"Our destiny is tied to our history" (B. Moore)
The Whole Megillah- Continued
Ephesians 6:18 tells us that praying at all times in the Spirit, will infuse the armor and through the Holy Spirit we will be given the strength we need to be the ambassadors (warrior princesses) to fulfill our ministry He has called us to for this time; this season.
Can we take a few seconds to get our SHOUT on? We are close to November and in looking at the change in season I began to smile, shake my head (SMH) and say "wow"! What a miracle. The name above all other names! God is awesome. HE holds us all in the palm of HIS hands. HIS Holy Spirit dwells in us! How amazing is that! God chose you, me, us! Oh the love, that HE has for each of us. Don't you just get goosebumps thinking about it? Whoa! Ok, can't compose myself right now, but since this message is limited in characters, I'll jump right into Chapter 2 of our real-life soap opera. (Please keep reading as we are currently in Chapter 3).
See you at GO!
October 23, 2018
Stark Library - Innovation Center
6:00 pm- 8:00 pm
1. The Megillah- Chapter 2 Recap
"Everyone hears the scroll (the Megillah) being read, but very few people study the book. It's a good idea to study the book."
~ Rabbi Mendel Kaplan, Spiritual Leader and Executive Director of Chabad Flamingo in Thornhill, Ontario ~
As you read the book of Esther, Beth asked us to point take note of the P (parties); U (unknowns); R (rescues); I (ironies); and M (moments) or better known as the PURIM. Have you noticed any?
Parties- the luxurious parties thrown by King Xerxes and the women's only party by Queen Vashti (the real royalty).
Unknowns- Why all of the parties by King Xerxes?
· Why invite everyone to the second week-long party? Why were the party decorations and the party itself so elaborate (smells and visuals)? Jews were not forced to attend the second party.
· Was it to make the Jews who stayed in Susa even more comfortable so that they would not want to return to Israel or to sin (did he hope they would eventually become like the Persians; was the plan assimilation?)
Rescues- we'll see this in Chapter 2, a foiled assassination attempt.
Ironies- Commentaries suggest the Queen Vashti was not invited to King's Xerxes parties. She threw her own party (women-only) in the palace to demonstrate that she was the real royalty. While she was beautiful, Xerxes secured power because of Vashti's lineage.
· Queen Vashti's refusal to present herself to the King (to present herself with no clothes and put the crown on when she was is in front of the King); the King sought to demean Queen Vashti; the royal argument; the edict that women should obey their husbands.
· Ethical/political/legal/personal dilemma =>King Xerxes' consultation with "counsel/ wise men" as to how to handle his wife's disobedience (it wasn't a law that she refused to follow, she is a royal, I think I love my wife the queen?
· Did the King try to save Queen Vashti?
· She was a royal, technically it wasn't a law she disobeyed and he did love her.
1. The King chose ambition over his wife.
2. The King's edict resulted in the death of Vashti.
3. The royal edict result - the end of the government with lawmaking bodies. Now the only one who made law was King Xerxes.
4. He became popular with men and fear of the king began to grow.
As we continue to study Esther, in addition to the PURIM snapshots, keep a keen eye on some of the following themes:
You'll notice these themes woven throughout the book. Interestingly, these themes are also interrelated to the PURIM snapshots. With that in mind, let's jump into Chapter 2. When we last left off, we saw an invitation and refusal; a short-lived women's rights movement that stalled. In chapter 2 we will find history revisited.
Chapter 2 ~ The Megillah
There was a “cooling off” period. The King’s anger lessened.
King remembered Vashti (her beauty), what she had done and what he had decreed.
His new counsel were not wise men, but “yes” men.
Young, beautiful virgin girls
It’s tough being a woman when beauty is a treatment ~ B. Moore
Beauty treatments were spa-like to cleanse the girls
The king would select one queen and the rest would be part of the king’s harem (one his many wives)
Girls were taken to Susa (capital)
Girls were taken from each province
According to commentaries, Mordecai hid Esther till the very end. There was a second law that those caught hiding would be put to death
Mordecai was a respected Jewish leader (righteous man)
Lived in the suburb of Susa
Heritage - part of Judean Kingdom (exiled to Babylon)
Benjamin tribe and descendent of Kish and Shimei
Adopted and raised Esther
Closeness between Mordecai and Esther
Persian name (“concealment” ~ concealed her heritage)
Hebrew name (Hadassah ~ "righteous" beautiful aroma and bitter) both soft and tough
She was well-known by others because of her character, righteousness, beauty and because she was raised by Mordecai
Chapter 2- Cooling off period; and the winner is; a foiled assassination plot. Now what?
Oh, princesses of faith...remember
Prayer “empowers and ‘charges up’ every other piece so they can be used effectively against the enemy. Without prayer… your armor, cannot, will not, be infused with the power that only God’s-Spirit can give."
Know that through the Holy Spirit you can:
· do things you couldn't;
· feel things you didn't; and
· know things you wouldn't.
GO! PLAYLIST...For your praise and worship:
GO! 10/15/18- New feature, contains a playlist of songs and Books of the Bible (from Bible Project) for your praise and worship time.
· Please tell a friend. There's still time to join in!
· See you at GO! October 23, 2018, Stark Library - Innovation Center - 6:00 pm- 8:00 pm
· THIS WEEK Fall/Winter GO! Session 8 ~ Esther, It's Hard Being A Women
Remember, each day is an opportunity for us to...
Lead, Serve and GO!