"Then Elijah approached all
the people and said, "how long
will you falter between two
opinions? If Adonai is G-D,
follow Him; but if Baal is,
follow him." but the people
did not answer him, not
even a word." (1 Kings 18:25)
... breaking the silence!
"To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven:" (Ecclesiastes 3:1)
Lately it has occurred to me more than ever, especially with Purim upon us ... the time for speaking out and standing up surely has come! For too long it seems G-D's people have remained silent while all around us a whirlwind of voices that speak out against the truth of Who He is and His word become louder and louder. Voices that continually push at the boundary walls that G-D has put in place for us to stay safe from harm ... it brings to mind an unruly child that persists in pushing the boundaries to see how much he/she can get away with! If correction never comes, or even comes in the wrong way, the child never learns "safe boundaries." So often man thinks he knows best, even when we would not express it to be so ... but very often, it is our ACTIONS that speak louder than words! We are in a time of spiritual crisis and the things we are seeing around us in the natural seem to be screaming that truth to us louder than ever! The world in which we live is in disarray and becoming increasingly chaotic in so many ways. And yet, Adonai is a G-D of order and longs for us to know His Shalom in ALL its fullness ... do we realise that word means SO much more than what we have made it? Some of its root meanings include "wholeness, safety, soundness and health ... it can mean peace and friendship!" G-D's heart is for us as a Father who loves His children, but just as children need reprimanding when they go astray, this is also G-D's heart for us when we go astray ... because He loves us so deeply! We must remember this truth in that while He is a loving Father ... He IS a holy G-D who calls for us to be be holy: We are told 6 times between Leviticus 11:44 & 21:8 to
"be holy as I am holy."
The world and even the church is kicking against this truth as a rebellious child, having lost its true identity and all that Yeshua came for us to BE in Him. I look and I see the pain and rejection on the faces of those who have suffered great loss, who have been abused and misused, who have walked away from love because the love they have known has broken them! I see lives destroyed by fire as the enemy has whispered his lies into the people's ear in the same way he whispered to Eve back in the garden! I look and I see as Nehemiah did in chapter 1 vs 3 ... “The survivors who are left from the captivity in the province are there in great distress and reproach. The wall of Jerusalem is also broken down, and its gates are burned with fire.” My heart cries out today as Nehemiah's did then ... I cry, "L-RD! G-D of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob!! Restore! Please restore! For the love of Your people!"
If we would only pick up "the instruction manual" and begin to learn of the safe boundaries He put in place for us from the very beginning, to learn of His great love for us and how to walk in holiness before Him ... we could once again find ourselves like a walled city with safe gates, the fiery flames extinguished and the enemy defeated!
So what about the silence? There is a particular book read at this time of year as Purim is upon us ... Megillat Esther! Interesting that this story also takes place in Shushan, just as Nehemiah. And just as Nehemiah stood before his king and made a petition for G-D's people, it was in this same place that Esther stood before her king and petitioned for His people! For so many years it has been Esther who stood in the spotlight of my heart with this story, but this year however "the man of the hour" is the one who proved to be faithful from the very beginning to the very end! From taking care of orphaned Esther, watching out for her and asking about her welfare even after she found favor with the king! To reporting danger to the king's life when his eunuchs plotted death against him. Ultimately to listening to the King of Kings and becoming a key in saving His people; I suspect Mordecai may have had an incline in his heart that a greater story was about to unfold ...
... in steps Haman!
Haman was a man who appeared to be faithful to the king, however, as the story unfolds we see that his faithfulness was merely "keeping up appearances" for his own agenda and not for the good benefit of his king or the kingdom. As the king promoted him, the people began to bow down to him ... except for one! Mordecai! What was it he saw in Haman that made him appear to be disloyal to his king by not bowing? And day after day, when he was asked why he still would not bow ... his answer remained the same ... silence! Interesting that the hebrew word used in that verse (Esther 3:4) - "he would not listen to them" - is "Sh'ma!" I believe that Mordecai "the Jew" was listening to the One who proclaims "Sh'ma O Israel, the L-RD our G-D, the L-RD is One!" (Deut. 6:4) Mordecai would not bow and he would not listen to anything that went against his (K)king. He remained silent - he watched, he waited and listened - until the day came for him to speak ... and G-D would use the loving relationship he had with Esther to bring about His plans and purposes for the love of His people ...
Just a little side-step in today's dance ... interesting to read about another who was asked day after day, but would not listen ~ his desire to be obedient to his Master was greater than anything else. Genesis 39:10 we read about Joseph "being pursued" by his master's wife. In verse 9 we see how Joseph recognizes the authority he held in the king's house, but he also recognizes that to abuse that authority was to sin against G-D Himself. Joseph and Haman were two different men who held the same position - "second in command" to the king - and yet!! One would appear to be faithful with a heart that was twisted after his own desire to be king; the other would appear to have acted on his own lustful desires but his heart was in fact loyal to his king. And time and space would reveal that truth! Just as Mordecai appeared to be overlooked by the king after acting on his behalf to save him, Joseph also appeared to be overlooked by the chief butler to whom he showed kindness. BOTH were proved and proven to be instrumental in saving the children of Israel through their faithful obedience to the (K)king!
I want to say - to declare today - that there is a King above ALL Kings who never sleeps and never slumbers! His eye is constantly on those He calls "the apple of His eye!" He does not overlook His people and even when things appear to go against us ... the G-D of Israel is forever for us and if we will keep our eyes firmly fixed on Him, His plans and purposes will come to pass and the enemy will be defeated as we surrender our will to Him in loving obedience.
G-D sees the intents of the heart. Mordecai came to realise the intents of Haman's heart to usurp authority for the purpose of destroying G-D's people. He and Esther were in the right place at the right time - and in obedience (to the King) they worked together in speaking out to fulfill G-D's plans and purposes in bringing salvation to His people! My heart's cry to us as His people today are words from a famous film, The Untouchables ... "what are we prepared to do?" And I will go further to say ... "to what lengths would we go to stand against tyranny and the enemy's plan to destroy His people?" There is so much more I could say around this story - things I thought I would say but haven't, things I have said that I didn't expect - but I will leave you to dance with Him over it as I step aside for a little awhile. Before I go, there is however this one thing I know I must say ... and these are the words of Mordecai sent to Esther which I personally believe could have been crucial in causing her to consider the cost in coming before the king with her petition ... words that finally brought her to the place of saying ... "if I perish, I perish!" (Esther 4:16)
“Do not think in your heart that you will escape in the king’s palace any more than all the other Jews. For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:13-14)
And do you know ... "Mordecai went out from the presence of the king in royal apparel of blue and white, with a great crown of gold and a garment of fine linen and purple; and the city of Shushan rejoiced and was glad. The Jews had light and gladness, joy and honor." (Esther 8)
They danced BEFORE G-D gave them the VICTORY!
So with that said, it seems appropriate to say ...
The Next Dance ...
WE HAVE A VOICE ... and a choice!
Affirmation [or lack of]: When things go wrong and we find ourselves "silenced."
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