Please note: Posts on this site may contain affiliate links. For more information, please read my full disclosure statement.

You may find this post linked up with my awesome blogging friends at these Blog Parties. I hope you'll check out their blogs!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Blogging Through the Bible: Esther 1-3


Welcome to everyone who is here today to share what you have learned so far in our reading of Esther chapters 1-3! I have been thinking and praying for guidance on how we're going to share here at Grace-Filled-Moments and this is what I would like for us to do with our S.O.A.P.s:

Wednesdays: Sunday's, Monday's, and Tuesday's S.O.A.P.s

Fridays: Wednesday's and Thursday's S.O.A.P.s


Sundays: Friday's and Saturday's S.O.A.P.s


Also on Sundays, I'll be sharing the new week's reading. 

If you feel comfortable sharing your S.O.A.P.s here then please do. If you don't feel comfortable sharing, that's okay too! You can just highlight what you feel comfortable sharing. Remember the best part about not having specific verses assigned to us is that we will learn from each other because God will show each of us something different as we are all in different seasons of our walk with God. Let's grow together in His Word!
I'm not sure if there is a word limit in the comments section. If you choose to post your whole S.O.A.P. for Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday - and you find out there is a word limit - try your best to hit the highlights...maybe just post the Scripture reference only along with your observations and application. This is the first time I've ever attempted here at Grace-Filled-Moments, so I'm learning along the way. *smile* 

And just to remind you all what the acronym for S.O.A.P. stands for: (S)cripture, (O)bservations, (A)pplication, and (P)rayer.

Pick out the verses that stand out to you in your daily Bible reading. This week we are in Esther.


Sunday, August 31, 2014

Esther 1
Scripture: Esther 1:17 For the queen’s conduct will become known to all the women, and so they will despise their husbands and say, ‘King Xerxes commanded Queen Vashti to be brought before him, but she would not come.’

Observations: In chapter one, Queen Vashti’s refusal of the King introduces the theme of obedience and disobedience. The reason for her disobedience is not specifically given. Early Jewish interpreters speculated that she had been asked to appear before the King and his party naked wearing only her crown or that she had some sort of disfigurement. Others believe she refused because he and the others were grossly intoxicated. We are not told in the Scriptures.

King Xerxes is afraid that her refusal of his request will set off a “liberation movement” of the other women in the kingdom when they hear of what she did. So he insists that there be consequences for her actions in order to discourage other women from following in her steps. He also has to take action concerning her because now his authority and leadership as King have been put into question by her refusal to obey his command.

Application: My conduct towards my husband matters. God has set in place a system of leadership and authority within my home with my husband being the head. Whether I realize it or not, other women are watching me and the responses I make to my husband – my children are watching me! It is so important that I submit to the leadership and authority of my husband because that is what God has required of me.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for Your Word that is a lamp unto my feet and a light for my path. Help me to submit to my husband as you have called me to do. Help me to remember that others are watching me. I pray that my words and my actions toward my husband would always bring honor and glory to Your name. Forgive me, I pray, during the times that I’ll fail. I ask for the power of Your Holy Spirit living inside me to help me every day in this area. In the life-changing name of Jesus I pray. Amen!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Esther 2
Scripture: (I grouped Scriptures together that repeated a theme I observed.)
Esther 2:10 Esther had not revealed her nationality and family background, because Mordecai had forbidden her to do so. And Esther 2:20 But Esther had kept secret her family background and nationality just as Mordecai had told her to do, for she continued to follow Mordecai’s instructions as she had done when he was bringing her up.

Esther 2:12 Before a young woman’s turn came to go in to King Xerxes, she had to complete twelve months of beauty treatments prescribed for the women, six months with oil of myrrh and six with perfumes and cosmetics.

Esther 2:9 She pleased him {Hegai} and WON HIS FAVOR. And Esther 2:15 And Esther WON THE FAVOR of everyone who saw her. And Esther 2:17 Now the king was attracted to Esther more than to any of the other women, and she WON HIS FAVOR and approval more than any of the other virgins.

Observations: Esther’s obedience to Mordecai contrasts with Queen Vashti’s disobedience to King Xerxes. Even after she was crowned queen, she continues to follow Mordecai’s instructions on keeping her family background and nationality a secret. So I see here two choices we are faced with every day in our walk with Jesus. A life of obedience or a life of disobedience to how He is calling us to live in relationship to our husbands (even though Mordecai was Esther’s cousin, not her husband) or to authority figures He places in our lives (Mordecai was Esther’s authority figure).

