Parent Category (Pocket Sized Thoughts [Roger Jacobs])

Pocket Sized Thoughts – Esther – Part 10

Esther 10:1-3 “Mordecai … sought the welfare of his people” (v.3)

The final chapter sees Mordecai promoted by the king above everyone else. God always honours those who put Him first. Mordecai did not use this new position for self-glory; he used it to seek the welfare of His people and speaking peace to all. Many have come into important positions only to abuse their authority. What a wonderful thing it is when men, whom, when God raises their status, continue to have a servant heart, serving God and the interests of His people, rather than their own. Note how many times the apostle Paul describes himself as a bond-slave. God uses men like Mordecai and women like Esther to steer His church through the most dark and dangerous of times into places of light, joy and peace. The whole story of the book of Esther is one of deliverance from the oppressor and how the invisible hand of God is working toward that glorious end. This is cause indeed to worship, trust and praise Him who does all things well.

“Careless seems the great Avenger, history’s pages record; One death grapple in the darkness between old systems and the word; Truth forever on the scaffold, wrong forever upon the throne – Yet that scaffold sways the future and behind the dim unknown, God stands within the shadow, keeping watch above His own.”

PRAYER :- “Lord, thank you that in Your work, we are never alone, but You are always with us.”

Pocket Sized Thoughts – Esther – Part 9

Esther 8:1-9:32 “The month was turned for them from sorrow to joy” (9:22)

Though Haman had been killed, the threat and danger of destruction of the Hebrew people still remained. The original decrees could not be reversed, so with further intervention by Esther, the king sent a royal decree by the hand of Mordecai for the Jews to arm and defend themselves against all attack. The enemy and sin writes irreversible decrees against us; we can do nothing to change them. A new ‘decree’ is written by Christ, which erases every former thing written against us (Colossians 2:14). As was the case with the Jews, the result was light and joy (v.16,17) arising from a time of great darkness and despair. Chapter nine gives the full account of the deliverance of the Jews throughout the entire empire, not just the palace and capital city. This ‘good news’ was to spread throughout the world. Sin brings sorrow and mourning (9:22) but Christ, by His salvation, turns it all to joy. In celebration, the feast of Purim was instituted, which has been kept all down the centuries and was marked by light, peace and truth. These are wonderful qualities of the kingdom of God, which He wants to make known throughout the world.

PRAYER :- “Lord, thank you that by Your great salvation, You take the sorrow and burden of sin away.”

Pocket Sized Thoughts – Esther – Part 8

Esther 7:1-10 “I and my people are to be destroyed” (v.4)

There had been much preparation of ground in the king’s heart before Esther revealed her true request and the burden that lay heavily upon her heart. This demonstrated the wisdom of the young queen. So often, even in our prayers, we expect instant answers without doing the all-important groundwork first. Esther had prepared things well so that when the king asked her what her heart’s deep desire was, she was ready to reveal it and the king to receive it. She explains the plot against her people and after further enquiry from the king, she reveals that the architect of it all was Haman. The king retreats for a little time to consider the matter. While the king is doing this, Haman, fearing for his life, throws himself upon Esther’s bed to plead for his life. At that moment, the king enters in again, sees what Haman is doing, suspects the worst and orders his hanging upon the very gallows he thought to hang Mordecai upon. The trap he had set for another is the one he falls into himself (see Psalms 9:16 ; 35:8 & 141:10 ; Proverbs 26:27). In this, we see that the enemy always over reaches himself. Presumption, pride and blind hatred are always his undoing and brings him to ultimate shame. The justice of God never fails and will always prevail.

PRAYER :- “Lord, thank you that You never leave us, nor forsake us, even in the most dire of circumstances.”

