Esther is NOT the Hero –God Is!

Black lost. The King at the feet of Queen

Welcome to the very first post in our “Blogging Through the Bible” series here at Good Morning Girls! We are SOOOO excited you are here and joining us on this journey!

As we read through the book of Esther, we notice the name of God is nowhere to be found…but the fingerprints of God are everywhere!

Everything seems out of control.

The King is drunk when he requests Queen Vashti to come to his royal court.

Queen Vashti refuses and is removed as queen.

Esther, a Jewish orphan girl, ends up…the new queen.

Mordecai discovers a plot to assassinate the king and the king is saved…but Mordecai is not rewarded although his name is recorded in the royal records.

Haman plots to annihilate the Jews.  A letter is sent out in all the kingdom to destroy the Jews.

Esther has not been with her groom, the king, in 30 days and going to him could mean death!

 

Everything is

out.

of.

control.

 

And then it happens…the people pray.

God hears their prayers.

The king can’t sleep so the royal records are opened and there the king discovers his need to honor Mordecai for saving his life.

Mordecai is honored.

Esther gathers the courage to speak.

Haman is hung.

God saves his people!

God is the Hero!

 

And all God’s people said?  

AMEN!!!

The enemy has been defeated!

Things are not out of control. God is in control.

The star of this story is Esther, whose name actually means “star”.  Esther shined in a dark culture and God used her in a place where no one else could be used.  God raised her up for “such a time as this!”  He displayed his power through her.

And God has raised each one of us up, so he can display his power through us.

“That you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.” Philippians 2:15

Are you piercing the darkness with the light of God?

Some will be repulsed as you shine. Like the brightness of the sun when we come out of a movie theater, many will turn away from the light because it is simply so bright it hurts.

But some…some will be drawn to it. Like when the electricity goes out at night and we rummage through the drawer looking for a flashlight or matches, some are rummaging around looking for a light to show them the way.

There’s a spiritual battle raging for the salvation of souls around us.  Things are not out of control. God has masterfully orchestrated your life for his sovereign purposes.

But Satan hates God’s people – he wants to see them destroyed. He is unhappy you have committed to reading through the Bible cover to cover and he will do anything to cause chaos and thwart your efforts.  He will try to snuff out your light.

Oh friends, not too long ago, my light was flickering…. The enemy had me in a choke hold – mentally and emotionally. I was struggling from the pain of wounded relationships.  I could not sleep at night as my mind raced with confusion.

But then God stepped in. He brought loving friends to encourage me. He used the prayers of His people to strengthen me. He delivered me from my fears and brought helpers to my aid.

And then it was time…

to stand alone.

Esther stood alone.

Standing alone is risky.  I know that many of you in your workplace, universities, neighborhoods or families are standing alone. God can’t use us if we are standing alone in the woods – but when we stand alone in the midst of people – that is when God’s sovereign plan to work through you, happens.

Faith.  A tiny mustard seed of faith is all it takes.

Matthew 1720 faith

Time and again, as I think through the past of my life, I’m reminded of times God drew me out – to stand alone and depend on nothing but Him – and time and again – God revealed himself as the Hero.

This song sung by Mandisa is all about Esther and standing apart from the crowd – be encouraged as you listen:

(click here if you cannot see the video)

Be a star!

Not the hollywood kind – the Jesus kind.

Shine for Him!!

Let God be the hero as he works his sovereign plan through you.

**Chime In:

What have you learned so far, in your reading this week, in the book of Esther?

How have you seen God’s fingerprints in your life?

Walk with the King,

Courtney

this week's reading

**Looking for the GMG resources for this month? –> click here. 

***If you are a blogger blogging through the Bible with us – come link up your post on Friday!

Comments

  1. I have been reading Esther each day by chapter, but also Proverbs in the mornings. I have found it interesting how both books deal with wisdom and doing what’s right, even when everyone around you does not, and how when we maintain our character to reflect Jesus we are blessed. It’s not easy to always stick to God’s Word and His will, but when we do it is so much easier than when we live a life through our feelings and emotions.
    Thanks for the encouragement to commit to staying in God’s Word!!
    Cooking Up Faith
    http://www.cookingupfaith.org

  2. I am learning a lot of my own faults and things I need to be aware of through this study. Each chapter I ask God to reveal how I can use the SOAP method to find something to apply to my life and my walk. Some chapters are easy others I have to search a little deeper. The first day was a tough one. Vashti wasn’t at fault if you look at her situation in our times. Her husband was drunk so she refused to go be put on display by him. In our current times no one would have blamed her at all. But when I dug deep I realized I am far better than I used to be but I need to make sure I maintain respect for my husband. Many wives now days will talk poorly of their spouse and drag him down. That isn’t right now or Vashti. So there was day 1. Day 2 is to be loyal and learn to discern more of when I need to speak and when I need to keep quiet. If Mordecai and Esther had not thought to keep quiet things could have ended differently for the marriage of Esther and the entire story would have unraveled differently. Day 3 there are two huge lessons jumping out at me! Don’t blame an entire group,church, or family if one person who is a member mistreats me. I am not guilty of this but this study proves as a reminder that I need to keep my eyes open to this cause it does happen frequently and we all sin and fall short of the glory of the Lord. My other big lesson for day 3 is to control my anger. Tempers are hard to tame but when left gone over offense of not bowing down to Haman all the Jews came close to death. Over the anger of one man. Amazing to me!

