Esther 2 - Key


Esther had not shewed her people nor her kindred: for Mordecai had charged her that she should not shew [it].

I saw in this verse that it is a good idea to be discrete, to not go around telling people potentially sensitive information.


Esther 2 - Outline

the king went wife-hunting
Esther was an orphan, and her uncle Mordecai had adopted her
Esther obtained favor with everyone who saw her
the king made Esther queen instead of Vashti
Mordecai and Esther thwarted a plot against the king


an encouraging promise

Genesis 28


And, behold, I [am] with thee, and will keep thee in all [places] whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done [that] which I have spoken to thee of.

This is a great, encouraging promise: I might not be sure about my future, or exactly what the Lord's plan is for me; I might have a lot of questions and some things I don't understand; but, that is OK because the Lord has given me a promise, and if I go with Him, He will be with me and take care of me ("keep" me), and make sure to do all of the good things that He has planned.

Isaiah 55:11
So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper [in the thing] whereto I sent it.


seek the Lord's blessing early

Genesis 27


And Esau said unto his father, Hast thou but one blessing, my father? bless me, [even] me also, O my father. And Esau lifted up his voice, and wept.

We should seek the Lord's blessings in the first place, because otherwise it will be too late and we will miss out.

Hebrews 12:17
For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.


work for the Lord with all your might


Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received in the same year an hundredfold: and the LORD blessed him.

That is pretty amazing. That would be like making 100 times as much money as you had, in one year in the stock market. It was all because the Lord blessed Isaac, but the Lord also wants us to obey His Word, and to work hard for Him.

Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.
2 Corinthians 9:6
But this [I say], He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.


having a different kind of values

Genesis 25


And Esau said, Behold, I [am] at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me?

We should have a different view of what kind of things are valuable. Instead of just being selfish, let's look at how we can do good for other people and store up treasure in heaven.


Esther 1 - Application



But the queen Vashti refused to come at the king's commandment by [his] chamberlains: therefore was the king very wroth, and his anger burned in him.

Like the queen, if we refuse to do what our Lord commands us, we will really miss out. Even when I dread that my work will be boring or unpleasant, I'll remember Esther's boldness and do it for the Lord.

Hebrews 11:6
But without faith [it is] impossible to please [him]: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and [that] he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
(I added the emphasis.)


Esther 1 - Key


But the queen Vashti refused to come at the king's commandment by [his] chamberlains: therefore was the king very wroth, and his anger burned in him.

The Lord is a great king over everyone, and we, His people, are like "His Bride." When God wants us to be bold in Him, like to preach the gospel of Christ to people around us-- Then let's be willing to stand up and obey the Lord.


Esther 1 - Outline

a party for almost half a year
a week of everyone in the palace drinking wine
also, Queen Vashti made a feast for the women
the king commanded the queen to come, to show off her beauty
she refused to come
the king was angry and asked for advice
Prince Memucan suggested a law to replace the queen, and for all wives to honor their husbands
the king and princes liked the suggestion, so they published the law throughout the whole empire

always serve heartily, like Rebekah

Genesis 24


And she hasted, and emptied her pitcher into the trough, and ran again unto the well to draw [water], and drew for all his camels.

Rebekah served so well, even in what could have seemed like such an insignificant thing. She was just doing a mundane daily chore of fetching water. She probably had no idea who this servant was: just some thirsty stranger. But she didn't look at it that way.

We should show the love of God towards other people in all of our work. Rebekah probably would never have imagined that with her zeal to fetch this water for this thirsty stranger, she was purchasing the future of her wildest dreams. Even in the small things that seem inconsequential to us, we should realize that we serve the Lord and He will reward us. We never know what kind of amazing and wonderful opportunities He has in store for us, as we just faithfully serve... even in the little things.


be willing to give what it takes

Genesis 23


And Abraham hearkened unto Ephron; and Abraham weighed to Ephron the silver, which he had named in the audience of the sons of Heth, four hundred shekels of silver, current [money] with the merchant.

