Monday, June 20, 2011

The Story Chapter 20 - The Queen of Beauty and Courage

"Do you believe in Miracles?" Those words will forever be associated with the unlikely victory of the USA hockey team over the indomitable Russian team in the 1980 Winter Lake Placid Olympics. Not only was this victory memorable because we won, but because "they" lost. "They" being what was regarded as the best hockey team on earth. The Russians had already proved their dominance in victories over an NHL All-Star squad, so a bunch of amateurs certainly seemed to be no challenge for the mighty USSR. "They" also being the arch enemies of the good old USA. They were perceived as such an evil threat in so many areas of our life that beating them in tiddlywinks would be cause for celebration.

It was a classic story of good over evil -- underdog over prohibitive favorite!

Esther tells that same story. A pretty but for the most part insignificant Jewess from the tribe of Benjamin (one of the smallest and least significant tribes) teamed up with an equally insignificant uncle take on the most powerful man in the known world and all his henchmen!! And in the end the good guys win, but the victory is even sweeter because the big, bad, powerful guy goes down in flames!!! If Al Michaels was calling this contest he may very well have had the same classic response - "Do you believe in miracles?"

Strange thing however about this Esther story is that there are no outright miracles. No plagues, no fire from heaven, no timely natural disasters. So how does a victory like this happen without direct intervention from God?

Here's the post-game analysis; the keys to victory.

(1) The underdog always believed in a God who was more powerful than any king. Mordecai, Esther's uncle, refused to bow down to any man. Worship was set aside only for God. No king or noble man deserves what is only reserved for God. Key #1 - Unyielding Devotion.

(2) Esther used some cunning to carry out this plan to corner Haman, the henchman. Esther stays quiet about her Jewish roots. Esther sets up the banquet with the king and Haman without revealing her real purpose for the meeting. Esther never lies and is never deceptive but she is crafty. She knows how much information to let out and how much to keep to herself. Key #2 - Wisdom.

(3) When it becomes necessary, Esther risks her life for her faith. Calling for an audience with the king, even if you were his wife, could upset him to the point where he might decide to have your head on a platter. In spite of the risk, Esther (encouraged by her wise uncle) realizes that some opportunities cannot be passed up. Mordecai's inspiring words, "Who knows, you may have been chosen queen for just such a time as this," remind us that there are some things that we have to stand up for right now even if our lives are on the line. Key #3 - Risky faith

Put them all together and the result is almost always the same. Victory! And that's the word forever associated with men and women who display unyielding devotion, wisdom, and risky faith!

No comments: