Joseph Prince - God's Favor Will Take You to Places
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This is an excerpt from: Where Is God In The Midst Of Your Trouble?
Long before you have a need, long before the devil plants any evil against you, God has the provision. God sees beforehand. Can I have a good amen? All right. So it's a turning point right down here. So now, the call is made. The queen is deposed. I'm sure she regret it a lot, okay? And a call is made. The king wants to find a wife. So, all the women of the province, and it's the entire province, they were all summoned to come to Shushan, the palace. And let's follow the story. Okay, "Now when the turn came for Esther the daughter of Abihail the uncle of Mordecai, who had taken her as his daughter, to go in to the king, she requested nothing but what Hegai the king's eunuch, the custodian of the women, advised. And Esther obtained favor in the sight of all who saw her".
Now, if you read earlier, the Bible says she was very beautiful and yet the Bible says that she obtained favor. I want to say this, those of you, Pastor Lawrence, listen, who are good looking and all that, or you're pretty and all that, chances are sometimes you depend on that to help open doors instead of depending on favor. Even though Esther was beautiful, so were other women also. The way to stand out is always God's favor. God gives favor, amen, amen?
You are new to the business. There are many others who have made their mark long before you from their grandfather to their father, to handed down to them, and you are new to the business. Well, you know what? Favor will make the difference. If people like you, people like you, amen? If you read the entire thing you find that it talks about the women who were brought there. Before they see the king, they actually bathed in perfume for six months and then another perfume for a number of period of time also. And so, the whole thing is it's just amazing, very elaborate, very prosperous, very lavish.
So, the Bible tells us, drop down, "Esther was taken to King Ahasuerus, into his royal palace, in the tenth month. And the king loved Esther more than all the other women, and she obtained grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins; so he set the royal crown upon her head and made her queen instead of Vashti. So, once again you have grace and favor, which was my first seminar or conference that I did for Hillsong Church. It's called Grace And Favor, amen? And if you put your trust in God's grace and favor, you'll go places, amen? Doors will open. Don't depend on your smarts.
See, the problem with us Singaporeans especially, you know, you are so smart. You people are so smart, and you tend to depend on your smartness. You depend on your experience. No, thank God for education. Thank God for your experience. Thank God for your background. Thank God for whatever it is, help. But the thing is depend completely in your heart on the Lord, and his favor, and his grace, amen, okay?
So, once again the Bible emphasize the Holy Spirit is endeavoring to give us, to bring home to the point, she obtained grace and favor. Okay, drop down. Okay, "Then the king made a great feast, the Feast of Esther, he proclaimed a holiday in the provinces and gave gifts according to his generosity". Now, the drama intensifies. We come to the next chapter. The next chapter we have that evil man, Haman. I told you just now, right? He's a type of the Antichrist to come. All right, Haman, he's from the Amalekites and the Amalekites hate Israel. In fact, when the children of Israel came out of Egypt, the Amalekites would come behind and annihilate, kill, destroy, children, people who are lagging behind, old people, people who are weak. And God says to Israel, "Never tolerate the Amalekites".
So, what is Amalekite today? Your flesh. Whatever you don't destroy will destroy you. Saul was told to kill the Amalekite. He didn't. When he was on the mountain of Gilboa, it was an Amalekite that killed him. So, it's a principle. Today, we don't kill people. Love your neighbor, love your enemies as well, amen? So, the principle in the Old Testament is always the principle of the flesh. Amalekite is your flesh. In fact, the word "amal" from the Hebrew to labor hard, to labor with pain, amal. That means what? That is the flesh. Flesh is always fleshly effort. Kill it, kill that fleshly effort. It's causing stress. It's causing sickness. It's causing lack of rest, robbing you of your peace of mind. This fleshly effort. 'I got to, I got to, I got to. It's up to me. It's up to me. What will I do? What must I do"? You know, stop it, that's Amalekite. Kill it or it will kill you. That's a principle of the Bible, okay?
So, Haman is from this tribe Amalekites, and we don't know how he ended up in Persia. He's not a Persian and yet he rose through the ranks to become the top vizier to the king, top premier. He's the top next guy and the king liked him so much, the reason is not given, that the king made him his right-hand man, and he's not even a Persian. So, when he was in this position, he was so proud that one day he passed by the king's gate and Mordecai was there. Mordecai was the one who took care of Esther, remember?
Now, obviously he's sitting at the king's gate. He's a man of some standing. He's an official in the kingdom as well or else he won't be allowed to be there in the king's gate. Are you listening? So, Haman wanted him to bow down before him and by that, Persian means worship. You bow before no other gods, amen? Bow before no other man, amen? I'm not referring to the curtsy bow or the Korean, you know, all right? Drink teh tarik halfway, face the other way. All those respectable terms is okay. This is worship. He wanted Mordecai to worship him. When he found out that Mordecai was a Jew, he was even more, you know, more incensed. He was mad. Don't forget, he has a hatred for Jews.
So, let's look at next chapter. "When Haman saw that Mordecai did not bow or pay him homage, Haman was filled with wrath. But he disdained to lay hands on Mordecai alone, for they had told him of the people of Mordecai," the Jewish people. Instead, look at how evil this man is, "Haman sought to destroy all the Jews throughout the kingdom". It's not just one thing to destroy Mordecai. He wants to destroy all the Jews. Can you see that?