Pocket Sized Thoughts – Esther – Part 7

Esther 6:1-14 “That night, the king could not sleep” (v.1)

This chapter records the beginning of a total turn-around. In the providence of God, the king could not sleep and orders the chronicles to be read to him. On hearing this, he discovers what Mordecai had done previously in revealing the plot against the king. The king decides to honour Mordecai and at that moment Haman walks in, hears the king’s proposal and thinks it applies to himself. To Haman’s shock and horror, Mordecai is honoured and in a reversal of roles, Haman is, in effect, bowing to Mordecai. Realising his demise, Haman is then invited to the banquet that Esther had prepared. As he is about to leave, his wife says, “You shall not prevail …. but shall surely fall ….” (v.13). This is the destiny of all God’s enemies and everyone who opposes His people and His purposes. It is certain, signed and sealed. This should not make us boast, but to be humble, knowing that God’s righteous justice will always be executed. The tide of fear and uncertainty was turning.

PRAYER :- “Lord, thank you that no plan of the Evil one can, in the light of eternity, ever ultimately succeed.”

Pocket Sized Thoughts – Esther – Part 6

Esther 5:1-14 “The king held out to Esther the golden sceptre” (v.2)

Upon a set day, but not the day he was anticipating, Haman is invited to the palace to have a banquet with the king. This was in response to Esther’s bravery in boldly approaching the throne. She had not been called into the king’s presence for many days but the sceptre of mercy and acceptance was extended out to her. It is a wonderful picture of coming boldly in prayer before Jesus, the King of kings (see Hebrews 4:16). Esther had a law against her; if she came unannounced and the sceptre was not held out to her, she would die. We have no law, but rather a promise that invites us. Esther had no friend and came alone; we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous (1 John 2:1). Amazingly, and in mercy, we can come to Him with our requests. Haman was ecstatic at being invited and in his pride, boasted of all his achievements and out of spite made a gallows to hang Mordecai upon. But pride comes before a fall (Proverbs 16:18) and had he known he had only one more day to live, he would have had a very different attitude. Things were about to take a very strange and totally unexpected twist. It is amazing what happens when God’s people begin to pray.

PRAYER :- “Lord, thank you that we can come boldly to Your throne of grace and ask anything according to Your will.”

Pocket Sized Thoughts – Esther – Part 5

Esther 4:1-17 “Who knows whether you are come into the kingdom for such a time as this?” (v.14)

Upon hearing the news of Haman’s intentions, Mordecai cried out both loudly and bitterly. It was a prayer of crying out to God. Using the open channels of communication, Mordecai was able to inform Esther of Haman’s evil plan. The natural thing to do was to intercede before the king for the deliverance of her people. But the way seemed closed and there was no possibility of such an intercession being made. But, the way to God’s throne was open. Against this background, Mordecai uttered his famous words, “Who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (v.14). The words are inspiring for every true child of God. We have been saved not just to go to heaven, but for a purpose to serve God in our own generation. Esther courageously and self-sacrificially (“If I die, I die”) rose to the challenge, but not without fasting and prayer to prepare for the fact that her life was no longer in her own hands. God has called us and are we willing to lay down our rights to our own lives so that He may gloriously use us for the salvation of others? May we courageously respond not counting our lives precious to ourselves to boldly declare the gospel of the grace of God (Acts 20:24).

PRAYER :- “Lord, help me not to count my life as precious to myself, but to use it for Your glory in helping others.”

Pocket Sized Thoughts – Esther – Part 4

Esther 3:1-15 “Then was Haman full of anger” (v.5)

Often, the whims and desires of those who rule have no rhyme, nor reason. The enemy is never slow, through his agents, to creep in with all subtlety to gain positions of authority to destroy righteousness and even God’s people themselves. Such was Haman, whose name means ‘Magnificent’ and he must have certainly thought he was, especially after his very recent promotion. Haman was an Agagite, a descendant of an ancient enemy, the Amalekites. The Amalekites and Agag, their king, were to be destroyed by king Saul, but were spared by him. It was left to the prophet Samuel to perform the divine execution (1 Samuel chapter 15). Some, no doubt escaped, of whom Haman was now their descendant. Both Mordecai and Haman probably recognised the significance of their respective histories and when Mordecai refused to bow, Haman saw his opportunity to exact revenge. Employing means of deceit, authority was duly given to Haman to destroy every Jew, whether young, or old, male, or female, upon a set date. The threat was real and fear began to be felt among the Jews. The days appeared dark and all were shocked. Haman thought his purpose was all but complete and sat down, complacently, to eat and drink with the king. However, he had not reckoned with God, for the Jews were His people and He would protect them. As you do God’s will, there will be many threats and plots against you. Because you are His, you have no need to fear as He will guide you through every danger and every scheme of both men and devils.

