Thursday, May 8th, 2014
Beautiful! Like Esther (Part 11)
Beauty Ingredients: Obedience
What shall we do to Queen Vashti, according to law, because she did not obey the command of King Ahasuerus?
Esther 1:15 (NKJV)
Esther obeyed the command of Mordecai as when she was brought up by him.
Esther 2:20 (NKJV)
Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.
Exodus 20:12 (NKJV)
Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.
Ephesians 5:22 (NKJV)
If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land.
Isaiah 1:19 (NKJV)
And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the Voice of the Lord your God...
Deuteronomy 28:2 (NKJV)
Queen Vashti was disobedient, so she fell. Queen Esther was obedient, so she rose. The first man, Adam, was disobedient, so he fell--like his instigator, Satan. The first Man, Jesus, was obedient, so He rose--and invited all who would follow to join Him. It's a simple formula. So why do we have so much trouble remembering it?
From cover to cover, the Bible repeats this principle of cause and effect: disobedience brings curses; obedience brings blessings. Perhaps the problem lies in submission. Truthfully, it's hard. God is honest about the difficulty: 'If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it...' (Luke 9:23-24).
Satan is dishonest about everything: 'You will not surely die... and you will be like God' (Genesis 3:4-5). If that con doesn't work, he moves on to the next one: 'All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me' (Matthew 4:9).
Unfortunately, people still troop to that dupe. They don't know the power of the single Cross, so they buy into the myth of the double-cross. Looking for freedom, they get nailed.
Bob Dylan wrote a song about it: 'Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord, but you're gonna have to serve somebody.' * In other words, if you don't obey God, you'll find yourself in submission to masters far worse: money, power, fame, popularity--and even beauty. But idols are destined to fall, as will those who chase them.
Actors, models and talent for Christ, study Esther. She was submitted and deeply committed in obedience to God, Mordecai and her husband, the king of a pagan nation. If obedience was possible for her at such a time as that, it is possible for you at such a time as this, when 'Darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples' (Isaiah 60:2).
Yes, lawlessness abounds (see Matthew 24:12), but don't join the rule breakers. Follow the Rule Maker, and enjoy the benefits of success by His Hand--but not just for your own profit, 'But the profit of many, that they may be saved' (1 Corinthians 10:33).
To Be Continued...
* Gotta Serve Somebody, written and performed by Bob Dylan
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Beautiful Like Esther series.