Milestones in intercession !
Esther 8:4-5, ‘And the king held out the golden scepter toward Esther. So Esther arose and stood before the king, 5 and said, “If it pleases the king, and if I have found favor in his sight and the thing seems right to the king and I am pleasing in his eyes, let it be written to revoke the letters devised by Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, which he wrote to annihilate the Jews who are in all the king’s provinces.’
We often remember Esther whenever we come across the word ‘intercession’. Her intercession saved Jews from being utterly destroyed. Her tears turned out to be an asset in the history of Jews. We learn a lot about this great calling through Esther. It’s this intercession that connects heaven to earth and all who have been called for it are the privileged ones. Esther, being an orphan, received this great privilege. Let’s continue to learn from her, the milestones she laid as she proceeded for what she was called for.
It’s well known that she announced a three days fasting and prayer among the whole community of Jews before she finally stepped into the inner courts of the King which was not allowed legally. God’s favor was upon her and hence, the King was not furious. Instead he held out the golden scepter to Esther, thus allowing her to present her petition before him (Esther 5 : 2-3). She could have presented her heart’s desires right away, yet she did not. Instead, she presented an invitation to a banquet prepared the next day. Banquet represents fellowship. Intercession is not just a prayer prayed for others. It’s foundation is based on the fellowship with the Lord. Having fellowship with the Lord is result of entering into a covenant relation with the King of Kings. The effectiveness of intercession stands on the strength and intimacy of fellowship with the Lord.
The next day, both King and Haman attended the banquet. On being asked, Esther requested the King to attend the banquet again which she would be preparing the next day. In the banquet prepared on the 1st day, Esther did not present her heart’s petition. She was silent. Her silence was building up her relation or fellowship with the King. In the process of intercession, there is a time where we need to be silent in His presence. This is a time of rejoicing in His presence more than expressing our concern over the heart burdening issues. This expresses our love and worship for the King. At times, silence allows two persons to have a better understanding about each other.
Esther’s invitation to the next day’s i.e the 2nd day’s banquet was accepted both by the King and Haman. Both of them came the next day. But before that, the previous night, the King was reminded to go through the book of records of the chronicles (Esther 6: 1). The heavenly Father had started intervening in the issue which was still stored in the heart of Esther and the entire community of Jews. What we consider silence is not a silence for heaven. But when we choose to be silent in the perfect guidance of the Lord, heaven starts doing wonders even before our lips utter the petitions before the throne of grace.
Its amazing to see that the answer of Esther’s petition was being seen even before she had presented it before the King. Till then Esther was preparing herself to present the petition before the King. She had fasted and spent much time in prayers. She had prepared two banquets for the royal personalities. And the preparations itself turned out to be a strong intercession, a silent intercession, and an effective intercession which had amazingly touched the throne of heaven before it touched the throne on earth. Dear friends, consider this seriously. Our heart’s preparations to come before the Lord is given much more weight than the words of prayers that come out of our lips.
On the 2nd day of banquet, Esther exposed the wickedness of Haman. It’s interesting to see here that instead of pleading for the lives of Jews first, she exposed and made sure that the evil force behind the whole plan is bound first. Mk.3:27, ‘No one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man. And then he will plunder his house.’ The Spirit of the Lord was guiding queen Esther . The Word of the Lord is our guide book and our intercession need to move forward based on same. The Spirit of God lead her to get rid of the wicked one first and then plead for God’s people’s deliverance. Had she done the reverse, Haman might have immediately plotted yet another devise to destroy the Jews. Following the Word of God is the only great assurance that we are proceeding in the right way.
The same day, Haman was hanged in the same gallows which he had prepared for Mordecai. The intercession was not yet over. The wicked schemes being destroyed was just a sign to proceed further in intercession. It was not an assurance yet of the awaited victory. Esther was not yet quiet on her issue. Esther 8:3, ‘Now Esther spoke again to the king, fell down at his feet, and implored him with tears to counteract the evil of Haman the Agagite, and the scheme which he had devised against the Jews. Esther fell down at the feet of the King and implored with tears. Falling down represents her humbleness and tears, the ultimate language of a desperate heart. Through all the time of fellowship she had spent with the king, she had now known the heart of the King very well. Though he was known by the world around as a hard hearted king by the way he did away with Queen Vashti (Esther 1: 19), queen Esther was assured within her heart that the King would not pass by her tears. She knew that thus far he had not put aside any of her requests. Hence, her faith had grown much. Knowing the heart of God is an essential aspect in intercession.
Esther 8:4-5, ‘4 And the king held out the golden scepter toward Esther. So Esther arose and stood before the king, 5 and said, “If it pleases the king, and if I have found favor in his sight and the thing seems right to the king and I am pleasing in his eyes, let it be written to revoke the letters devised by Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, which he wrote to annihilate the Jews who are in all the king’s provinces.’ Esther presented two things before the king. 1st was the very matter…i.e. ‘if IT pleases the king’ & ‘ if the thing seems right to the king’. She gave priority to the king’s justice and his heart’s desire above her own desire and the Jew’s desperate cry. Just as Jesus prayed in the garden of Gethsemane, “Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me; nevertheless, not my will but thy will be done.”
The 2nd was she herself. “and if I have found favor in his sight’ & ‘and I am pleasing in his eye’. The acceptance of the intercessor’s life by the Lord is of much importance. Israelites were delivered because Moses was accepted by the Lord. Abel’s sacrifice was pleasing to God. ‘And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering (Gen.4:4)’. The truth is that if the intercessor’s life is pleasing in the sight of God, at times, even if the matter brought before the Lord might not be right, it would be accepted and granted. More than the matter, Esther was pleasing in the sight of the king. Hence, her petition was accepted.
Esther crossed every milestone of intercession smoothly, for her heart was determined. Few words of petition took her years of preparation and waiting. She was born for that day when her intercession would save the lives of God’s people. She was appointed queen for that day when her tears would change the decision of the king. All things that happened in her life turned out to be milestones to perform the great calling faithfully. Esther 8:16, ‘The Jews had light and gladness, joy and honor.’ The king did not know the Jews well, but he knew the person who interceded for them very well. Hence, the Jews escaped the great snare of death.
Dear friends, today if we have the joy of salvation, it’s only because Jesus Christ, our high priest and intercessor was found pleasing in the sight of the heavenly Father. Lk.3:22, ‘And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, “You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.” God is holy and without holiness we cannot see Him. And all of us being born in sin, can never see God. This is God’s justice. But Jesus, being pleasing to the heavenly Father pleaded for our redemption and paid the price for the same in completeness. Hence, today we have been accepted by heaven and our petitions are being answered. In turn, may our lives be pleasing to the King of Kings, so that innumerable souls dying in sin everyday might receive the light of salvation through our intercession. Queen Esther experienced mercy at every milestone of her intercession. As we cross every milestone of our faith life, we approach the mercy seat closer and closer and we experience the unmerited favor over ourselves and all issues we present before Him. Every issue in our lives are milestones that prepare us for the next one, ultimately qualifying us to perform that for which we have been called. May each milestone make us experience more and more of His mercy and grace.
God bless us all (http://thebrokenbread.wordpress.com/)
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