Summary: Learn with Esther how to understand and follow the invisible God through the incredible trials and challenges of life.
Making Right Choices
Series: Letting God Guide You
April 17, 2005
Last week we started a series of messages from the book of Esther. Esther’s unique in that, even though it’s a book in the bible, it never uses the name of God. But that doesn’t mean God’s not at work. He may not be specifically mentioned, but His invisible hand is seen on every page of Esther’s story. Esther’s written from God’s perspective. We see the events on earth from God’s point of view.
In the same way… you & I can’t see God, but see Him or not, He’s here working in our lives. Last week I introduced you to 5 people from the book of Esther, each of them representing a different way that God works to direct and guide us in life…
1. King Xerxes illustrated the fact that God can use my ignorance to guide me, so I need to gain insight.
2. Queen Vashti shows that God can use silence to guide me, so I need to learn to be quiet.
3. Mordecai: (Esther’s uncle) shows that God can guide me using (so called) “coincidences”… so I need to pay attention.
4. Esther herself, shows that God will use my brokenness if I let him… so I need to stay humble
5. The evil Haman (the villain of our story) illustrates that God can use my enemies to guide me, but only if I resist revenge.
So last week, we talked about God’s part in giving us direction in life. Today, I want to talk about YOUR part in finding your way in life. Because even though God is all-knowing, and even though He sees the future… He never forces us to do His will. He never takes away our freedom of choice.
God sets the stage for us to succeed in life, but we have to cooperate. So there are some decisions that we need to make in life, if we’re going to follow His will. I want to talk to you about your choices in life.
Every person here this morning is being constantly bombarded with a barrage of decisions and choices. This morning you got up and made some decisions on whether you were going to go to church or lounge around the house like a couch potato. You choose what you were going to wear (by the looks of things, some of you made good choices, others of you… well.) When you came into this building, you decided where you were going to sit. Up near the speakers, where you risked damaging your eardrums, or way in the back, so you can escape out the back door quicker after church.
Our journey through life is an almost dizzying process of decision making. And with every choice, there’s an element of risk involved.
Some choices are monumental and life changing, others are kind of trivial. What career will I pursue? -vs.- a crème filled donut or a bagel? Some choices you make, will take you & your family far away from God… some will draw you closer to Him. Some of the decisions you make… you’ll eventually regret and wish you never made. Other decisions, you’ll thank God that you followed His will. But regardless of whether they’re big decisions or small ones…one thing is true…we make our decisions and then our decisions make us!
This morning we find Esther at a crossroads in her life. She had to make a decision that would change her life and the lives of millions of others. Let me explain… When we first meet King Xerxes, he’s the great and powerful King of Persia… but at the end of chapter 1 he ends up drunk, threatened by his wife’s resistance and scrambling to stay in charge.
Esther 2:1 in the A.S.V. reads this way… READ 2:1. Vs. 16 of this same chap., tells us that all this happened in the 7th year of his reign. Let’s figure this out a minute. Esther 1:3 informs us that his drunken celebration happened in the 3rd year of his reign. So between chap. 1 & chap. 2 … 4 years had gone by. History books tell us that during these 4 years, King Xerxes made an attempt to conquer Greece that back-fired on him. He was defeated and returned back to the capital of Babylon (Susa) with his tail between his legs. With all that happening, his anger against Queen Vashti is long since forgotten. He begins to think about her beauty, the warmth of her arms, the comfort of her understanding. (Sounds like us huh guys?, After we’ve had a fight with our wives. The couch gets a little cold after awhile and we want back in the bedroom!) His spirits low… Xerxes sinks into a deep depression. He’s looking for a companion.