    • Thank you for being transparent loved your insight on this, so encouraging!!

    • Thank you so much for sharing your personal lessons. I always struggle in personal application and it is so helpful to see what others take from scripture. I love your idea of praying right before you read asking God to reveal what you need to hear. Definitely going to that tomorrow!

    • Amazing insight Brandy. I, like Meghan, have trouble finding the personal application so I can apply it and you just explained it wonderfully. Very grateful for you posting. Have a great day!!!

    • Thank you for your insight Brandy!

  3. Your emphasis on ‘God is in Control’ – when looking at an overview of the whole book, is such a great contrast to the emphasis that the Holy Spirit brought to my attention today while I was still studying the 1st chapter of Esther (yes, I’m accepting the grace that I don’t have to be ‘on schedule’ to be studying God’s Word……). —- What was the emphasis that the Holy Spirit brought to my attention today? That Xerxes *tried* so hard to be in control of as much of his life as he could possibly manage. He tested his own ability and power and authority to assert control over vast regions, a great diversity of peoples, beliefs, beauty, and etc. — Xerxes is remembered for sending forth excessive amounts of military force (e.g. – his successful campaigns to end rebellion in Egypt and Babylon – and his unsuccessful efforts to use amazing amount of manpower to subdue Greece), or using authority (to control Vashti, to defy the Babylonian tradition of serving the main Babylonian god, etc.), or using his vast wealth to dazzle and ingratiate his people through more than abundant and overgenerous feasting, by a palace that more than doubled the palace of his father, as well as other excessive displays of wealth and power. —– But Xerxes, in spite of his best efforts, was never in control. —— In time God illustrated that fully to everyone in his court. —- Then, because of the power of God at work in his life, Xerxes turned from one of his worst mistakes in time: the malevolence of genocide – - – but only through the powerful and gracious display of God’s mighty hand at work – - – using all things for the good of those who love Him. – - – - – Truly, God *is* in control. – - – - – Would that we would all be praying for God’s hand to stay genocide and other devastations today – - – - And yes, all of those devastations have at their root, the sin of pride: that we ‘despise’ this, or we ‘despise’ that, or we ‘despise’ this person, or we even ‘despise’ God’s clear instruction….. such as Adam and Eve’s having despised God’s one instruction to them……… Think about it…… How different is what they did than, say, ‘stealing a cookie from the cookie jar’? But the bigger problem was that they ‘despised’. – - – - – Jesus called us to ‘despise not’……. Looking back at my life last week when ‘despise not’ was the emphasis the Holy Spirit drew me to, He showed me how He helped me battle my pride, how He helps me still when I come to Him knowing that there is a part of me that despises this or that when I should not…….. It’s two simple words, “Our Father.” I thought he was going to teach me about the Lord’s Prayer? But it took months for me to just be still before Him and meditate on His being ‘Our Father’ – and what that means both for other believers, and for those who have not (yet) received Christ (but who might yet do so). Certainly God will keep His Word when He said He will ‘despise not’ a contrite heart……….. Do I desire for those in my life to respond to God with a contrite heart? What was Esther’s desire for her husband, Xerxes? Did Xerxes actually respond to God with a contrite heart? To my recollection?, there is no clear evidence either way. We know that Esther did. Will we? And will we receive the ‘little children’ – - – and ‘despise them not’? …….. Even the adults around us who never really grew up (at least not yet)?……….. And when we feel in our flesh a desire to despise them, do we notice it? Do we come before Him with a contrite heart, praying (yet again and again – or at least, that is the case in my life), “Our Father….” until He enlivens His love for them in our heart…………. When we do, then “God is control” and working *through* us……… May we be faithful to walk in those truths each day, ready to bow the knee each time we think we have room to despise others, ready to be contrite before Him (again), ready to let Him move heaven and earth if need be, to let His love flow through us freely again!

    • What powerful insight. Yes, he did try so hard to be in control. I think that is easy for Christians as well. Yes we strive to live inside God’s will, but so often I try to control the direction of my life and even if it is something that I feel God has clearly called me to, it is still easy to try to control how it is accomplished and do it in my strength. This of course leads to control issues, type A behavior and pride.

      So, yes we all need to remember that we need to surrender to God’s control because no matter how hard we try to control God will ultimately be in control and authority.

