Summary: God's Providence, Courage, Prayer, Deliverance
The 3 C’s of a Healthy Church - Support Your Leaders
Esther 4:11-14 (p. 346) March 5, 2017
I read this statement the other day…“Make sure all the people in the boat with you are rowing and not secretly drilling holes when you’re not looking. Know YOUR CIRCLE.”
I like that because leaders that are in the same boat together rowing hard to get to a specific destination are a focused team…but if you have one or two secretly drilling holes while all the others are rowing, there’s gonna be trouble.
Be very selective about who you let into the leadership boat…especially when it comes to Jesus’ Church because the direction is always determined by the Holy Spirit…and it takes wisdom and courage to row where He points the rudder.
It’s important to know your circle because hole drillers usually find each other and it’s a lot harder to row consistently in the direction God’s called you than to drill holes.
God’s Word is filled with this truth…Moses and Aaron dealt with it…Nehemiah rebuilding the wall dealt with it…Job dealt with it…Jesus continually dealt with it…God allows it because He will continually test our faith and endurance. He will continually identify weeds…and he will continually grow His wheat…Vance Havner said, “Satan isn’t attacking the church, he’s joining it…he would much rather sow tares than pull up wheat.”
This powerful truth should drive us to our knees seeking God’s wisdom…and it should put iron in our back, to continue rowing in the direction of eternity…The Spiritual health of Christ’s body, the Church, is at stake.
A little background concerning Esther is necessary. Her story is a story of hole drillers and true leadership. It’s the story of the Jews under the captivity of the Persian King Xerxes…and it happens about 465 BC. A woman named Esther, and her cousin and guardian Mordecai are jews in exile in Persia. It’s the story of how they work to rescue God’s people from a plot to destroy them. The book of Esther never mentions God by name, but His hand of protection and His plan are woven through the entire story…it’s a story of providential leadership…and it’s a story of courage.
Esther, the Jewish exile, becomes Xerxes’ queen…via a beauty contest (it’s not a story of political correctness). She has attained this place of power by God’s design.
But enter the hole driller…His name is Haman.
And his ego is bigger than Persia
ESTHER 3:1-6 (p. 345)
Haman hates Mordecai…He hates him so much that he not only wants to kill him, but he wants to kill every one of his people. And he devises a plan to carry it out.
ESTHER 3:8-11 (p. 346)
When Mordecai learns of this he tears his clothes, puts on sackcloth and ashes and grieves bitterly.
But, he also sends a messenger to his adopted daughter, Esther… “Go before the King, beg for mercy…plead for your people.”
She sends a message back…“Everyone knows that anyone who approaches the King in the inner court without being summoned is put to death…unless he extends his golden scepter to them!”
Mordecai says, “Don’t think that just because you’re in the King’s house you’ll escape…you must not remain silent…Deliverance will come…and who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this.”
I. GREAT LEADERS BELIEVE IN THE PROVIDENCE OF GOD
Mordecai has told Esther to keep her Jewish ancestry quiet until now…but now it’s time to reveal it…now’s the time to risk it all. Mordecai’s wisdom is… “God’s people are going to be saved…it might come from another place, but you Esther, are where you are for a reason. Use your leadership…it’s the providence of God.”
One of the burdens of leadership is to be unpopular when necessary.
Xerxes is powerful…Haman is his number 2 in command…Mordecai will not bow to anyone but God. The Jews follow God’s covenant, his laws. They are different from the majority of people that surround them in Persia.
Haman has used his influence to defend his ego and destroy his enemies…the Jews…He has told the King: “These people keep themselves separate, do not obey your laws…It’s not in your interest to tolerate them…Issue a decree to destroy them. I’ll even give you 10,000 talents of silver to do it.”
The King stamps the order and couriers are sent throughout the land on the 13th day of the 12th month all Jews will die…old, young, women, men…and you can plunder their goods.
I’m sure that many in Persia saw this as an ethnic cleansing and a time to pad their bank accounts.
And now Esther has to decide if she believes God has put her in this place of influence for “such a time as this.”
Why is supporting leaders that are being used by God so important? Because they have to put themselves at risk. They are willing to be unpopular to do what is right. They understand the providence of God and are humbly trying to use their influence for God’s glory and His people’s protection.