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(Vashti, Esther, Jezebel, and Athaliah)
What do these names bring to your mind when you hear them?
Vashti? A queen who did not respect her husband?
Esther? A queen who saved her people?
Jezebel? A queen who went to murderous lengths to support her husband, King Ahab?
Athaliah? A woman who killed all of her grandchildren so she could assume the throne?
Ouch! I wonder what my own name will be synonomous with when I am gone? Anything at all? For most of us, our influence is not going to go much further than a generation, maybe two. Simply because our names are not being written into books that are going to read by every single generation of life from here on out.
What LEGACY will be remembered because of you and your actions?
Doing the right thing at the right time like Esther?
Being so vile that other evil people are compared to you, like Jezebel?
Or being cut throat enough to kill your own grandchildren like Athaliah?
These women show, above all, how others responded to their behavior. How do others respond to you? What do they think of you? What type of behavior do you encourage in others by your example?
If you’re unhappy with what they see – what are you going to change to make it better?
There is a difference in not being liked for doing what is right, like Jesus (Is. 53:3) and just not being liked or likeable. Pay attention and make the most of the opportunities that you have to be improved by the refining that comes from God’s word (Ps. 66:10).
Esther was liked by all she came in contact with because of respectful manner and humility. The only person who did not like her, Haman, didn’t even know he didn’t like her! He hated her people – but was not aware that they were her people until she revealed it Haman’s evil plan to the king. Will your enemies be surprised to find YOU are one they count as an enemy?
Kindness is a weapon we have to destroy those who would talk against Christ (Romans 12:19-21). Our own behavior can either bring glory to God or to bring reproach (1 Tim. 5:14-15; Titus 2:3-5). When YOUR name is spoken, what will come to mind?
Let this lesson remind you of these women. Let it show you what behavior to imitate and which to avoid. God gave these examples so that we might learn from them – allow them to teach you.
Downloadable versions of Lesson 8