What God is Saying

Sing to the LORD; praise his name. Each day proclaim the good news that he saves. Publish his glorious deeds among the nations. Tell everyone about the amazing things he does. — Psalm 96:2-3

Friday, December 16, 2011

Jesse Tree - Jesus, Our Intercessor (Day 21)

Then she instructed him to say to Mordecai, "All the king's officials and the people of the royal provinces know that for any man or woman who approaches the king in the inner court without being summoned the king has but one law: that he be put to death. 
The only exception to this is for the king to extend the gold scepter to him and spare his life. But thirty days have passed since I was called to go to the king."
When Esther's words were reported to Mordecai, he sent back this answer: 
"Do not think that because you are in the king's house you alone of all the Jews will escape. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father's family will perish. 
And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?"
Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: "Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maids will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish." 
So Mordecai went away and carried out all of Esther's instructions.  Esther 4:10-17

Bible Reading: Esther 4:10-17
Jesse Tree Symbol: golden scepter (have your children draw a scepter on a circular piece of paper)

Esther, beautiful Jewish queen of King Xerxes...a man who had the ultimate power of life or death over everyone. Mordecai, uncle to Esther, devout Jew who will not back down to anyone. Haman, descendent of Agag and sworn enemy of the Jews.

Haman goes before King Xerxes and accuses the Jews: "There is a certain people dispersed and scattered among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom whose customs are different from those of all other people and who do not obey the king's laws; it is not in the king's best interest to tolerate them. If it pleases the king, let a decree be issued to destroy them," Esther 3:8-9. King Xerxes agrees to this mass slaughter which, unknowingly, will include his own wife Queen Esther.

Mordecai finds out and begs Queen Esther to go before the king and ask for mercy and a stop to the killing. The fate of the entire Jewish population in this kingdom rests on Esther.

There is an accuser today as well...but he doesn't just accuse the Jewish people like Haman did...he accuses the entire human race. His name is Satan and he wants nothing better than to destroy all the human beings who are so precious and dear to the Lord God.

But in the fullness of time, our King of Kings comes to Bethlehem and makes the whole universe his court. He hears the words of the accuser, but unlike King Xerxes, our King does not agree with the accuser. For the accuser's words hold no power anymore. They were broken at Calvary. They were silenced by the absolute sacrifice of the King Himself. "Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: 'Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.'"  Revelation 12:10

So, we do not have to cower on our knees before the King of Kings, wondering if He will reach out His golden scepter of mercy and spare our lives. Instead, we can "approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." Hebrews 4:16
For it is not a golden scepter that is held out to us in the throne room of the universe, but the hands of Jesus Christ which took the iron nails to save us.

The above commentary on Esther is part of a 4-week Advent Reflection for the Jesse Tree. The Jesse Tree is similar to an advent calendar. Every day you will read a Bible passage to your child(ren), discuss what it means to them in personal terms and color an ornament to hang on your Jesse Tree. A fuller description of this can be found at The Jesse Tree

When you are finished today, you might want to discuss how Christmas is about giving much more than getting. One way that your family can give is through their daily prayers. This might be a good time to pray for a specific country or for a group of people who do not know about Jesus. Today, over 2 billion people, 1/3 of the earth's population, have never heard the Gospel message. We need to step out in obedience and pray for them as God asks us to. 

Two great websites to help you do this are:
Operation World  go to Featured Nation and click on Country Profile

Another way to give is by giving a gift to those, throughout the world, who have very little. It might be a chicken, or sheep or a goat...maybe you can help pay for the digging of a well or provide a sewing machine to a widow so she can provide for her family. There are many ways to help this Christmas. Visit  Gospel for Asia and take a look at their Christmas Catalog. 

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