Below are Nicole's thoughts on Chapter 7, Esther: For Such A Time As This, of Twelve Unlikely Heroes by John MacArthur. We encourage you to share what you've learned from this study as well.
I'm not going to lie to you, it's taken me a lot longer with this book than anticipated. I love the book. I'm learning a lot from it. However, this is not a quick read. It is an important read. Something you should take your time reading and praying over for God to speak to you through these "unlikely heroes." Esther is one of these "unlikely heroes" that I've had to read over several times. I love her story. I'm not going to retell her story. However, below are some of the things that John MacArthur writes about that jumped out at me the most about Esther.
* The book that bears her name was not written by Esther, but about her. (p. 129)
* Even if it cost her life, Esther would do whatever was necessary to protect her people. (p. 139)
* Esther's risky and courageous action had not only saved Mordecai's life, but also canceled a decree to destroy the Jews. (p. 144)
* God Himself is the only explanation for the survival of the Jews in the midst of such hatred and opposition. (p. 147)
* But His presence comes through more powerfully and more dominantly because it is so obvious that only God could sovereignly ordain everything in the story of Ester. (p. 147)
* Though it is silent to His name, God thunders through the book of Ester. The Lord's unseen power is obvious, sovereignly ordaining every detail to preserve His people. There are no miracles in the book, but the remarkable protection of the Jews through God's providential control of every circumstantial detail of people, places, time, and action is nothing short of miraculous- revealing the Lord's infinite wisdom and omnipotence over all things. (p. 148)
* The book of Esther might be compared to a chess match, in which God and Satan (working behind the scenes) moved real-life kings, queens, and nobles. It looks as though Satan, using Haman, might put God's plans in check. But the Lord-who has absolute power over Satan-checkmated the devil's schemes by positioning Mordecai and Esther to find favor with the king. (p. 148)
* Queen Esther, along with Mordecai, were the human instruments God used to rescue His covenant people from total destruction. Esther, who came from humble beginnings, was an orphan in a foreign land hundreds of miles from Israel. As such, she truly was an unlikely hero. (p. 149)
Why is Esther considered an unlikely hero? God was able to use her. Someone whose life as a child was completely the opposite of her life as Queen. She knew the risk involved in approaching the king. However, she also knew the importance of saving her people as well as going to God. Even though we don't read about Esther praying to God, however, we see her faith in the following verses:
Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai: "Go, gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me; neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will fast likewise. And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!" -Esther 4:15-16
As we all start our days, complete with the ups and downs of autism, let's try to remember to be more like Esther when facing our fears. Yes, we may at first let our fears get the best of us. What's important is for us to take the time and pray. Give it to God and let Him help us through our toughest days. I know it's hard to remember to do this throughout the day. However, if we start strengthening our relationship with God, everything else will just fall into place and get that much easier. Including autism.