When there's something that needs to be done, that is a good and right thing to do, and when it is the time for it: even if it takes a big commitment like spending a lot of time or money, we should be willing to do what it takes to get it done right.


faith to give up sin that we love

Genesis 22


And he said, Take now thy son, thine only [son] Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.

Obviously, this passage does not mean that the Lord wants us to go out and start to kill somebody like this now-a-days; and, obviously, parents should love and take care of their children. However, I do think that there are several points that can help us make a good practical application from Genesis 22.

For one thing, this was something that the Lord had said to Abraham. That means that Abraham could be sure that it was the Lord who said it, and that it was what the Lord wanted him to do. God doesn't usually speak to us with an audible voice from heaven now-a-days, but He does speak. By spending time in His Word, we can hear Him tell us, clearly, exactly what He wants us to do. When there is something that we are sure the Lord has said to us, and that He wants us to do, we should have the faith to do that thing.

Next, the Lord was asking Abraham to give up something that he loved, and something that he seemed to need for his future to work out, even the way that the Lord had promised. Sometimes the Lord asks us to give up something (like a sin) that is the one thing that we really love , that is really hard for us to give up, and we might not even be able to understand how things could work out if we did. But, if we know from the Word that God wants us to do that, we need to have the faith to obey.


"fear not; for God hath heard"

Genesis 21


And God heard the voice of the lad; and the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven, and said unto her, What aileth thee, Hagar? fear not; for God hath heard the voice of the lad where he [is].

We should just continue to focus on loving the Lord, and on our friendship with Him; then we won't have to worry or fear about all of the bad things that could happen to us, because He hears and will take care of us. If we have some kind of trouble today, let's remember to cry out to Him.


Lamentations 5 - Application


Turn thou us unto thee, O LORD, and we shall be turned; renew our days as of old.

Truly realizing the serious woe of sin should make us want to turn to the Lord. Throughout my daily routine, I'll remember the warnings of the book of Lamentations, to be motivated to turn from sin.


Matthew 7:15-29 - Application



Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:

During the day, I'll keep remembering what I heard from the Lord when I spent time with the Lord in the morning. That way, I'll be ready when there's an opportunity to apply what I've heard.


Lamentations 5 - Key


The crown is fallen [from] our head: woe unto us, that we have sinned!

Lamentations 5 listed many terrible things that happened to the Lord's people, and it seems like it all led up to this climax: woe unto us, that we have sinned! Do we see our sin as such a terribly woeful thing?

Romans 6:23a
For the wages of sin [is] death...

These things were not written for no reason. All of these things were written for us to learn from, and they apply to us today. Let's consider all these terrible consequences to help us realize our need to be repenting and turning to the Lord from our sins.

Turn thou us unto thee, O LORD, and we shall be turned; renew our days as of old.


Lamentations 5 - Outline

calling on the Lord for help
a list of woes that had come on them
the judgment didn't especially respect or turn aside from any of these special kinds of people
"woe unto us, that we have sinned!"
fainting because of the desolation of mount Zion
"Turn thou us unto thee, O LORD, and we shall be turned;"


Matthew 7:15-29 - Key


Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:

When we are reading something in the Bible, and we realize that it applies to something in our lives, we shouldn't just think, "Oh, that's nice," and go along the same way. We should do something about it.

James 1:22
But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.


Matthew 7:15-29 - Outline

you can recognize false prophets by their fruit
it is not enough just to say words and do many wonderful things; we need to really know Him and do His will
we must be those who not only hear Christ's Word, but also do what He says
Jesus astonished the people by teaching with authority


the importance of prayer for Abimelech

Genesis 20


Now therefore restore the man [his] wife; for he [is] a prophet, and he shall pray for thee, and thou shalt live: and if thou restore [her] not, know thou that thou shalt surely die, thou, and all that [are] thine.

God told this to Abimelech, about how he needed Abraham to pray for him and his household to be healed.

