Chapter 1 of the book of Esther is a cautionary tale of the consequences of foolish decision-making. There are many lessons that we can glean from the foolish choices made by King Ahasuerus in Esther 1:13-18.
King Ahasuerus, insulted and humiliated by Queen Vashti, allows his advisors to determine his direction and his actions. Prince Memucan proposes that he banish his queen based on self-motivated desires. This decision was a foolish one.
In the king’s warped state of mind, swirling with alcohol, pride, anger, and resentment, he failed to recognize himself. He was incapable of making his own rational decision at that time. Instead, King Ahasuerus surrendered his authority to advisors who chose to benefit themselves while essentially ending his marriage.
Like King Ahasuerus, fools are often led by their emotions. Fools heed the voices that match their emotional intensity, which often leads to impulsive emotional responses
The wisdom of the sensible is to understand his way, but the foolishness of fools is deceit. – Proverbs 14:8
This is a valuable lesson for believers. It is easy to make hasty choices based on our self-focused desires, our fickle emotions, and persistent peer pressure.
Proverbs 14:8 tells us that the wise person understands their way. The wise person knows who she is with Christ, but is also keenly aware of who she can become without Christ.
As she draws nearer to God, she gains humble clarity about herself.
A wise person identifies those vulnerable areas and blind spots in her life and in her mind. She understands those weak areas where she can be tempted, manipulated, or deceived.
If we desire this wisdom, the only place we will ever find it is at the source of all wisdom – God alone.
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; – who can understand it? – Jeremiah 17:9
The key to avoiding deceit in our lives is to filter every thought, every experience, and every decision through the light of God’s Word. In darkness, indecision, fear, or frustration, pursue nothing and no one but God.
Knowing and believing God and His Word protects us from deceit and helps us to resist compromising our commitment to Him.
With lots of help from the Holy Spirit and with lots of practice, our ability to clearly see God and our sinfulness should become more sensitive over time. As we get better at identifying deceit in our life, we are then able to quickly bring those things captive before the truth of God. And darkness cannot stand before the light of God.
Examine me and test me, O Lord; judge my heart and my mind. – Psalms 26:2
How well do you know yourself?
- What triggers cause you to stray from God or doubt His goodness?
- What circumstances have tempted you to make a hurried or desperate decision?
- Do you have an accurate assessment of who you are with and without Christ?
If we are not open to recognizing the full extent of our smallness and our sinfulness, we will never appreciate the vastness of God’s greatness and His holiness.
This knowledge and understanding of ourselves can only be found in God alone, for He is the One who created our inner being and knitted us together.
It should not be forgotten that God masterfully orchestrated the king’s foolish decision so that His sovereign plan would prevail. No matter what happens, God’s plans are unstoppable.
This should encourage us to always remember that when we fail in our decision-making – and yes, we will often fail – God is still able to use our failures to deepen our faith, draw us closer to Him, and teach us even more about His grace, mercy, and forgiveness.
How can we pray over your guidance and wisdom in decision-making?
Peace and grace to you,
Terria serves on the LGG encourager and social media teams. She lives in Virginia with her husband. Her passion is igniting and empowering women to grab hold of God’s truth and cling to it. She can be found hard at work in military hospitals listening to patients’ stories, while sharing the love that God has poured out in her life. Despite the sometimes chaotic circumstances of Terria’s life, God always shows Himself strong and loving.
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