Young Adult Sunday School Lesson – September 9, 2012
Then Esther bade them return Mordecai this answer, Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish. Esther 4:15-16
I’ve got a confession to make this week. I did the wrong thing. But it worked out.
OK, so I didn’t actually do the wrong thing; let’s just say I didn’t do things exactly by the book. But in the end it all worked out, further proving the old adage that the Lord takes care of fools and children—in that order. If you are thoroughly confused by this point, then join the club. So am I. With that being said, it’s best to start this off from the beginning…
I’m a veteran of the plague known in the medical field as kidney stones. I’ve passed this trait on to my youngest daughter as well. (You’re welcome, puddin’) There was a time when they seemed to occur in my body like clockwork, and I could pretty much pinpoint the time and date when they would hit me beforehand. I visited several very intelligent doctors and listened intently to all of their guidance, to the point of writing it all down and even (gasp!) following their advice. I gave up milk and salt and pepper. I made sure I stayed hydrated and drank two or three (almost) gallons of water a day! I took some prescriptions and became a fanatic for Vitamin C and D. To the letter of the law, I was a convert, this despite the fact that a part of me distrusts doctors in general. In the end, they (the kidney stones) became less frequent and I was beginning to think I had turned the corner and life for me would be normal again.
As a result of my new-found health-arrogance, I became less obsessed with vitamins and prescriptions; and for old times’ sake I splurged with salt and pepper a little more often than usual. I began substituting tea for the generous helpings of water I was accustomed to—basically all the things medical law said to do, I stopped doing.
I got a kidney stone this week. It was painful. I didn’t enjoy it. No sir. Watn’t no fun.
But back to what I did that was wrong; I’m not talking about the preventative things of the medical law books, I mean, that’s a given that I dropped the ball there, right? There was other advice I did not mention from those sainted doctors, things that have to do with what you should do once you develop a kidney stone. Things like drink a lot more water to flush the stone, use a strainer (not going into details on that one), and visit your friendly emergency room at the nearest hospital, upon your earliest convenience.
Nah, I decided to tough this one out. I went to work, and I went to the gym at lunch, and I followed my normal routine and did what I wanted to do. It was tough. It was painful. There were a lot of strange looks as I did my Hunchback of Notre Dame impression on the elliptical machine in the gym. Later, on the way home from work, I stopped by my father-in-law’s house and climbed a ladder to repair some electrical wiring for him. Somewhere along the way—that evening to be precise—I must have passed the stone because I know it is no longer there. I don’t feel the pain anymore. Maybe I’m just getting used to them. Or I’m getting tougher in my old age. Or maybe G_d blessed me despite my going against what those professionals He provided for my well being—for such a time as this—told me to do. Hmm. Did I mention fools and children? Think about that before Sunday’s lesson. Everything (I’m convinced) happens for a reason. People come and go in your life, things happen, and it is no coincidence. Yes, Virginia, there is a
In our study so far we have found the Jews living in Shushan, yet they had no business being there. Think about that. For 30 to 40 years the Jews of Daniel’s day had historically been returning to Jerusalem, on-schedule and on-time as promised. (And prophesied) So why do we find Esther, Mordecai, and others still living in Shushan, which I figure is about 300 miles from the Promised Land? Maybe it was wrong on their part, but as we have read so far, G_d was making His Will come to fruition despite this fact. And we get an even better glimpse of this by studying chapter four this week.
But something is missing here, and in studying this chapter the key is not what 'is' mentioned in the verse I copied above, but what 'is not' mentioned. Study this verse and tell me what you see—we will discuss it in depth on Sunday morning, bright and early. I’ll give you a hint here, and it revolves around the fact that I believe every Word of the Bible is important, and deeper and holier than we will ever comprehend while we inhabit this earth. We will see something within this chapter that should help us with how we deal with living daily in a lost and dying world, and how important it is on our part to truly transform and not merely conform to the world and what it supposedly offers us.
So study hard. I’d be sincerely blessed to see someone else unveil this gem through their own study of this chapter during the week.
It is the glory of G_d to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter. Proverbs 25:2