Persecution Purifies

Oct
2013
10

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“Go,

gather together all the Jews who are in Susa,

and fast for me.

Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day.

I and my maids will fast as you do.

When this is done, I will go to the king,

even though it is against the law.

And if I perish, I perish”

(4:15-16)

 

A pastor said that persecution is actually necessary for us, because it will force us to decide to lean into God completely, or leave God completely.  Persecution purifies us.

 

Esther is a positive example of what to do when being persecuted. Esther, her family, and her people were taken captive & exiled in Babylon.  Then, the Persians defeated Babylon and Israelites were able to live on foreign soil freely.  Ironically, it’s then that Haman tells Israel that it would be destroyed.  Esther evolves from being a young woman hiding her identity and initially reluctant intervene on Israel’s behalf, to a leader who’s willing to risk going before the king, confronting her enemy and exposing her own identity.  How did she do it?  Pastor said she did it because she had a Mordecai, who was an Old Testament figure foreshadowing Jesus.  Mordecai mirrors Jesus in that he:

  • Didn’t bow to Haman (Satan) – Esther 3:5
  • Had a burden for God’s people (4:1)
  • Imparted his burden to Esther (4:12-14)
  • Prayed
  • Defeated Haman & his sons with the gallows (tree) that Haman originally built to kill him (7:9-10; 9:14)
  •  Spoke back to the devil through writing & distributing letters stating the authority & victory of God’s people (8:9-14)

 The next time we’re in trouble, we should look to Esther for an example.

 

“For He will be like a refiner’s fire or a launderer’s soap. 

He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver,

He will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. 

Then the Lord will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness,

and the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will be acceptable to the Lord,

as in days gone by, as in former years.”

Malachi 3:2-4

 

 

BOW is my first experience in blogging, and my writing has undergone an evolution since I started. I use If I Knew Then What I Know Now to think aloud about my Christian walk. When you read it, my hope is that WE (the BOW community & friends) then discuss how to apply God's word into our everyday lives in a practical manner. As Christian lay-theologians, we'll talk about our world, and how we can be in it but not of it. So whatever your thoughts are about what you read, PLEASE share.
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