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Things do not happen on their own

Read: Esther 4-7

When you believe in God, it can be tempting to think that He will do everything and that good things will happen on their own without too much effort on your part.

This is wrong. When it comes to shaping your character, it will not happen on its own without any planning on your part.

Today’s story is from the book of Esther.  If you are not familiar with the story about the risk of annihilation of the people of Israel at the hands of the evil Haman, read it from the beginning.

By the time we get to chapter 4, Haman had made careful plans for evil, and is intent on carrying them out.

Now we see that  Mordecai and Esther also make corresponding plans for the good and carry them out:

  • Mordecai plans to involve Esther and communicates with her (4:8)
  • Esther plans to talk to the king and makes adequate preparations, including a call to prayer for the success of her plan (4:18)
  • Esther plans her entrance to the king, putting on her royal robes and going to the court of the palace (5:1)
  • Esther plans a double banquet to build anticipation (5:4-8), then she prepares and the offers banquets.
  • Esther plans to leverage the king’s affection for her to save her people, and when the time si right she launches a passionate plea (7:3-4)

The story ends well. The people of Israel are saved and Haman is punished.  And good planning is a component of success.

Of course there is another crucial component in this particular story, which was unpredictable and neither Esther nor Mordecai could plan on it.   It was what happens in chapter 6, with the king who just so happened to not be able to sleep and asked for the record of his reign to be brought to him.  Read what happens as it sets the stage perfectly for Esther’s last bit of the plan.

Was God the architect behind what happens in chapter 6?  We are not told.  But we do know that the God does often step into history to support our plans with his intervention.

A prayer:  Lord, as I plan for virtue and make a habituation plan, may I be like Esther.  May I see the need and make careful and wise plans to do something about it.  And I also ask that, like Esther, you may surprise me and bless my plans with your intervention.

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