Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Esther - A Woman of Strength and Dignity by Charles Swindoll

One of my favorite verses in the Bible is Isaiah 40:31.
Yet those who wait for the LORD
Will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary.
So it was very interesting to read how Swindoll applied this verse to the story of Esther. He writes:
“Between chapters 4 and 5 of this ancient Book of Esther, I find nothing but white space in my Bible, as I’m sure there is in yours. It’s a break in time. It’s a space of suspense when we don’t know what is happening . Nothing is recorded for us to read. We left Esther just as she had sent word to Mordecai that she was going to enter the king’s presence uninvited, which could mean her instant death. Then there is a grand pause, and we pick up the story again at the moment, three days later, when Esther is preparing to walk into the presence of the king, not knowing what the future holds.”
What we do know from the story is that during this “white space” of three days, Esther was at work preparing for her visit to the king. Her plan was to fast and to pray. She even asked Mordecai to assemble all the Jews and have them fast as well. These are three very important days for her.

Here is where Swindoll brings in Isaiah 40:31.

“During a waiting period, God is not only working in our hearts, He’s working in others’ hearts. And all the while He is giving added strength. Remember Isaiah’s words about waiting? From this verse we learn that four things happen when we wait.”

“First, we gain new strength.”

“Second, we get a better perspective

“Third, we store up extra energy

“Fourth, we will deepen our determination to persevere.”

Swindoll concludes, “Because of this interlude with God, Esther is able to approach the moment of truth – to step into the presence of the king – calmly and wisely and confidently.”

Isn’t that the way we want to face our moments of truth; calmly, wisely and confidently? We can, we are promised, if we take time to “wait for the Lord”.


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