Thursday, December 2, 2010

Story Time

I've been reading some of my favorite bible stories over the past few days. I'd like to share my thoughts on a few of my favorite passages.

I've always loved the story of Esther. As an orphan raised by her cousin, she became the wife of a pagan king and queen of a foreign land. In a shocking turn of events, she revealed herself as a servant of the one true God and saved her people from the hand of an evil adversary. What a wonderful miracle. And yet, she was human. she feared for her own life as well as for the lives of her people.

Esther 4:-17 ESV

And they told Mordecai what Esther had said. Then Mordecai told them to reply to Esther, "Do not think to yourself that in the king’s palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews. For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?"

I love Mordecai's honesty. This man, the man who raised and cared for Esther, did not hesitate to tell her the absolute truth. Serve God or perish. I also admire his faith. He knew deliverance was coming, no matter where it came from.

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Ruth could've gone back to her family like her sister-in-law, Orpah. She could've lived in her homeland and remarried from among her own people. She could've worshiped her own gods and lived her own life, but she didn't.

Ruth 1:15-18 NIV

“Look,” said Naomi, “your sister-in-law is going back to her people and her gods. Go back with her.”

But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me.” When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her.

Ruth was different. She chose to forsake her own people and follow after a woman who had nothing to give her. It cannot be denied that she truly loved her Mother-in-law. Something about the God of her husband and his family must have made a deep impact
upon her heart.

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Daniel 3:16-18 NIV

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”

Faced with a terrible death, they did not back down. It strikes me that I, a child saved by the grace of God, am often hesitant to speak up about my love for my Savior. While these men, to whom Christ's salvation had not yet come, were willing to die for their God, no questions asked. Oh that I would learn to love my God as they did; with reckless abandon.


Bonita said...

Love hearing your thoughts and totally agree about living life with reckless abandon. I want to do that too.