Monday, July 9, 2012

Rule in the midst of captivity!
Esther is one of my favorite books in the Bible. Her story is so adventurous, suspenseful and romantic! And what a story it is! Young captive Jewish girl becomes queen of the entire known world and saves her people from annihilation!  I wish I'd thought of that!  What makes it even better is that it's true. It really happened.

You may remember that the Jews were captives in the then-known Kingdom of Persia.  They had originally been defeated and captured by Babylon, their land destroyed, and their people dragged off to captivity. Now the Assyrians had defeated the Babylonians and the Jews are still captive under their rule. But why were the Jews captive?  If you read the Old Testament you'll see that they had repeatedly turned their backs on God and worshiped idols. God gave them chance after chance to repent, but they kept rejecting Him and living horribly sinful lives. Finally God did what He had warned them He would do and He brought the Babylonians in to defeat them. They spent 70 years in captivity before God allowed them to return to the land He had given them and during that time, I imagine many of them repented.

Maybe you've done something in your past that was against God's will. Perhaps there was a period of time or even a few scattered situations when you turned away from Him and did your own thing.  Believe me, I did. I spent far too many years away from God, trying to find my own meaning to life! What a dummy. During that time, God warned me. He wooed me, trying to get me to turn to Him, but stubborn as I am, it took me years before I woke up, years in which I had made some pretty bad decisions and caused a lot of damage to myself and others. Even though God forgave me and took me back with open arms, I was still captive to the consequences of my actions: divorce, broken relationships, bad career choice, wayward children, atheist husband.  I had made a mess of things.  Just like the Israelites, God had allowed me to be taken captive to my own consequences. When I returned to Him, He didn't just sweep away the mess I had made. I had to live in it.  How often do we cry out to God to get us out of a mess of our own doing?

But as I was reading Esther, I got to the part where the King's edict had gone out to all the land to have all the Jews killed and all their possessions taken. He discovered too late that Esther, his wife, was a Jew, and couldn't revoke the edict. Instead he issued another one:

By these letters the king permitted the Jews who were in every city to gather together and protect their lives—to destroy, kill, and annihilate all the forces of any people or province that would assault them, both little children and women, and to plunder their possessions,  on one day in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus, Esther 8:11-12 NKJ
On the day the massacre of the Jews was to occur, the tables were turned. Once all the governors and officials of each region realized the King was on the Jews' side, they actually came out and helped the Jews, defending them and killing their enemies. And the Jews were saved!

The remainder of the Jews in the king’s provinces gathered together and protected their lives, had rest from their enemies, and killed seventy-five thousand of their enemies; but they did not lay a hand on the plunder. Esther 9:16 NKJ

And a great fear of the Jews fell upon the entire Persian empire because they had favor with the King.

So, what is my point? Maybe you feel like a captive to situation, circumstance, or consequence. Maybe you feel like you're suffering from a mountain of bad choices. marriage, financial, career, parenting, etc.. But God has not abandoned you. He has not forgotten you. He is not the kind of father who sends you to your room and doesn't talk to you until he lets you out. He remembers you. He loves you. And though He may not take you out of captivity until your time-out is done, He will give you the means to reign in that captivity! He will protect you, help you overpower your enemies, put the fear of God in them and make them subject to you. Captivity or not, you are a child of God and He can shine His light through you even in a foreign land.


  1. Monday, July 9th,
    "Morning MaryLu ... WELCOME HOME" !!! Hope you had an amazingly super vacation !
    Well, this is probably a first ... but, there is nothing more I can add to today's blog ... but, "Amen, and Amen" !!! Excellent blog -- you said it all. Been there, done it ! And our wonderful, patient, long-suffering Heavenly Father is full of grace, love, and forgiveness ! Praise God !!!
    I also love the book/story of Esther ... thanks so much for sharing it with us !!!
    Take care, and, God Bless,
    In Him, Brenda Hurley

  2. Yes, thank you MaryLu. I love the book of Esther too. By the end of it you just want to stand up and cheer, shout and sing out to God! And the Jews too, did have a bit of a 'party' ... :)

    Welcome home from your trip - I trust that you had a wonderful time in that beautiful country.

    I received "Veil of Pearls" in the mail last week, and can't wait to start reading it. Thank you again! I just finished the Charles Town Belles series - and wow. Loved them! I love it when a book speaks to you. This series did in all 3 books, but in particular, the one about Hope. Oh, my heart broke and connected with her on so many levels. So thank you.

    Have a great day! :)

  3. Hey Marylu!!! How was your vacation? I'm super jealous! A pirate cruise...AWESOME!!! I had a pretty good week myself, reading "Veil of Pearls." Wow! I absolutely loved the characters,plot, everything! Although, Emerald and Hadley drove me crazy!!!

    Esther is my favorite book of the bible too! I never made this connection though...although we do have to take responsibility for our sinful actions, God loves us to death, and will never leave us. We're his people, and no matter what is going on in our lives, he'll always be there! You got God's message through to me beautifully!

  4. Hi Ladies! I'm back!! Just a little jet-lagged and tired and my tummy is acting up (too much Jamaican food!) But all is well and it's good to be home. I'll be posting pictures this Friday and sharing a bit about my trip, so stay tuned!

    I just reread this post and it brought tears to my eyes again of how loving our Father is, even when we've messed up big time!

    Brenda, I missed your encouraging enthusiasm each day! Caroline, Hope's story in The Blue Enchantress was my story. :-)
    Emily... glad you enjoyed Veil.. and glad this post blessed you too!

    Hugs to you all!! It's good to be home. :-)

  5. Welcome home! I love the story of Esther and say Amen to your post!! Received Veil of Pearls and can't wait to read it!
    Jackie S.

  6. Every time I meet someone new, and they find out my name, they would usually smile and say "ah, 'for such a time as this', eh?"
    haha I think sometimes they confuse me with the ancient queen. But I do realize the power of those words-almost as if someone was saying: are you ready for the task God has asked you to do? Didn't the Israelites sin when King Saul disobeyed God's order to kill all of the ammorites? or was it the agagites? I thought that Haman was the descendent of one of the people who survived.

  7. Thank you, Jackie. Hope you enjoy Veil!!
    Eszter, yes, Harman was a descendant of the Agagites I think.. or some group of people Saul was supposed to kill all of.. but one guy got away. Ah. the price of disobedience!! God knew what was going to happen so he ordered their annihilation.. which seems cruel, but we just never know what God is up to. He is so much wiser than we are!