      • This is so amazing, and so what I needed to hear today. Many times I feel lead to do something and then question myself when the time comes. “Is this really what God wants me to do, it couldn’t be, it is such a small thing.” I have started to make myself complete what I think He has is leading me to do even though I feel “it’s no big deal”. It’s not until after, that I realize it WAS what he directed, what a blessing. I don’t need to control the situation. And it is always better when I let go and let God!
        We’re really not so different from the women of the bible are we?
        Thank you so much for your insight Rainah, WOW!

  4. Excellent, excellent blog post!! Thank you, Courtney <3

  5. Amanda Cross says:

    I saw something that I never saw before. The Jews had been in exile prior to this for their sin and rebellion. The temple was rebuilt, but some stayed in the country of exile. I thought of Vashti and how she chose not to obey and rebelled. The king was angry with her and sent her away. God’s people had rebelled too. God had been angry and sent them away in exile, but unlike this king, He promised to bring His people back. I wonder if what happened with Vashti was a not so distant reminder to the Jewish people during that time. I also saw how the king loved Esther and how much God loved His chosen people too. For those in Christ, we have been chosen and He loves us dearly. He will not banish us away in anger as Vashti was.

  6. Now see, this is why I was so excited that you were doing this. You bring scripture alive!! Thank you so much for doing this. I love how it’s just one chapter…even when everyone is home, I can still get it done (even if it means doing it in the bathroom lol).

    I don’t know if I’m able to post links here, but I’m going to give it a shot. I have an Esther movie on DVD and I found it on YouTube. It is the most accurate account of the book of Esther (which is my favorite book in the Bible and I know it like the back of my hand). I love this movie.

    Here’s the youtube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oAUxQs-ZE-I

    Here is an Amazon link of it (you can always check if your library has it): http://www.amazon.com/The-Bible-Esther-Louise-Lombard/dp/B00004VVOY

    Thanks again!

    • Yes, I love how one chapter is so manageable! I haven’t had to read mine in the bathroom (yet…) but you are right that even with everyone home, 5 mins should be able to find somehow. I like to take notes, but even if I can’t do that, I can at least read it (even with a baby or 2 on my lap!) . That is encouraging!

  7. What really pricked my heart was the fact that people noticed that Mordecai did not bow down to Haman. He did not follow the culture. Does those around us notice that we are not bowing down to the trends of the culture? Do they notice that we are different? We dress and speak to please the Lord. Do we stand out as holy? As for how I have the seen the fingerprints of God this week, I see Him teaching me how to rest in Him and pull away from busyness to sit with Him.

  8. I’m really enjoying this study… and seeing everyone’s different takes on what they are reading (in my fb group as well as here today.) It is just what I’m needing in my life… more focus on God and his word. Thank you again.

  9. Good morning girls! I just found this site yesterday and even though I am late starting I thought I would chime in. I only read Esther ch. 1 this morning. I see so many applications but what mainly spoke to me was the fact Xerxes consulted experts in the law and took their advice Ch. 1 V.13-15. What the Holy Spirit was saying to me is, being an “expert” in something doesn’t make a decision right. I’ve been struggling with some decisions and I’ve been talking to my husband, family and friends that I thought would “know” a little but more than me on some subjects when I needed to go to the Expert of the universe. Somethings I haven’t told anyone, not even confiding in the Lord either. Just keeping it to myself trying to do things my way and relying on my own strength.

    I love this ministry already and look forward to getting to know all of you ladies (and reading all the post too!)

    Sam

    • King Xerxes’ “expert” advice is also want jumped out at me. He was so easily swayed. I know this can be a problem for me too. Letting modern society tell me how I should feel, think, and speak.
      Thanks for everybody’s insights, so helpful!!

  10. I’m gaining even more insight as I read others’ posts. I have tried not to blend in with others around me, especially in my work environment. But I know I haven’t always done the best I could. This study is bringing the importance of standing out as a child of God and not going along with the crowd when it affects my Christian testimony before others. This study has also helped open my eyes to what God has been doing in my life through some very difficult family circumstances, and what He has been preparing me for has been much different that where I thought He was leading me. “For such a time as this” have become very meaningful words in my life. Thank you, Brandy, for your insight about remaining respectful to our husbands. God has been working in my heart about doing that. Just in time for me to honor my husband’s authority as he made some major life-changing decisions for our family.

  11. Sheri Cowley says:

    Wow! Loved today’s blog! Life has brought some changes to me right now. Going to rest in the Knowledge that God has brought these changes and wait with positive anticipation at His revealing His plans for me:):)

  12. Beth McCallister says:

    I don’t remember how I stumbled across your blog, but it is truly God sent at this moment in my life. I have read Esther so many times, but at the right time, God reveals to me so much about myself through it. Can’t wait to continue this.

  13. I am enjoying this study. I’ve read Esther before but each time I take something different from it. Before I just focused on Esther, now taking it chapter by chapter, day by day I am able to really dig down into the scripture and I’m noticing little things that turn the story in a big way. Like pieces of a puzzle coming together and I cant wait to see what the rest of the book has to show me!