All of the preparations (12 months worth!) where focused on the outward appearance of the women, including Esther. Outward appearances can be deceiving…it is what is in the heart that matters. Luke 6:45 tells us “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” No amount of beauty treatments or adornments will have an effect on what’s inside a woman’s heart. It’s only the power of the Holy Spirit working inside us as we read God’s Word to know how we should live and prayers to God for His grace that will bring about a life of obedience that will produce good fruit. Esther won the favor of everyone who she came in contact with – Hegai, “everyone who saw her”, and the king. I think it had so much more to do with her obedient, humble spirit rather than her outward appearance.

Application: As women of God, we should be focusing more time and effort on the condition of our hearts than we do on our outward appearances. If we neglect the nourishment of our inner beauty (our spirit) through reading God’s Word and communion with Him in prayer, no amount of outward beauty, clothes, jewelry or make-up will be able to hide what spills out from our mouths which will reveal the true condition of our hearts as situations arise in our lives.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for Your Word that is alive and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating even to divide our soul and spirit, our joints and marrow, judging our thoughts and attitudes of our hearts. What power that is available to us in Your Word! I pray that You would help me to be in Your Word daily. I pray that it would change my heart and my attitudes so that my life would align with Your truth and bring glory to your name. I pray that others would see Jesus in me, that I would walk in Your favor as Esther did, so that I can influence others for Your glory. It’s in the life-changing name of Jesus I pray. Amen!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Esther 3
Scripture: Esther 3:2 All the royal officials at the king’s gate knelt down and paid honor to Haman, for the king had commanded this concerning him. But Mordecai would not kneel down or pay him honor.

Esther 3:4 Day after day they spoke to him but he refused to comply. Therefore they told Haman about it to see whether Mordecai’s behavior would be tolerated, for he had told them he was a Jew.

Esther 3:8 Then Haman said to King Xerxes, “There is a certain people dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom who keep themselves separate. 

Mordecai had to take a stand for the Truth in which he believed when he refused to kneel down and pay honor to Haman. Haman was from the lineage of the Amalekites, a group of people who were the enemies of the Lord (Exodus 17:16). There was no way Mordecai was going to kneel down and pay honor to an enemy of the Lord God. He confessed that he was a Jew taking his stand with God in the perpetual battle between God and Satan who wanted to thwart the plan of God to bring salvation to all nations through Jesus Christ.

The Jewish people are a certain people – God’s people! They were living as captives in a place that wasn’t their true home. They kept themselves separate from the pagan traditions of the land they were living in because of who they were…part of the family of God.

Application: This world is not my home. I belong to the family of God and my home in Heaven awaits me. I’m a pilgrim in a foreign land, striving daily to keep myself separated from the evil ways of this world. Do I live a life that shows others I am “a certain people…who keep themselves separate”? There may come a day when I am faced with taking a stand for my personal relationship with Jesus and confessing I am His in this that could cost me my very life. Even now, I have to make a daily decision to live my life to bring honor and glory to God. At times, that will make me and my family stick out like a sore thumb as the old saying goes. I pray that by doing so others will see Jesus in me and desire a relationship with Him.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I long for my home in Heaven with You! I see the evil that abounds in this world and I’m so thankful that this world is only temporary. Help me to keep myself separated from the evil that is present everywhere I look. I pray for the courage and strength to make a daily stand for You, even if it costs me my life. Help me to be a light to those who have yet to know Jesus as their personal Savior. I pray that people will see Jesus in me and realize I live for Him. In the precious name of Jesus I pray. Amen!

Now it's your turn! Please share in the comments section below what you feel comfortable sharing for your S.O.A.P.s and also please share any prayer requests you may have. I'm keeping a prayer journal throughout our time together and will lift your needs to God daily! 

Again, I am so glad you are here with me for this reading through the Bible journey!

Walking in His Grace,


  1. I really enjoyed reading what you've learned so far in Esther. I like how you stated that as women of God we need to be more focused on the condition of our hearts than our outward appearance. I think as women, we all could use that reminder from time to time. Our society has taught us to compare ourselves to one another and that beauty on the outside is more important than the inside. However, this is not what God's word teaches us. Proverbs 31:30 clearly states, "Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised." When it's all said and done, our looks will fade and all that will have mattered is how we lived our life for the Lord. Thanks for sharing that! It was a good reminder for me!

