Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Beauty of Holiness....part 9...+ a little warfare...

Photo source

Today we will look a little further into the results of the "beautification" process...and to refresh our minds concerning the passage in Esther 2, I have it copied below:

12)...twelve months under the regulations for the women—for the days of their beautification were completed as follows: six months with oil of myrrh and six months with spices and the cosmetics for women...
15)...And Esther found favor in the eyes of all who saw her...
17)The king loved Esther more than all the women, and she found favor and kindness with him...

As I was studying these verses, the Holy Spirit put His spotlight on the numbers of verse 12.  In Biblical signs and types, even the numbers have significant meaning.  Now, I don't go into the numerology direction, trying to predict the future; understanding the symbolism of signs and types simply deepens our understanding of what God is already saying.

With this in mind, the number 12 carries the idea of divine government and apostolic fullness (there were 12 disciples/apostles, 12 stones in the breastplate of the High Priest, 12 loaves of showbread, etc.).  The number 6 has several associations, but for my purpose here, I believe the focus is on 6 as being the number of man; 6 is 1 less than 7, and 7 is the number of God, of perfection, completeness.  I am reminded as I write this of the verse that declares "...all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23).  There were two blocks of time, 6 months each...I believe each 6 month period correlates to one of the 3 forces a believer must overcome in their lives...

the first six month period - representing our carnal nature, the flesh, and dying to the flesh;
the second six month period - representing the world culture, and dying to its influence as the character and nature of Jesus is being fashioned and expressed within;

and the third force is Satan.  Esther does symbolically face and resist Satan later - Haman is a type of Satan.  Haman's name comes from a Persian word that means "magnificent"!  It is easy to see the comparison, and if you know the story, Haman has the same type of pride which brought Satan to his down fall!

In verse 15 we read that Esther found favor - or other ways this word chen חֵןhas been translated, she found grace, graciousness, preciousness, and pleasantness - in the eyes of all who saw her.  She allowed the "beautification" process to have its intended purpose, she submitted humbly to the rigors of the rubbing and scraping (the things God puts in our path to challenge and refine us), and soaked in the perfumes and oils (the nature and presence of Jesus) till what was expressed through her was what we would call....holiness.

The type of holiness that is gentle and reverent with all, even one's own self; a holiness that is not self-abasing or legalistic, but a holiness that is rich in love.  A holiness that is patient, kind, not boastful or proud or arrogant, not jealous; a holiness that is upright, respectful, acting in ways that invite people towards it, that puts others before one's own desires, that doesn't get offended, that seeks out and delights in the truth and rejects unrighteousness even in the guise of religion; a holiness that is full of hope, steadfastness in God's ways, embracing all that God allows to come into their lives; a holiness that dwells on that which is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, of good repute, excellent, or worthy of praise...

And such holiness caused her king to find favor with her as well...the kind of favor that caused him to feel faithfulness and zeal towards her!

This is the kind of holiness I want to express...I want my King to be zealous towards me!  (See Zephaniah 3:17 for this zeal!) I want my nature to melt with the nature of Jesus, to the point that we are truly one.  And when this occurs, isn't that the point when I am most able to resist the devil?  And isn't this the point of the most serious warfare - when the enemy would seek to draw me away - when I am pressing closer to Him, living my life in worship to Him...worshiping Him in the beauty of holiness? And the weapon of my warfare?  More worship in the beauty of holiness!

Yes, Lord, let this be so of me!

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6 
Part 7 
Part 8


emily wierenga said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

yes, Lord. me too.

Joybird said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I love it when you delve deep Cindy! This is beautiful and intensly interesting.

Joybird said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I love it when you delve deep Cindy! This is beautiful and intensly interesting.