  14. Love, love this book, so many insights, reminders. Thank you so much for offering this study to us!!
    Blessings, Adrienne

  15. I am loving digging into Esther again! Today, in chapter 4 what struck me is that Esther had been queen for nearly 5 years when the dreadful edict went out. God is always at work, and He is orchestrating His purposes when we don’t have a clue! Esther was obedient to what she knew, and I need to be obedient to what I know God has said in His Word, and trust Him to use me as He sees fit.
    However, over those 5 years, Esther got comfortable in her sheltered environment. She had no idea of the uproar in the kingdom until her servants told her. I want God to take the blinders off my eyes in my “sheltered environment” to see the suffering in the world. I am home bound. My health does not allow me to “go.” But God has called me to pray. Esther first gave a list of reasons why she couldn’t do anything, but Mordecai reminded her that God would deliver His people–did she want to be a participant or a casualty? Then Esther sought wisdom from God, and asked people to pray with her. I don’t want to rush into decisions without asking for wisdom from the Source of all wisdom.
    God ultimately has my times in His hands. I want to trust Him to use me as He deems best. “If I perish, I perish” is not a fatalistic “whatever” statement, but a statement of faith in a Sovereign God who will accomplish His purposes in this world.

  16. Thank you Courtney for following God’s plan for your life and leading us through God’s word.
    I have discovered to ask for prayer more from others as I am reading Esther. She sent Mordecai away to fast and pray…she didn’t do it alone. God and God’s people, the church, are here for us. We cannot do it alone!
    The journey continues…

    Yours in Christ,
    Maureen

  17. Love your light analogies in the theater and looking for a flashlight! And I love the song you added! I love Mandisa!

  18. Oh Courtney thank you so much for putting this reading thru the bible series, together.
    We all need the accountability I’m sure. I have had us reading thru as a family, and I am loving the story of the beautiful Queen Esther.

    What I have learned:
    To listen to and obey God, to walk closely in fellowship with Him to be in the perfect will of God, not just in the providence of God.
    The providence of God is when God is working behind the scenes. He provides for us and steers us in the right direction.
    God is watching over us His children.
    God will provide for us no matter how difficult the situation is.
    In all events throughout history He is sovereign to His people.
    God’s endless grace and mercy to us!

  19. I am so excited to join all of your ladies on this journey through the Bible.
    Thank you for your leadership, Courtney!
    God Bless us all!
    Tonya

  20. Thank you for guiding and encouraging Courtney. Thank you to all the ladies here that are following the Lord’s call to read through his word, slow and steady! I love the book of Esther…having completed an indepth study with Beth Moore less than a year ago i was entering this first 10 days feeling like I would remember what I learned last year. Instead, he showed me that every time is fresh and new just like looking out the window and seeing the snow that blanketed the ground overnight. Seeing that is fresh and new, even if you are not looking forward to going out in it or driving in it, you still love and appreciate it’s beauty.
    I see Esther, poor in spirit, humble and obedient. I see Mordecai, gently leading and guiding her, standing firm on what God has taught him. I see the pride of the King and Haman…now we go on to the rest of the story… focusing on what is good and how we can apply this story of the orphan girl that God used in a mighty way. We all have our story, we all can be used by God, we all have the power to influence people. May God bless you all on this journey!

  21. I’m very familiar with the story of Esther and how God used her, but I was struck this morning by Mordecai’s faith. The quote about “such a time as this” is often heard, but this morning I read Mordecai’s words leading up to that line. He has such a strong faith in God, telling Esther that he KNOWS God is going to deliver His people. Either she can do it or someone else will. That’s the attitude I want to have. That I do what God called me to do, because if I don’t, somebody else will have to.

  22. In the beginning of Esther it was a joyful time in the kingdom celebration was going on everywhere. Then pride stepped in the king wanted to show off his queen, anger and fear followed right behind. The king and the other men feared losing control and power. Their mindset was for their wives to respect them out of fear. What stands out about Esther was her strength in her meekness (Esther won the approval of everyone who saw her). Mordecai had the confidence in God to stand when others caved in. Haman was filled with rage, because he was not shown the respect, in his mind, he deserved. How many times do we get angry when we feel we are treated wrongly. We may not want to destroy a group of people, however words can damage. People will walk away from church because one person. Love this study!!

    • “How many times do we get angry when we feel we are treated wrongly. We may not want to destroy a group of people, however words can damage.”

      This is so true. The anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God – James 1:20. Righteous anger is being angry when God is slandered or dishonored, but all to often we get angry when WE are dishonored. Very convicting.

