My church’s ladies’ Bible study group has been working their way through Beth Moore’s study of the book of “Esther“, subtitled “It’s Tough Being a Woman“. And, man, is it ever good! I’m learning so much!
So, I thought I’d give you a little bit of a taste of what I’ve been learning! Here are the quotes I’ve gotten from weeks 1-4, plus the introduction…
“Providence” = nothing happens by chance
– What God’s Word says is TRUE… what I’m feeling is not necessarily true. For example: If I feel that God isn’t present with me, that’s a LIE! God’s Word says that God will “never leave me or forsake me”.
I found it interesting that… Esther marries a PAGAN king and then stays (and lives) in a PAGAN nation –> this makes me think of my own life, married to an unbeliever, and having a good number of unbelieving family members.
– it’s not so much our story as it is God’s story ~ and it becomes ours as He writes us into it.
– the Bible is full of stories where it seems like everything is hopeless, but then God saves the day so that His glory can be revealed (eg. Abraham sacrificing Isaac; Moses’ entire life!; Joseph being sold into slavery; Shadrach/Meshach/Abednego being thrown into the furnace; Jesus’ death on the cross; etc).
– the most freeing thing we can ever do is to abdicate the thrown of our own miniature kingdoms
– we have a sovereign God who reigns over all and is threatened by NONE
* “You cannot amputate your history from your destiny”
– don’t ever forget what God dragged you out of!
– repetition in Scripture usually means that God is making a point
– every time a Biblical character is mentioned for the first time, you can be sure there’s something important to learn
– I found it interesting… that Esther grew up without her dad being present… like me!
– God sometimes allows our confusion to coax us into further study of the entire Word. Only by measuring actions by other Scripture can we clarify right and wrong in certain morally ambiguous narratives.
– …some events remain gray to us regardless of our search through other Scriptures, leaving us without definitive ways to measure them. At those times, we might assume that God means to teach us a historical or spiritual lesson more than an ethical or moral one.
– that’s why God is busy conforming us into the likeness of Christ alone. None of the rest of us can bear the burden of constancy.
– we, too, can become so steeped in our culture that we are almost indistinguishable from the world. We, too, can lose our sense of identity and forget who we are.
– we who comprise the His bride will make ourselves ready for the King through nothing less than the soul-healing pursuit of purity.
* “Insecurity is at the heart of every rivalry.”
– there’s nothing meaner than a coward
– you’ll never be more prone to the enemy’s attack than when God has set you free from some sort of captivity, but you’re still on the raod to your ‘promised land’ (when you’re weary and frazzled from the journey).
– meanness ALWAYS has a history –> it doesn’t just come out of nowhere
– 2 Corinthians 10:12 says that comparing ourselves to others is foolish … comparing leads us to feel threatened, in some way, which brings out our inner “mean girl”
– we need to learn to identify the threat, and then let God deal with it!
– sackcloth & ashes symbolized not only the Jews’ povery of spirit before the Lord, but their complete deadness without Him
– an in-depth approach to Scripture changes so much! The Holy Spirit ends up unearthing hidden treasures and shedding light on details that make a narrative spring to life in a way that casual reading can’t.
– …strength comes from muscle, and muscle develops with a workout. This is as true spiritually as physically. What we don’t use, we lose!
– when our old priorities don’t go with our new life, we either return to our old life, or adopt new priorities.
– priests of the Tabernacle would fast for 3 days to get ready to receive the Holy Spirit before entering the Holy of Holies… perhaps this is why Esther called for a 3-day fast with all of the Jews before approaching King Xerxes with her request.
– the most frequent command, given by God, in the Bible is… DON’T BE AFRAID!!!
– you can be brave!
– we can be one decision away from completely changing our outcome
– my current choices may have an impact on my destiny
– we’ll never know the abundant life (John 10:10) until we’re free from the grip of fear
– “COURAGE” comes from the Latin word, “cor“, meaning “heart”
– Christ offers us the courage of His presence… make sure you take it! (“Take heart…”, He says)
– Proverbs 31:10 – “A wife of noble character, who can find?“… term “noble character” is the same as the Greek word, translated “valor“, meaning “BRAVE“. Therefore, a “brave” woman is “more precious than rubies“.