So Abraham prayed unto God: and God healed Abimelech, and his wife, and his maidservants; and they bare [children].

We should really pray for the Lord to heal and help people. The Lord answers prayer, and it can make a big difference.


Lamentations 4 - Application


The kings of the earth, and all the inhabitants of the world, would not have believed that the adversary and the enemy should have entered into the gates of Jerusalem.


I shouldn't be complacent, with a false sense of security. I'll work on walking in righteousness while I want the Lord to hear my prayers. I'll be serious about turning from the sin of laziness, because the Lord hears the prayers of the righteous. (Proverbs 15:29)


Matthew 7:1-14 - Application



Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:

I was behind on some homework, and I prayed a lot that the Lord would help me to catch up on it. The Lord helped me get a lot of it done in a short period of time, and even get good grades on work that was late!

I'll keep praying and asking the Lord for help with my schoolwork.


Lamentations 4 - Key


The kings of the earth, and all the inhabitants of the world, would not have believed that the adversary and the enemy should have entered into the gates of Jerusalem.

We should't be complacent, thinking that we will be OK even if we walk in wickedness. Even for those of us who are the Lord's people, there are serious consequences for sin.


Lamentations 4 - Outline

fine gold lost its value; important people lost their value
how terrible their judgment of starvation was
"The LORD hath accomplished his fury"
Edom might laugh now, but judgment will come to them too


Matthew 7:1-14 - Key


Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:

The Lord has many good gifts that He is ready and wanting to give to us, like a Father to His children. I feel like He is just waiting for us to ask Him for them.

This is a promise provoking prayer, as when I hear it, I just want to ask the Lord for many good things that I want. It is OK to pray for many things, and for big things, because, if they are good things, the Lord wants to give them to us.


Matthew 7:1-14 - Outline

you will be judged the same way you judge
deal with the splinter in your own eye before trying to take a log out of your brother's eye
don't cast your pearls before swine
ask, seek, and knock
God will be faithful to give to us when we ask, like a father to his children
do unto others as you would have them do to you
the narrow way leads to life


isn't it a little one?

Genesis 19


Behold now, this city [is] near to flee unto, and it [is] a little one: Oh, let me escape thither, ([is] it not a little one?) and my soul shall live.

Abraham's nephew Lot wanted to escape to that city instead of fleeing to the mountains like the Lord had originally told him to. He said about that city, [is] it not a little one? That reminds me of the way we can look at our sins sometimes. We can say that a sin we have is just a little one, and hold onto it, but that is a deception. It is a bigger problem than we think, and we need to repent from it.


Lamentations 3 - Application



Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the LORD.

When I have sorrow and trouble, I'll examine my heart for sin, and be ready to repent.


Lamentations 3 - Key


Let us lift up our heart with [our] hands unto God in the heavens.

When I pray, it is really nice to just be able to pour out my heart to the Lord. We should should tell Him what we think and feel, and ask Him for what we really want, deep down inside. He already knows everything, but He still wants us to let Him know.

As long as we remember to be respectful (because He is God), we shouldn't be afraid to tell the Lord, honestly, how we really feel about things. We should cast our burdens and cares on Him because He cares for us and will sustain us.


Lamentations 3 - Outline

it was the Lord who turned against this one
it is good to wait on the Lord, because He is merciful
the Lord bore our sin
the Lord doesn't allow our affliction for the purpose of destroying us forever
everything that happens is for the Lord's purpose
even affliction is part of God's love and goodness, so that we will turn to Him
the Lord's judgement had a point at which He would not listen
overwhelmed, this person cried to the Lord
the Lord saw and heard
the way of the wicked, the enemies of the Lord's people
the Lord would destroy them from under heaven


Matthew 6:19-34 - Application



Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day [is] the evil thereof.

When I'm tempted to get all stressed out about things in the future, I'll remember this verse. I'll trust the Lord to work out the things in the future, and I'll just work on the things that I know the Lord wants me to be doing right now.

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