  23. Kara Morton says:

    My daughter sent this link this morning. So timely because I’m leading a women’s group with Charlotte Gambil’s book “outrageous” ! The fist lesson is on Esther. I am floored.
    Thank you for this blog

  24. I am so excited to be reading with all of you!! I have already had questions answered! I love how God works. I have been searching for quite some time now for a bible study I could stick with. I love this format and how much deeper I go with soap. I find my self rereading the chapter a couple of times to make sure I understand what is going on. I am praying for understanding and wisdom as I go through! I also love reading through the comments and seeing how one scripture can speak to so many different people directly! I love Esther. I love reading about Mordecai’s strength and faith. He stood up to God, how many people are wavering today, placing idols in front of God. Mordecai’s refused and God kept him safe and the Jews safe through Esther! Thank you God for the faithfulness you show when we have faith in you! Amen!!!

  25. Jessica Allen says:

    As I was reading this morning, I realized that Haman was an early version of Hitler. He disliked the Jews simply because of their beliefs and because of what he had been taught. My prayer is that I teach my children that everyone is loved in God’s eyes. No one person is superior than the other. As parents, we need to stand against culture and raise our children in the truth of God’s word.

  26. I am loving this study! Thank you for doing it. No time now to comment further but please know you are blessing me through this study!!!

  27. I will keep my observation simple…
    Sooo…not being familiar with SOAP, I have written the entire chapter and while it is time consuming, it has helped my ADD self, absorb the story and the suttleties of the story where you can see God. It was not lost on me that Haman used silver for payment just as Judas accepted it. I love that I get to see Gods handprint in the story that I may not have noticed! By writing it all out, it has brough to life the humanity in the strory, the vulnerablity and the humor. I think it is the first time I have giggled out loud while reading the bible. In case your wondering, I thought how Hatach must have had some kind of eye roll going when he left both Esther and Mordecai as they kept going back and forth with messages! (chapter 4)

    In a more applicaple way, I am always amused and still surprised how the bible can speak to so many with different application. It proves time and time again that God is on my side and wants me in a relationship with him. The story of Esther is proving this point. I have seen so many insights not only into my personal life but globaly as well. Watching the news, reading and listening to the global crisis arrising I can help but see the old addage of ‘history repeating itself’. Human trafficking (Chapter 2), men disrespecting women but wanting the beauty at the same time (Chapter 1), the lessening of womens worth in soceity, the condemnation of Jews around the globe (chapter 4) standing alone in your beliefs, etc…my prayer is that as this story unfolds, God shows me how be stronger in my faith, even if I have to go it alone. What that looks like and what it means to trust Him.

    Thank you for a forum that allows me to still be in my life and have time to be in the word of God, with out leaving my kitchen table.

  28. For the sake of brevity, I will share just one thing that stuck out to me.

    Pride:
    The first thing I see is how pride can consume us. He was really so enraged and angry because he felt he lost face in front of these dignitaries. But if he had not been prideful, he would not have attempted to show off his wife. Also, if he had not been willing to allow others to define his value, he would not have been out of control with rage when she embarrassed him.

    For me, it is a reminder to not live life trying to impress others and needed to illustrate my “treasures” be they financial, intellectual, talents, beauty, etc. I think we struggle with wanting to highlight ourselves and wanting people to think highly of us and wanting to showcase our “treasures.”

  29. Chapter one: LOVE AND RESPECT – if anyone has read this book or been to a conference – this is a prime example of the ‘crazy cycle’. The queen didn’t feel loved when asked to display herself and so disrespected and refused his wishes. The king didn’t feel respected when rejected and so unlovingly banished her.
    Chapter two: ANGER – Decisions made in anger and drunkenness are often regretted later. Don’t sin in my anger, Ephesians 4:26 and Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires. James 1:20
    Chapter three: FAITH IS THE VICTORY – Mordecai was very brave to refuse bowing to Haman! Would I pass this test?? I love this statement by John Piper: If they reject us, He accepts us. If they hate us, He loves us. If they imprison us, He sets us free. If they afflict us, He refines us by the fire. If they kill us, He makes it a passage to paradise. WE CAN’T LOSE!
    Chapter four: FOR JUST SUCH A TIME AS THIS – This spoke to me personally because I don’t understand why God has brought me to the place I’m currently in. I need to remember Esther’s life when I feel so out of place and look for what God would have me do where I am at ‘such a time as this’!

    • Thanks for your insight, Sharon. This is God’s love…women in community across the globe. I too am in a season and your words resounded with me and light a path of encouragement.

  30. Susie Hughes says:

    Thank you Courtney!!! Your insight in God’s Word in this study is just what I needed today. I appreciate all the ladies sharing from their heart. So touched by God’s Word today and His Presence.

