Friday, September 25, 2015

Favor

Esther crowned by Ahasuerus
TODAY'S SPECIAL: Esther 2:1-23

TO CHEW ON: "So the young woman pleased him, and she obtained his favor; so he readily gave beauty preparations to her besides her allowance .... And Esther obtained favor in the sight of all who saw her .... The king loved Esther more than all the other women, and she obtained grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins." Esther 2:9,15,17

Exit Vashti; enter Esther. Esther rose, it seems effortlessly, to the top of the group of beautiful women assembled for the king and from which he would choose his next queen.

Several times we read that she had favor.

[The Hebrew word used for favor here is nasa which means to lift up, to be lifted up, to cause to be lifted up. Our English word favor is defined as a friendly regard shown toward another, especially by a superior; approving consideration or attention.]

We don't read that Esther made any effort to curry that favor. It just inexplicably came to her (because of her beauty, perhaps, or her pleasing personality). Or maybe there is an explanation. The writer of a sidebar article in my Bible says:

"Recognize that favour is given for a purpose. For Esther God's favour led to provision and protection for His people." - Leslyn Musch, Truth-In-Action through Esther, New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, p. 642.

I'm sure the same principle is true in our lives. If we find or are given favor, let's realize that God has a larger purpose for it than our good feelings. Perhaps we could pray for insight into how God wants to use that favor. Of course we don't have to know what His plans are. The realization that this favor is, in the end, about His cause and glory being advanced and not our own, will help keep us from getting swelled heads and egos.

PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for this story of You working in the background to accomplish Your plans and purposes by giving Esther favor. Help me to acknowledge Your behind-the-scenes action in my life in a similar way. Amen.

MORE: More favor

"For his anger lasts only a moment,
 but His favor lasts a lifetime!
 Weeping may last through the night,
 but joy comes with the morning"- Psalm 30:5 (New Living Translation).
A good man obtains favor from the Lord,
    but the Lord condemns a crafty man. -
Proverbs 12:2 (NIV 1984).
"And Jesus increased in wisdom (in broad and full understanding) and in stature and years, and in favor with God and man." - Luke 2:52 (AMP).

Said of the early church: "... praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved" - Acts 2:47.

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Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked NIV are taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Scripture quotations marked AMP are taken from the Amplified® Bible,
Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation
Used by permission." (www.Lockman.org)



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