I've begun teaching my favorite Bible story to the kids at FBC Groom...Esther. Did you know Esther's Hebrew name was Hadassah? But of course, since neither she nor Mordecai, her cousin who reared her, wanted to reveal their Jewish roots, she went by her Persian name, Esther. Their family had been taken captive in Jerusalem and carried to Babylon and they
were now living in Persia (which stretched from India to Ethiopia) and Mordecai was serving under King Ahasuerus. Mordecai must have loved Esther and taught her the things of God and especially "obedience."
As I was teaching this to the kids last night and taught how Esther was brought to the ultimate beauty contest and went before the king, she stood out among all the other women. I asked the kids what they thought made her stand out. And they all agreed it was her obedience. I left them with the cliff hanger of the secret she and Mordecai shared and how it would affect not only their lives, but the lives of a kingdom.
Obedience. It's so appealing, so beautiful, so magnetic. And of course, I would go on to say that as a woman (adult), it was her submission to God that made her stand out. Obedience/submission...you can't have one without the other, right? I can't obey if I don't first submit my heart to God. I Peter 3 says that submission yields a gentle and quiet spirit which is beautiful before God.
The thing I was thinking on yesterday is that Esther's story is really God's story. He just spoke it through Esther's life. Through Esther, we learn that God loves His people and will go to any length to rescue them. I think it's why I love this story so much. My heart yearns to know how much God loves me...and that He will go to any length to rescue me. I also long to know that He will speak His story through my life.
Hadassah of the Bible was in Persia, which stretched from India to Ethiopia. Our Hadassah is from Ethiopia. Hadassah of the Bible was an orphan taken in by a relative. Our Hadassah was orphaned and taken in. Esther means "star." When Jay & Amy first got a photo of our Hadassah, she was wearing a little gown that had a star on it. It was just God's confirmation to them that this was their child (Because they had already chosen the name, Hadassah.). Esther 2 says that Hadassah was beautiful. I rest my case on that one!