  31. Lisa Maria says:

    Courtney this article was so inspiring! You continue to encourage and walk with us…thank you! God always takes something that was ‘bad’ and ‘dark’ and makes something good out of it. Out of your own dark time…look at what has been born into the light! I can’t believe how all around the world women are being drawn to this study! Like moths to the flame…oh yeah! God is going to do amazing things here…I just know it. For myself, it was coming home…the little spark of light beckoned some of us back to being more intentional after slipping and sliding around for a while. I started off doing the studies alone and began doing them in groups and now I’m actually leading a group…never thought that would happen but it has! And Satan is so mad, he’s started dropping stuff on me. In one day my car developed an electrical problem and the power steering hose busted. I couldn’t believe it, but I know who’s behind it and I know how to overcome him. I know God is in control and Satan wont have the last laugh here. So thank you Courtney for opening doors and windows for us and being a candle in the darkness. <3

  32. Kristen johnston says:

    I Just Came To This Last Night So I Did The First Chapter Today & What I’ve Seen Is This…The King Is Drunk,Which God Calls Us Not To Be,So In His drunkeness He Calls On The Queen To Display Her Outward Beauty,Which In Turn Makes Her Feel Unloved. So In Return She DIsrespects Her Husband By Refusing To Come. Which In Turn Makes Him Angry. I Think God Is Speaking To Wives To Always Respect Ur HusbaNd,no Matter The State,Or Even If He Himself Is Sinning Bc We Aren’t Responsible For His SinS,But Our Own & By Being Disrespectful We Are Not Obedient To God’s Word. We Are Called To Respect Our Husbands & To Let God Discipline Those Who Are Not.

  33. Petra Rushing says:

    I feel God speaking to me this week about how i like things to be safe, constant and unchanging and how i don’t like the proverbial “boat ” to be rocked and how He wants to lead me into laying those things down before Him and stand with more courage and boldness in my faith as He leads me deeper in Him. He wants me to become someone that is more of a risk taker for His glory and not worry about stepping on someones toes when speaking for Him. Fact is, many will be uncomfortable and even annoyed by it, but i am His child and He will provide.

  34. That was so touching, I feel very blessed to be apart of this :)

  35. Oh Dearest Courtney & Friends…

    I am so blessed by today’s Word. I am, likewise, blessed by the timeliness of this study. After five years in a holding pattern, I finally felt released to spread my wings in ministry again. It was almost paralyzing thinking of how to do that with so much at stack…so very much on the line. I wrote my first book in 2007. God was at work, and great things were happening. And then thing took a turn. Though it was painful and traumatic all at the same time. I now realize that God was just taking me on a “Divine Detour.” Then the time came that I needed to start writing my second book…and listen to God’s instructions of how to resurrect the message of the first. I could not begin writing though. It was as though I needed a Scripture to steer the path. And then…it came to me at the “appointed time” on July 4th. Hmmmm…that’s Independence Day! Anyway, Esther 4:14b illuminated within my spirit. “…And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (ESV) This would be my guide.

    The first part of the Scripture is fascinating in that Mordecai makes it clear to Esther that God would deliver the Jews whether she followed through, with his request, or not. But those words of provocation from Mordecai…”And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” was all she needed to realize that her destiny was at stake. Oh how I relate to her right now! Oh how I relate to Courtney right now! Oh how I relate to all of you right now! I have to trust that God is for me. I have to trust the still small voice! I have to walk by faith and not by sight! I have to what He has called me to do! I have to…

    I am encouraged as I am reminded of Jeremiah 29:11 which states, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (NIV)

    Having Blogging Through the Bible begin with Esther is all the confirmation and encourage I need as I begin this new season of going forth in Him.

    In His Service,

    Yolanda

    • Yikes! I could not get a good enough view to edit before posting…So please pardon the grammatical errors and unfinished/misspelled/missing words, such as:

      *stake; *things; *do; encouragement (to name a few).

  36. Elijah also thought he stood alone until the Lord revealed many others who He had hidden from the world’s sight.
    The Lord stands with us as we stand alone, so really we are never alone. I sense too that the Lord is not finished with those situations which bring us pain. He will redeem them still, and give us beauty for ashes! We will rejoice and give thanks when we see what He has wrought!! I stand with you too, Courtney! Thanks so much for this excellent study through the Bible!

  37. I would love to see this on the You Version Bible! That may be just too much work or not possible for some reason or another but I had to ask because I love it as a resource for keeping up with all my reading and devotions. That will not stop me from keeping up of course :-) Thank you for putting the time and effort you do into keeping us all accountable. I pray you have a group of women that you can do that with as well; somewhere where you don’t have to be the one ministering but can be ministered too!!
    Laurie

  38. LaShaundria says:

    I am enjoying reading through the bible with good morning girls! Esther is a great book to start at. It is one of my favorite books in the bible. I have read it a couple of times, but this particular time different things are popping out at me. Thanks Courtney for doing this. It is amazing. And thank you Brandy for explaining your applications. It has helped me a lot.

  39. I love the book of Esther! It’s interesting that it is the only book of the Bible in which God’s name is not listed, yet you continually see God at work to save His people through Esther. Application is that God is always at work, even when we don’t see it. He saved His people in the past and He will continue today and in the future to save His people through His son Jesus Christ. All glory be to God!