    1. Oh, I love that verse in Proverbs 31! There is much to learn from the Proverbs 31 woman! :)

  2. Sunday
    Esther 1:
    Scripture: Esther 1:17,18- 17For this deed will become known to all women, making their husbands contemptible in their eyes, since they will say, King Ahasuerus commanded Queen Vashti to be brought before him, but she did not come. 18This very day the ladies of Persia and Media who have heard of the queen’s behavior will be telling it to all the king’s princes. So contempt and wrath in plenty will arise.
    Observation: Queen Vashti served as a leader to her people, specifically to women. Because she was a leader, women looked up to her and the example she set for them. By refusing to come at the king’s command (vs. 12), she set a bad example as a leader for other women in how she treated her husband.
    Application: Leaders are in a position of influence. Anyone in a leadership position ought to set a good example for others, since they look up to them and the example they set. Because of this, it is so important for leaders to be careful of their words, behavior, and actions, making sure they are in accordance with the word of God. God holds leaders accountable for their actions and how they lead others. If their actions are not aligned with what God wants, they are considered unfit and useless to Him. (Titus 1:16)
    Prayer: Lord, as a leader, I pray that you would help me remember the influence I have on people. I pray that my words, actions, and behavior would be a reflection of you. Thank you for the position you’ve placed me in. I wouldn’t be where I’m at today without you. I pray that you will continually guide and lead me in the direction you would have me go in. In your precious name, Amen!

    Esther 2:
    Scripture: Esther 2:15, 17- 15Now when the turn for Esther, the daughter of Abihail, the uncle of Mordecai who had taken her as his own daughter, had come to go in to the king, she required nothing but what Hegai the king’s attendant, the keeper of the women, suggested. And Esther won favor in the sight of all who saw her. 17And the king loved Esther more than all the women, and she obtained grace and favor in his sight more than all the maidens, so that he set the royal crown on her head and made her queen instead of Vashti.
    Observation: From the very beginning, God set Esther apart and granted her favor with everyone she came in contact. God specifically chose Esther to do His work, and here we see this plan being set in motion when Esther is crowned Queen because of her obedience to the Lord’s plan.
    Application: As Christians, we are God’s chosen people, created to do His work. (Ephesians 2:10) Like Esther, we must be ready and willing to be used by God for His kingdom. Then and only then will He grant us the favor needed to accomplish His plans in and through us, just like He did with Esther.
    Prayer: God, I ask that you would use me for your work like you used Esther. I’m ready and willing to do your work with an obedient heart. Thank you for wanting to use me for your purpose. In your name, Amen!

    Esther 3:
    Scripture: Esther 3:2, 5- 2And all the king’s servants who were at the king’s gate bowed down and did reverence to Haman, for the king had so commanded concerning him. But Mordecai did not bow down or do him reverence. 5And when Haman saw that Mordecai did not bow down or do him reverence, he was very angry.
    Observation: Mordecai walked with the Lord, so he knew that the only one worthy enough for praise and adoration is God, not man. By not bowing down to Haman like everyone else, he put God first, doing what God would want of him rather than what Haman wanted of him.
    Application: Like Mordecai, we must stand up and refuse the temptation of bowing down to anything or anyone other than God.
    Prayer: Lord, you and you alone deserve all praise, honor, and glory. There is none like you. I’m sorry that I don’t always put you first in my life. I pray that you would help me recognize those times when I put other things before you. In your name, Amen!

    1. Thanks for sharing your S.O.A.P.s Sarah! I loved your observations and applications!

      Leaders are in a position of influence...yes, absolutely! Our actions and the words we speak truly matter.

      I too loved how God orchestrated all the details in Esther's favor because He had a plan to use her to accomplish something wonderful. She went from orphan, to queen, to helping to save an entire people! I know at times I don't understand everything that happens in my life or why, but I've learned that I have to trust that God indeed does have a plan and He is working all things together for my good (Romans 8:28) and quite possibly for the good of others He has put in my path.

      Amen to your prayers! :)

      Until Friday,
      Laurie aka Momma ;)