Sermons

Summary: When facing challenges, pray and seek God’s leading. Walls will fall by God’s grace and His favour flows.

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FACING LIFE’S CHALLENGES

Esther – Fighting for her life and the lives of the entire Jewish nation

David – His town destroyed, his family and children captured.

Elijah – Running for his life, so depressed he came to a point he prayed that he might die – “Lord, I have had enough, take my life!”

Peter – Failed his Master and Lord, denying Him

The King of Persia, Ahasuerus has an ambitious advisor named Haman.

• He demanded that people bow to him as he passed - something which Mordecai, a devout Jew who probably hold an office in the palace, could not do in good conscience.

• In rage, Haman sought revenge, not only on Mordecai but also on the entire Jewish population of the empire.

• He convinced the King that the Jewish people are a wicked nation and persuaded him to issue an edict permitting him to kill all the Jews and seize their property.

Mordecai learnt of the edict - called on Queen Esther for help, herself being a Jew.

• He urged her to go into the King’s presence and beg for mercy and plead with him for her people.

Esther had a problem – no one was to see the King without being invited.

• If she approaches the King without being summoned she will be put to death, unless the King decides to spare her life by extending the gold scepter to her. She was in a very difficult position.

See how did she respond? Esther 4:15-17

15 Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: 16 "Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maids will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish." 17 So Mordecai went away and carried out all of Esther’s instructions.

In tense situations like this, we would like to “Get things done, quick! We need to defense ourselves!”

Esther’s call was a stoppage of all work and plan, and also food!

• Get everybody, including the maids, to fast and pray… not one, not two but for 3 days.

• Only then will she take the step to see the King.

(1) When Facing Uncertainties or Problems, SEEK GOD’S LEADING

Don’t react impulsively. Don’t depend on man’s wisdom or ways. We need God’s guidance and His ways.

So on the third day, Esther wore her royal robes and went into the inner court of the palace. By God’s grace, the King was please to see her and held out to her the gold scepter that was in his hand, thus sparing her life.

And then the conversation went on – Esther 5:3-8.

Why the delay for another day? Why didn’t she reveal Haman’s plot to the King? We do not know. But we read later on some significant things happened during that one day.

(i) Haman boasted of his great achievements, and added - 5:12-14

(ii) The King read the book of the chronicles - 6:1-13a

We see how God guided Esther, and with that one day God prepared the ground for His purpose to be fulfilled. In that one day, the gallows was built (meant for Mordecai but now for Haman), and God prepared the heart of the King, so that he would come to know and appreciate Mordecai.

Esther was not in a hurry nor was she impulsive. She was confident, having prayed for 3 days. She trusted God’s leading and timing. That seeming delay wasn’t a real delay.

God works in amazing ways. Imagine yourself in a maze, and God is actually above it watching down at you. He saw both the entrance and the exit. He has the aerial view, the plan view. Not only that, He is guiding you OUT. So trust Him.

When God seems absent, He’s present. (His Invisible Workings)

SHIPWRECK AND STRANDED

Man shipwrecked on an uninhabited island. He painstakingly built a little hut for protection and a place to keep the few items he had salvaged from the wreck. He prayed fervently for his rescue, scanning the horizon for a ship, but NOTHING. For weeks he lived under the hot sun and the cold nights.

Then one day, when he returned from a search for food, he was terrified to find that his little hut was in flames. He was crushed by the disaster. The few possessions he had were now gone up in smoke. That night, he slept in the open, by the ashes.

Early the next morning he awoke to find a ship anchored off the island. The captain who came to rescue him said, "We saw your smoke signal, and we came."

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