  40. I came across a friends post in Facebook challenging anyone to participate with her. I instantly replied “I’m in!” I opened a Facebook group for a few friends to hold each other countable. Thanks for your great resources. I’m a very busy gal and have wanted to find something that would keep me going regularly and this is just the perfect fit!

  41. Hey y’all how do I sign up? Or is it already too late?

  42. Loving the study! Thank you for blogging and inspiring us! Love your site! God bless.

  43. I finished reading Chapter 4 last night and am so appreciating the free-flow form of this study. I have a 5 yr old and a 1 yr old at home so finding quiet time to myself for longer than 15 minutes is pretty darn challenging. The pace of this study suits my season of life so nicely. I feel no pressure and am glad to do what I can in the short spurts I can find and am being lifted up even still.

    What spoke to me:
    Keeping God’s word in mind and meditating on it throughout each day.

    Concern of worldly things and ppl rather than God. I need to look to God, not men.

    Indulgence in wine/alcohol leads to anger and unreasonable thinking.

    I am above no one, no matter what riches or favor I find in this world.

    The world is full of pleasures and “feel good” persuasions. None of these satisfy.

    God accepts me just as I am – adorned with wonderful attire or not.

    God CAN change hearts; people can do nothing good without God.

    God wants us to “Take courage; not be afraid; come near to him and speak to him.”

    True comfort comes only from God.
    True strength comes only from God.

    God will comfort me and provide reassuring words if I seek him first in all things.

    There is SO much more I gained but these are the nuts & bolts that jumped off the pages for me in Chapters 1 – 4.

  44. Pam DeJesus says:

    I just found this yesterday for the study of Esther. The Lord few days ago had me order 4 books about Esther. Wow. God us good. He knew I would find this blog. I read chapters 1&2 tonight. It was a great reminder. I read 5 different versions of the chapters. One thing I was reminded of was we are to conduct ourselves to honor God through we do and say. People see who we are through our words and actions. We are God’s representative. Also we are to embrace our time if preparation and be ready in all areas. When you are prepared you will have favor like Esther did, wherever you go. We are to fear God and execute His commands. God had me think who has He put in my life to guide me and direct me in Godly wisdom to help me grow in the direction He is taking me. God brought up Esther from a life of obscurity, she was not important, but yet God knew her heart and trusted her enough to allow her to become queen in order to use her to save His people from destruction. Favor with God means favor with man. God is so good. By the way what is SOAP? I am new to this.

    • Hi Pam! If you do a Yahoo or Google search of “SOAP Bible study method” you will find all sort of sites explaining how it is done. But basically, the S stands for “scripture,” so you write out some or all of the scripture passage that stands out to you. O stands for “observation,” so you write what you notice and understand about the passage. A stands for “application,” which is how you can apply the verse to your life and grow as a Christian from your reading. P stands for “prayer,” which prompts you to say (and possibly write out) a prayer to God based on your reading. (For me, my prayer is often asking God to help me with whatever application I was prompted to identify.) Hope this helps!

  45. What a wonderful time I’ve enjoyed in God’s Word in the book of Esther! Every time before I begin to read our assigned chapter, I pray and ask God to open my eyes to something I’ve never seen before. He has been so faithful to answer my prayer. The Word of God will come alive if we pray first and ask God to give us understanding of what we’re reading!

    So far in our reading of Esther I have observed the beauty of submission, how God goes before us to prepare our way, the importance of a season of preparation in order to be used by God, taking a stand for God, and being willing to lay one’s life down to save another (in Esther’s case an entire people!). I can’t wait to get into chapter 5 today!

    It’s so amazing to me that the name of God is never mentioned in the book of Esther, but we can see Him all in it and the plan of salvation. Esther going before the King to intercede on behalf of the Jews in order to save them from Haman is exactly what Jesus does for us when Satan goes before God to accuse us – He is our High Priest. Jesus silences our enemy because of His precious blood that takes away our sins. We are forgiven and covered if we believe in Him.

    As I was going to sleep last night, I thought about the fact that God’s name is never mentioned, but how we can see Him at work. It gives me comfort knowing that although I can’t see God, I have the assurance that He is at work in my life, that He has a good plan for my life, and that He loves me.

    Thank you, Courtney, for choosing to press on in the midst of difficulties. Thank you for thinking of all of us who are here with you and for desiring to help us walk with the King!

    It’s in His Love,
    Laurie Messer

  46. Esther is such a great, great book! A few years ago I did Beth Moore’s Esther study and was amazed and blown away by it!

