Monday, April 16, 2007

Godly Woman 101: Days 11-14

Continuing my reading on godly women. These are my "accountability notes". I'm finishing Esther. These are chapters 7-10.

Esther 7

Xerxes and Haman are dining at Esther’s second banquet. The king asks a third time what is it she wants…”up to half the kingdom and it will be granted.” She asks for her life and the lives of her people.

She asks kindly, with grace, with bravery, with sincerity, humbly, in honor and deference of Xerxes’ power but also with the favor of God.

“If we had merely been sold as male and female slaves, I would have kept quiet.” Wow!

The king demands to know who is responsible and Esther names Haman (charge 1). In a twist of events, the king leaves in a rage. As Haman falls at Esther’s feet to beg for his life (he‘s at the feet of a Jew when he couldn’t get a Jew [Mordecai] to bow to him), he falls on her couch where she was reclining, the king re-enters as it appears Haman is assaulting Esther (charge 2). Then, a eunuch then speaks up and says that there are gallows that Haman constructed for Mordecai (charge 3 – attempt to kill the king’s benefactor).

Haman is hung on those gallows.

Esther 8

The same day, Xerxes gave Esther Haman’s estate. Mordacai is reinstated and appointed in charge of that estate. They are restored but the royal edict calling for the killing of all Jews is irrevocable. She pleads, she weeps. “If it pleases the king.” “If he regards me with favor.” “If he thinks it is the right thing to do.” “If he is pleased with me.” So, in response to her pleading, Xerxes commands another edict be sent out that in effect counters the original – the only way to stop Haman’s original plan. This decrees marks the first Purim.

Again, she is kind, polite, obedient, deferent yet brave.

Esther 9

When faced with conflicting edicts, everyone goes by what came most recently. The Jews rise up all over Xerxes kingdom and battle their enemies fearlessly…and win. Despite being given permission to do so, the Jews take no plunder…as that’s how Saul lost his kingship. When the king reports to Esther what the Jews have done, he asks if there is anything else. She asks that Haman’s sons, who were killed in the battle, be hung up as an example. Not sure what godly woman characteristic THAT would be! LOL

First Purim celebrated at Mordecai’s and Esther’s instruction.

Esther 10

These closing three verses describe the heights of power Mordecai reached. I suppose it could be construed that the success and honor is partially attributed to the actions of Esther. It is because of her that Mordecai is promoted up. But, it is also partially because of Mordecai that Esther is where she is. Hmmm…

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