Beautiful! Like Esther (Part 19)
Beauty Ingredients: Resourcefulness
Abraham said of Sarah his wife, 'She is my sister.'
Genesis 20:2 (NAS)
The king said to Esther, 'What is your petition, for it shall be granted to you. And what is your request? Even to half of the kingdom it shall be done.' So Esther replied, 'My petition and my request is: if I have found favor in the sight of the king, and if it pleases the king to grant my petition and do what I request, may the king and Haman come to the banquet which I will prepare for them, and tomorrow I will do as the king says.'
Esther 5:6-8 (NAS)
To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak; I have become all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some.
1 Corinthians 9:22 (NAS)
Crafty fellow that I am, I took you in by deceit.
2 Corinthians 12:16 (NAS)
Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves.
Matthew 10:16 (NAS)
To be resourceful is to be 'Ingenious, capable, and full of initiative, especially in dealing with difficult situations' (Collins English Dictionary). Resourcefulness is the ability see a problem and 'To act effectively or imaginatively' (American Heritage Dictionary).
Resourcefulness is never a lie, but it can take the form of a creative truth.
Abraham was resourceful when he called Sarai his sister twice: once to Pharaoh and again to King Abimelech. Sarai was his half-sister, and Abraham acted shrewdly to save his life and win two fortunes. Some Bible scholars criticize Abraham, but others applaud him:
'He had learned to trust in the Lord in all things; but he did not think this inconsistent with using all lawful means for personal security' (Barnes Notes on the Bible).
Esther was resourceful when she softened her husband's heart with two banquets--before asking him to spare not only her life, but the lives of her people. The Apostle Paul was resourceful when he acted in accordance with varying cultures--to soften their hearts so they might receive the Gospel.
Jesus, the Author of all resources, was, as a Man, resourceful. He laid low as a Carpenter before He rose high as our Savior. He taught His disciples how to fight the enemy: how to 'Be shrewd as serpents,' how live in this world, but not to become of it. Because His disciples guarded their hearts 'With all diligence' (Proverbs 4:23). Therein, they remained 'Innocent as doves.'
Actors, models and talent for Christ: When necessary, lay low with your true purpose, but never lie. Never deny Him, nor the glory rightfully due Him. Even so, Jesus understands your need for resourcefulness. In the same way some Bible scholars criticized Abraham, some Bible scholars may criticize you.
They may not understand. But God does--and please note: He never criticized or punished Abraham, but instead, rewarded him.
For such a time as this, in such a mission field as this, resourcefulness is needed--and its outcome is beautiful indeed.
To Be Continued...
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Beautiful Like Esther series.