Monday, November 19, 2012

Redemption~closed mouths

Esther 4:14
If you keep silent at this time, liberation and deliverance will come to the Jewish people from another place, but you and your father's house will be destroyed.  Who knows, perhaps you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this.

I love the story of Esther.  She saves the Jewish people from destruction because she has courage and strength.  She did not come from a strong home.  Both of her parents died and she was raised by her cousin.  She easily could have hidden behind her insecurities and the things life had dealth her.  She didn't.  She chose to take a stand for God's people.  She is an example of a woman who knew what was right and did it, despite the fear of severe consequences.

Let's look at someone else from the Bible who loved the Lord, yet did not stand up for Him or His people.  King Jotham became king after his father, King Uzziah, died.  For most of King Uzziah's life, he did what was right in God's eyes.  However, towards the end of his life, he became arrogant and went into the Temple to burn incense.  He was told to leave by the priests.  He became angry and refused.  A terrible skin disease immediately came upon him and he died due to the disease.  He was remembered for the disease rather than his accomplishements.

2 Kings 15:34-35
34  He (King Jotham) did what was right in the Lord's sight just as his father, King Uzziah had done.  
35  Yet, the high places were not taken away; the people continued sacrificing and burning incense on the high places.  It was Jotham who built the Upper Gate of the Lord's temple

King Jotham did was right, except (big except) he didn't speak up when people were disrespecting God and going against His ways.  

Beth Moore puts it this way, "Jotham sought God faithfully and walked steadfastly before Him,  but he refused to demand respect for the one and only God.  Jotham was boss.  He could have destroyed the high places, but he obviously feared the people more than he feared God."

Ouch....big ouch!

As I read and studied King Jotham, I quickly saw myself in him.  I love God with all of my heart and I try and live a life that honors Him.  However, how often do I keep my mouth closed when people around me are mocking Him and blatantly disobeying Him?  Sadly, I have to admit a lot.  I don't want to appear to be sister Christian who thinks she is holier than thou and judging all those around me.  I struggle with what to say.  More often than not, I walk away feeling icky.  Instead of relying on the Holy Spirit to give me loving words to speak, I clam up for fear of offending the person.  I wonder, is merely serving God with a closed mouth so not to offend others offending Him?

My prayer for today is that I open my heart to God completely.  May I love Him with all I have and all I am.  May I be more like Esther than like King Jotham.  I pray that I will trust the Holy Spirit to lead me in situations where I am too weak to speak.  May I trust my Redeemer to give me everything I need, including loving words that have just the right amount of salt to be loving, yet honor God.  I pray this for all of you too.  May we all be Esthers today.