    Your words surely strike a cord of encouragement for me, specifically as a blogger, because I find myself warring with what my soul wants to post about, and what my readers seem to be drawn to. I have been praying for wisdom and guidance from our Abba for a time, asking for clarification for topics and my blog’s purpose. He is faithful, though, so I know He will help me to fulfill this calling He has given me. Thanks for the reminder to be willing to stand alone for Him, even if unpopular, to speak the Truth! What a great focus for each of us these days =0)

    • Hi Julie! I did that same Beth Moore Esther study as well – many years ago!

      Here’s an explanation of SOAP

      S- The S stands for Scripture- you physically write out the scripture……you’ll be amazed at what God will reveal to you just by taking the time to slow down and actually write out what you are reading!

      O- The O stands for observation- what do you see in the verses that you’re reading. Who is the audience? Is there a repetition of words? What words stand out to you? What do we learn about the character of God?

      A- The A stands for Application- this is when God’s Word becomes personal. What is God saying to me today? How can I apply what I just read to my own personal life? What changes do I need to make? Is there an action that I need to take?

      P- And finally, P stands for Prayer. Pray God’s Word back to Him. If He has revealed something to you during this time in His Word, pray about it. Confess if He has revealed some sin that is in your life.

      Please note: You can choose to write out as much or as little of the “S”cripture of the day as you like. I will not be assigning which verses to SOAP. Choose the one(s) that speak most to you and SOAP them.

      Hope that helps! :)
      Courtney

  47. How wonderfully inspiring, Courtney. Thank you!

    I think what I’m learning most from the study so far is that no matter the adversity I find myself in, I need to rely on God first and foremost. Also, that I can’t give in to pride which is such a pitfall (deceptive too).

    PS: I haven’t been writing out the S part of the lessons because the chapters are too long for that. From now on, I’ll only write what stands out to me.

  48. This is happening in our (mine and hubs) lives right now! Sometimes we even say out loud, “boy, this day is a doozie!” But then it’s like, “High five! We must have done something RIGHT!” It’s silly but it keeps us from wallowing. It can be super hard to be the ‘weirdo’ in a crowd of people. Following Christ, even in something small, can lead to really ugly and hurtful confrontations, even if we are just stating our preference, not judging anyone. Losing friends and fights with family are the worst. This life is HARD, and harder if we try hard to follow Jesus, but it will be worth it in the end. I want God to be proud of us, first and foremost.

  49. {{Courtney}} I am soooooo thankful you are BACK! You are just amazing through Jesus!!! BLESSED this day, Darling!

    Thank you :)
    Debra

  50. This was good! Very good. A good way to study the Bible, I am so glad I am apart of this. Thank you! God is working on me to become a light. It has been prophesied over me three times. I am excited for this next journey He has for me and to see how He will use Esther.

  51. Hi! I’m excited to start blogging through the bible with you guys! I do have a question though. I have been using the SOAP method to study for a while now, and usually there are specific verses meant to be SOAPed. I don’t seem to be able to find the specific verses for SOAPing with this study. Are we supposed to soap the whole chapter? Or just something that specifically sticks out to us? Thanks so much for this wonderful bible study and I can’t wait to get started!

    • Hi Amber – good question!

      There are no assigned passages to SOAP – please follow the Holy Spirit’s leading and do what time allows. Some may not want to SOAP at all – simply work on the daily discipline of being in God’s word. Some may want to SOAP 1 or 2 verses, others may want to do 5-10, still others may want to write out the entire chapter. Do whatever time allows you in this season of life.

      Lots of Love,
      Courtney

  52. Hey Courtney,
    Just wanted to leave a comment and tell you I’m reading along this week and got all caught up from last week. I was awful ill with a stomach virus yesterday, so being home today alone, I used my time of quiet to read Esther. I love her story! Always have. Enjoyed your comments as well and that song from mandisa is great too!!! Been loving you sister for years now, all the way from Mississippi…

  53. I learned between reading through Esther this week and a couple of my church’s services this month on “Building a Better You” that I am strategically placed! Jesus has me strategically placed where I am. Be the salt of the earth and the light of the world where I am.

  54. Thanks so much for the fantastic insights! It reminds me of the Scripture that says something like ‘when I am weak, He is strong.’ And so we shouldn’t fear and focus on God to give us courage when we need to stand strong for biblical values and for what is right. It also reminded me of the hymn “Stand up, stand up for Jesus.” I pray that all Christians will be united and have the strength and courage from God to be the voice and light to stand against all the abominations that are in our culture and world today. With his power, we can make powerful changes to benefit the world. And I know God directed me to a place I never wanted to live and it didn’t take long for me to love it, and he has given me various roles that I never could have fulfilled if I had stayed in my previous location. Isn’t God amazing?

  55. Thank you for providing this study. I created a GMG with my friends, cousins and mom through a secret Facebook Group. I currently live in Los Angeles, CA, but will connect with them that are back in Puerto Rico. So it will be so good to edify each other this way! Our first day will be tomorrow, so we will be delayed by 15 days…but we are so happy to start. Thank you again and God bless you!

I love hearing what is on your heart.

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