian worship, and was not only a distraction, but a point of superiority among some Christians versus the others.
======================================================
UNITY AGAIN :)

1COR12:4-6 "There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men." NIV

[QUICK ASIDE: I would propose that once again we see the image of the "Trinity" presented. Spirit, Lord (Jesus), God (Father).]

Despite the differences of the gifts and the differences in how they are manifested and carried out - everything is centered around the same entity, the Holy Trinity.

The purpose of the gift's is of course for the progressing of the individual's Christian walk, but done through the interaction with other Christians.

For we are all "one in the body of Christ". Your gift(s) are yours, but they are meant for the edification and growth of "the body" (other Christians).

Looking at the Human body, Paul points out the obvious. Everything works togehter to perform the tasks decided upon. The feet may rest, while the hands work, but they are still part of the body. You may not see the stomach, but the feet will not run long, if we do not digest food.

Everything is important. Seen and unseen, active or inactive: the body is an amazing entity.

The same with the church. Just because your gift is being actively used does not make a "resting" member's gift less valuable. Just because your gift is seen out in the open, does not make a behind the scenes gift worthless. All gifts have value in the operating of the "body" of Christ, otherwise gifts would not have been issued in the first place. You don't think the Holy Spirit is stupid, do you?

So Paul is implying here - Take a "chill pill". Let's not have division within the Corinth church over gifts. Be thankful and humble for your gift, and use it for the growth of the "body", and to bring glory to God. Be appreciative of other Christians and their gifts.


Esther

1) Bob Deffingbaugh has been "hard" on Mordecai and Esther in all his commentaries, and now we come to a point in the book of Esther where I can agree with Bob.

As I mentioned yesterday, I think the point of the book is that God keeps his Word. God is deliberately not mentioned in this book - as God is not dependant on mankind for the carrying out of His purposes, Will, and plan. God may not be mentioned, but He is definately there making sure His Word, that the Jewish nation would be preserved, is kept.

What bothers me here after the hanging of Haman and the king granting Mordecai and Esther the right to make a decree is: There is no fasting (and implied praying to God). Why not? The big day is some nine months away? There was fasting when Mordecai and Esther thought the Jewish people were going to be destroyed. Instead now the two go right to work on the decree.

I BELIEVE that this is the point where "mankind" takes over in the story. The decree is not God's work, but Mordecai and Esther's invention. Up to now all the story smacks of God. The opportunities presented (looking like pure chance), Mordecia's reward for loyalty, the evil doer receiving punishment, all to the principals involved etc. Now the decree smacks of man: to revenge, annhilate, plunder enemies and those perceived to be enemies, avenge as much as "to defend" in a more widespread over the top manner.

[NOTE: Some will say that the decree was a lot like God's treatment of Canaanites. Yes, but remember God was patient with around four hundred years passing between judgment and implementation. There was time for repentance, warnings (thru prophecy), and exhibitions of God's power. In the end, Canaanites rejected God and He has the right to pronounce and execute judgment. None of this was evident in Mordecai and Esther's decree.]

So why doesn't God step in and stop this vain grab for revenge? I believe that this was in God's Will for a reason - to show how God carries out justice and revenge versus how "mankind" carries out the same.
======================================================
2) Purim - Historical?
This is the reason I believe that the story relates an actual "event". If you look at all the other Jewish Feast days/Holidays they all center around an actual event. The one exception is Yom Kippur - the atonement For Israel's sins.

I know critical historians are split on whether the story of Esther is Historical in nature, and good arguments exist in both camps.

I am willing to go with Historical because the people of that time created a national Holiday for this event. Jewish people do not seem to have the tendency to celebrate myths or legends as National Holidays. Just my opinion.

3) Purim compared to other Feasts. This is a man-made Holiday. It was not instructed by God. It is interesting to see the differences between God decreed Feasts and Purim. God's declared feasts for Israel center around worship, praise, and thanks. Most are of a serious nature. Purim is a bit different including the custom 'to get drunk'.
http://www.chabad.org/holidays/purim/article.asp?AID=2814

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purim

Perhaps the legacy of the book of Esther is not only to show the difference between how God works and man works, but also the differences between the Feasts and this holiday. Purim gives one the opportunity to see the difference between how God celebrates and how "mankind" celebrates.

The comments to this entry are closed.