August 16 – Heed the Lord’s Warning; Cursed Blessings Are Not Good

Although the word “bless” is not found in the story of Esther, she herself was certainly blessed by God and by man. The beautiful chosen queen did not selfishly enjoy her elevated position but she humbly used it to bless others.  In fact, she saved the lives of the Jews who were scattered across 127 provinces.  Esther lived during a pivotal time in Israel’s history: the Temple had been rebuilt (the same Temple that Jesus would visit during His time on earth) yet many of God’s people living in Esther’s time had grown tired of doing good.  It is hard to believe that again after all God had rescued them from that they dishonored God and ignored His covenant promises, and “going to church” became a meaningless and routine task.

God warned the unethical priests through the prophet Malachi:  “And now, O priests, this commandment is for you. If you will not hear, and if you will not take it to heart, to give glory to My name,” says the Lord of hosts,“I will send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings.”  God’s warnings are not idle words. If rewards did not woo the leaders back, then strong correction would certainly come.

It is the same now as it was then: those in leadership positions hold a great responsibility. Peace is what God offers but evil is what many of His people seek.  Wise people honor God and listen to His Words.  If we need to make changes in our attitude toward God, His Story, and church, I pray we would do so.  He is not like some college professors who give credit to students just for attending; God desires for us to actually know Him by spending time with Him. It is true that He expects us to learn and apply what He teaches so that our lives will be lived in better, blessed ways.  When we are living blessed, may we, like Esther, live to bless others.

Malachi 2:1-2a NKJV