Friday, 14 August 2009

Some months ago I read a book on worship by the author Tomy Tiny. The book was based on the story of Esther. It had a profound effect on me. It was beautiful and well written.
I was so inspired by it, I put together this short piece, which I shared with my worship team at church.
Some of it, is information borrowed from the book, and some of it my own thoughts.
Esther is a small book consisting of ten chapters, but those chapters are steeped in worship.
And worship is very close to my heart, I love to sing for the Lord, and hopefully bless Him.

Esther was a beautiful young Jewish woman, who found herself in the court of the great king of Persia, along with other young women from all over the province.
She was forcibly removed from the home of her beloved uncle Mordecai, and taken to the palace, where she would be prepared for possible life as the queen of Persia.
She could have sulked, and been uncooperative, but Esther was a wise and sensible girl, she was also very humble, and soon found favour with the king’s top Eunuch Hegai who was chief custodian of the woman.
She decided in her heart to do what ever it took to please the king, and to do that she needed to know as much as possible about his likes and dislikes. And the best person to guide her in this was Hegai.
He knew the king's taste better than anyone, what colours he liked, his favourite perfumes, every thing. So wisely Esther decided to avail herself of Hegai’s knowledge, for she desired one thing, and one thing only, and that was to please the king.
Are we like Esther, is it our hearts desire to please our God and King?
Esther was a pheasant girl with a passion for the king. This passion transformed her into a princess.
Most of us know that as Christians we have royal rank.
But can the world see any difference in us, compared to those who make no claim to know God? Lets face it, in many cases we are the only Jesus the world will ever see. Can He be seen in our lives?
Esther was the vehicle God used to rescue His people the Jews from total annihilation. She was young and probably thought what can I do?
And maybe she also thought why should I worry, as the kings queen I am safe and protected here in this great palace, and no one knows that I am Jewish.
Okay we may all think how selfish, but would any of us have reacted differently in her situation?
Like all of us she probably thought if I keep a low profile then no one will find out and I will be safe, even though the rest of my people may perish.
As Christians the time may come when we will have to stand up for our faith. And as a consequence be forced to say like Esther, “If I perish, I perish.”
She realized that she would not escape, and that her only safety lay in obedience to God and to her uncle. She was willing to risk her life by going into the king’s presence unannounced, to save her people and herself from annihilation.

Evil has always feared the Esther story. Even Hitler and the Nazi concentration camp commanders feared the power of the book of Esther. In fact it was banned from their death camps. One writer wrote.
Anti Semites have always hated the book, and the Nazis forbade its reading in the crematoria, and concentration camps.
In the dark days before their deaths, Jewish inmates of Auschwitz, Dachau, and Treblinka, wrote the book from memory and read it in secret on Purim.
Both they and their brutal foes understood its message.
Then and now it represents the service of God, and devotion to His cause. It is not just a record of deliverance, but a prophecy of future salvation.”
Satan still wants to exterminate from the globe every child of God. But he will fail as did Haman.
Esther’s story is prophecy of future gloom to Satan's plans.

Esther became queen, one night with the king changed her whole life.
If we want intimacy with Divinity, then our dirty garments must be cleansed by the blood of Christ.( That is an unsaved person.)
We who are the bride of Christ, and cleansed by His blood, can enter the throne room of the king, knowing that we will be accepted by Him, because of the cleansing blood of His Son Jesus our saviour. We no longer wear filthy rags, now we are clean. We are to God as a sweet smelling savour; we wear His favourite perfume, so to speak, the sweet smell of Jesus. The perfume of redemption and righteousness.
As Christians we should be to Christ a sweet smelling fragrance. Sometimes worship releases its sweetest fragrance when offered to God from the fires and trials of adversity.
Even thirty seconds in the manifest presence of God can change your future.

I know myself some Sundays I may come to church feeling low, or tired. But once I have the opportunity to worship Father, I begin to experience release. And when I leave to go home, my spirit feels light, and the burden is lifted, and I am strengthened to face another week.
Esther had a blind date with destiny, and so do we. Sometimes we just need a lengthy soaking in the Holy anointing oil, to prepare us for our divine appointment.
We have a destiny altering date with the King. But we need to seek His heart not His hands, or the splendour of His kingdom.
We must worship Him from our hearts, in spirit and in truth.
To sing our love songs to Him that He would be blessed and glorified. He cannot resist true worship, as we enter His throne room in praise and worship, so to speak, He puts out His sceptre, and we are accepted in to His divine presence.
Eph Ch 1 v 6 He has made us accepted in the beloved, His beloved is Jesus.

I love F.B Meyer’s commentary on this scripture. “The source of all we are and have and hope to be. The stream of salvation, flows to us through our Lord. And the end to which all things are moving is the summing up of all in Christ. As He was the Alpha, so He will be the omega.
The sealing of the Holy Spirit is of incalculable advantage, because it means that we are stamped with the likeness of Christ, and so we are kept inviolate, which basically means.
We are intact, pure, stainless, unbroken, unhurt, unpolluted, untouched, virgin, and last but not least, whole. Even among all the ups and downs of life.”
I find that incredibly comforting, and encouraging. He keeps us we are sealed forever. And nothing will ever change the way God feels about us.
The word revoke, means, so many things but here are just a few.
Cancel, disclaim, negate, recant, take back, and withdraw.
It is just not possible for God to do any of these. We are sealed through Jesus, and our names are written in the Lambs book of Life.
Has He not said, He will never leave us, nor forsake us. And has He not also said, God is not a man that He should lie. Num Ch 23 v 19

Jesus on the cross took the role of Esther, (symbolically).
He willingly gave Himself to the cruel king called death.
And allowed His body to be laid on the bed of death in another mans tomb.
He fully surrendered His virgin flesh, and spotless soul to death on a cross. In order to free us from its ultimate control forever.
Esther was an incredibly beautiful young woman,
But her beauty was not just her outward appearance.
She entered the kings presence, resolved to love him and to serve him, her one desire was to please him, and she did, and he loved her, and chose her as his queen.
We are chosen for potential, but kept because of passion.
Last Sunday we sang that lovely song you are my passion, the love of my life.
Our God and Father feels that way about us, so let us reciprocate His great love. And never be slow to tell Him how much we love Him, and what He means to us. I know that our voices raised in love and adoration really blesses Him.
Let’s make the most of the freedom we have to openly worship Him, for the day may soon come when we cannot.
We cannot worship what we dethrone. The jealousy of human nature tends to tear down, but worship builds up.
Praise takes us into His courts, but worship transports us into the Holy of Holies, the sacred dwelling place of Gods glory.
We humble ourselves before Him, simply because of who He is. Worship is not dependent on what He has done or will do.
This is unconditional love for our Father in heaven. And this place cannot be entered unless we are clean, in our hearts and minds with pure motives.
Again we must worship Him in spirit and in truth, loving the giver more than the gifts.

The Greek word for worship is Proskuneo, it literally means to kiss like a dog, licking his master’s hand.
Or to fawn or crouch, to prostrate oneself in homage, ( to reverence, to adore, worship.)
Ones dignity is not preserved in this posture, but the king’s majesty is presented.
When Queen Esther entered the kings chamber on behalf of her people, and he held the sceptre out to her. She would have prostrated herself humbly before him, in worship and gratitude. She had found favour in his eyes, and thus she and her people were saved.
And we are now able to enter the king’s chamber through the blood of Jesus. We are loved and accepted, what greater reason could we need to raise our voices in extravagant praise and worship, to our beloved God and King.
Praise be to His Holy name.