Sunday School - February 15, 2009

Sunday School - February 15, 2009

In life there are times when we will collide with providence, a point at which we will encounter the inevitable fork in the road, an unavoidable fate, which demands an urgent call to action. Such is a time to take personal responsibility. A time when we must ask "If Not Me, Who? If Not Now, When?" Such is a pivotal moment, a time upon which a decision must be made. A decision not to be shared or bartered, nor a decision we may choose to escape, for to act or not, either will render an inescapable response.

Proverbs 28:1 The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.

Hebrews 13:6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.

Boldness comes not by selfish might or the massive strength of many men. Boldness of the righteous accepts the poverty of human weakness and draws strength from Him who has no fear. Such is a faithful follower, one who seeks a greater strength, knowing that only weakness reside within.

Isaiah 40:29 He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.

2 Corinthians 12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.

Joseph discovered human weakness as a slave and prisoner (Genesis 39:20), Moses found it as a fugitive prince turned shepherd (Exodus 3:1), although there are many path to this discovery, there is only one source of true strength. That source comes from the one and only God. As Christians, we have strength through Jesus our Lord, for He has been given strength and power that surpasses all:

Matthew 28:18. And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

This week's lesson is from the book of Esther. For those who follow the International Sunday School Lesson Plan (aka: The Standard Sunday School Lesson), this Sunday's lesson (February 15, 2009) comes from Esther 4:1-3, 9-17.

The story of Queen Esther is one of the more dramatic stories of the Bible, a story of beauty, faith, courage, justice, and much more (as insight may lead one to discover). Although, many may question the actions of Esther and Mordecai (i.e. to remain in a land not of their heritage and to seek to marry one not of their faith), it remains clear that God’s sovereign will was maintained by using the predicament of their current state. Such is the character of a faithful God, to give grace to the undeserving and mercy to those who have merited wrath.

This lesson begins with Mordecai under a cloud of mourning, attired with sackcloth and ashes; a state of humility, an open acknowledgment of weakness, such is the process that begins the humble plea to a mighty God. Haman, Mordecai’s mighty foe, had made a strategic move to not only destroy Mordecai, but all Jews within the king’s provinces. The benefit of such would bring much wealth to Haman and to the king’s treasure (Esther 3:8-12), an underlining motive that gives proof that “there is no new thing under the sun (Ecclesiastes 1:9)”.

1 Timothy 6:10. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

Given Mordecai’s open resentment and disrespect for Haman (Esther 3:2), he may have assumed some guilt associated with his people’s pending doom. Although we must never compromise faith for comfort, we are not to disrespect those who have authority over us (1 Peter 2:17-20); for when we sow such a seed, we will also reap its harvest (Galatians 6:7).

In an effort to thwart the will of Haman, Mordecai sought the assistance of his cousin (Queen Esther). Esther, made queen through the desires of Mordecai (Esther 2:1-11), would appear to be the appropriate vessel to petition the King on her people’s behalf. As with all that is life, little is gain with ease when there is much to obtain. Even as queen, Esther had not visited the king’s chamber in a month, nor had there been a request by the king to see her. An impromptu visit without the king’s approval could result in the death of Esther.

Such was told to Mordecai, Esther’s dilemma. Mordecai's reply provided no additional options, for to speak with the king might bring death, to avoid such would certainly seal their destruction. Therefore, Esther must have asked "If Not Me, Who? If Not Now, When?” the answer to her question rendered the same conclusion derived by Mordecai.

Esther’s responded to Mordecai “Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish”. So Mordecai went and did as Esther had commanded him (Esther 4:16-17).

When one has the desire to do that which fear and weakness will not allow, prayer and supplication is required to perform the needed task. When the faithful petition the mighty God, fear gives way to faith and weakness is redeem by His strength. If humility was profitable for Esther, Mordecai and the Jews, such is also profitable for all:

1 Peter 5:6-7. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

If you are not a typical Sunday School attendee, Go and surprise the teacher. If your Church does not follow the Standard Sunday School Lesson and you are not aware of the topic of discussion, take on the attitude of "positive anticipation". I am sure you will like it; there is nothing like reading and discussing God's Word.

FYI: Sunday School is not just for Kids, it is also for the Humble and Weak at heart.

Good Day and God Bless