There are mornings, friends, when all you can do is hit the bold setting on your shiny new coffee pot (because it ASKS me if I want my coffee regular or bold! Oh sweet machine which is the proper 12 cups and not the inept 10 cups as our prior one had been! (It was an accidental 10 cup purchase. Never in our right minds would we have bought a 10 cup machine. Honestly I don't know why they even make them.)) and dig into the bible study that you've were so on top of for a week or two and have instead fallen waaaaayyyyy behind. So here I am, my new favorite coffee mugs (because I love red oh so much. Especially antique red, which is what the box from Costco says they are and they will go so nicely with my kitchen when we revive it from 1992.)
Babbling. Sorry. Sleepy. Moving on.
So anyway, I'm back in on of my favorite books-Esther, and doing one of my favorite studies-Love God Greatly. The funny thing is that I am quite literally months behind, but when I opened the daily study, I had left off on Wednesday, and when I opened my bible, both the right passages were book-marked. Funny how God works, eh? Anywho, read a little Esther 4 where she sends this message to her uncle, Mordecai after he tells her she must go speak with the king, lest their entire culture and race be wiped out from the kingdom:
"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."
So basically she's saying, "Hey-unlce Mordi, this is gonna get me killed. Remember his first wife, Vashti? She just didn't want to join him for dinner and he booted her behind to the royal jail. You think little old me is going to be able to just waltz on into the royal court with the king and all his men and just ask that he not annihilate our people and he's going to be okay with that? Have you lost your mind?" (I may have taken some liberties with her thoughts, but I'm thinking my girl Esther would have had at least some of these racing through her mind.)
Did I tell you we've finally found a new church? (yes this will relate, I promise. My tired brain isn't making all the fast segue connections quite yet. Transitions may be a little bumpy this morning). Yeah, after years (read YEARS) of searching for one that we like-we've found it. The pastor is just real, you know? Tats and history and all. And his love for Jesus and the people he serves is evident. He's been talking about the flood, and really it's been an amazing study. Unlike any that I have ever heard before. Through out the study he's been paralleling the flood and the Savior, the destruction and the grace. A few weeks ago he spoke on how prior to Jesus coming, the flood was the wrath of God, taken out on an earth who was warned for 75 years, and refused to acknowledge God. The destruction did not come easily or lightly. It was painful and discouraging. Flash forward to Jesus. The man who when beaten and bruised and humiliated took the cross for us, and he asked God as he was praying to take this cup from him if there is any other way. But there wasn't. There was no other way for us to enter God's kingdom than through him. So Jesus took this symbolic cup, the one that held all of God's wrath and judgement for us. For Me. For You. And he drank it.
Dang. That's some powerful stuff right there. But here's the grace-because he is our perfect salvation, God sees us only through him. Jesus told us "No one comes to the Father but through me." Because we're pretty pitiful. But through the lens of Jesus-we are beautiful and pleasing to God's sight.
I can only imagine what Esther was feeling as she pushed open those doors to the royal courts. As all the men turned to look at her. Some I'm sure in shock. Other's perhaps smugly. And then her king. Was his face a mix of emotions? Caught between his own law and the love for this woman? I don't know. I can only imagine what it would have been like, but I'm sure you could have cut the tension with a knife. Or a scepter.
And that's what he did. The King extended his scepter to Esther and heard her request. She was allowed to come to him and speak her piece because he had extended her grace.
Jesus is our scepter, kids. It is through him that we God extends us the grace and the love to enter his presence. To sit at his feet. To speak to him. He is our eternal grace and salvation. He is our only hope to save our people, our nation. He makes us brave. That is a beautiful thing. Even on an early morning.