PRAYER :- “Lord, thank you that we can hide ourselves in You from every fury of the enemy.”

Pocket Sized Thoughts – Esther – Part 3

Esther 2:19-23 “Mordecai sat in the king’s gate” (v.21)

As Esther was chosen and began a new life as queen, her cousin and guardian, Mordecai, sat at the gate of the palace. Though he could not enter, he was always in the background, being faithful in his love and watchful in his care for his adopted daughter. Eager for any news about Esther, one day Mordecai hears of a plot against the king. A channel of communication between Mordecai, Esther and the king remained open. Mordecai could have remained silent. The desire for revenge against a king whose empire had forcibly taken him and his people captive would have been motive enough for him to keep quiet. However, compassion and honour, as well as concern for Esther, made him reveal the plot. Mordecai was seeking no reward, but his name was duly recognised as it was written in the chronicles of the king. This was to become a very significant ‘hinge’ point upon which the future lay. Many, many times we will do things for a reward or to look good in the eyes of others. It is far greater to do things faithfully, for the honour of God’s name alone. Being faithful to Him will have its own reward in due time.

PRAYER :- “Lord, thank you that You look after my interests (as Mordecai did to Esther) in a way that no-one else can.”

Pocket Sized Thoughts – Esther – Part 2

Esther 2:1-18 “The king loved Esther above all the other women” (v.17)

In the process of searching for a replacement queen, Mordecai and Esther are introduced. Mordecai’s name means ‘Little Man’; he was to become anything but little, but his name indicates his humility, even though he was from the proud tribe of Benjamin. He had been taken along with thousands of others to start a new life in a strange land. Mordecai had a cousin who had lost both her parents, but was not friendless as Mordecai took the role of adoptive parent. Her name was Esther whose name means star and she was destined to shine brightly in Jewish history. Her Hebrew name was Hadassah, which means Myrtle, an evergreen tree with small, fragrant white flowers; her fragrance and purity never failed. She was brought to the palace and under the watchful eye of an overseer, underwent a purification process of preparing her to be presented without any fault before the king. All was made available for this work and nothing was spared. This is a picture of the sanctifying work of the word of God in preparing the church for her heavenly bridegroom-king (Ephesians 5:26,27). All things are ours in Christ (1 Corinthians 3:21-23) because of His great love to us. Let us avail ourselves, under His watchful eye, of all His grace so as to be worthy of being presented to Him.

PRAYER :- “Lord, thank you that Your love purifies my life from all other loves.”

Pocket Sized Thoughts – Esther – Part 1

Esther 1:1-22 “Let the king give her royal estate to one who is better than she” (v.19)

Though chronologically set at the time of the Babylonian captivity, the story of Esther is timeless in its value. God’s name is never mentioned but His invisible hand of care is always in evidence. It is difficult to identify who exactly Ahasuerus was. Some say Xerxes, but whoever he was, he was an extremely powerful king ruling over 127 provinces from India to Ethiopia. The feast was in honour of an unknown celebration and during the days of feasting and drunkenness, Queen Vashti refused to appear. The king’s pride was offended, Vashti was deposed and an alternative was to be found. Thus, through unusual circumstances, the pattern of God’s care for His people begins to be woven. God is able to use any situation to display His love, care, kindness and mercy for His people. Trusting Him in the unknown and the unseen is a key of faith, which we need to exercise in all areas of our lives.

PRAYER :- “Lord, thank you that Your hand is invisibly, yet most evidently at work in my life.”