“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” – Hebrews 4:16
Two court customs of ancient Persian kings were: (1) celebratory, months-long feasts for the purpose of displaying the splendor and glory of a king’s reign, and (2) no one was allowed to enter the inner court of the king without being summoned by the king, upon possible pain of death. These expressions of extreme self-exaltation are plainly illustrated in the Book of Esther.
We might think of these practices as being archaic, but they are not all that far from what exists in today’s world despite the passage of centuries and the maturation of social, economic and political systems. Many nations and their leaders, regardless of title, still seek ways to highlight their glory, showing-off for the rest of the world to take note. Many national leaders want the pomp associated with their status. And even if they don’t seek it themselves, the customs of their nations require that they be enshrouded in a certain amount of it.
Imagine trying to walk into the oval office of the White House uninvited and unescorted. You might not be sentenced to death by a court, but you could easily be shot to death by the Secret Service. Just trying to climb the fence at the perimeter of the property could get you jail time. In two thousand nineteen, no one approaches a monarch, a president, or a prime minister without being invited (and escorted). They are separated from the rest of us, and are generally unapproachable, except by their choice.
It’s ironic isn’t it, that these norms are abnormal when compared to the kingdom of GOD? The inward and outward humility of Jesus, in whom was all the fullness of deity (Colossians 1:19, 2:9) seems so out of place in our world. Which of our current world leaders would condescend to walk with and live among those they lead, even for a month, no less die for them?
It’s ironic isn’t it, that you and I are told to come boldly to the throne room of GOD, to enter into His presence, without any escort, that we might receive what we need? Furthermore, He encourages to come frequently and to remain. He likes our company. We’re not an interruption to GOD. We’re not visitors to whom He only needs to be polite for a few minutes before we are dismissed. I find this to be ironic.
I also find it ironic (and unfortunate) that so many of us who claim Him seem to not value this great privilege. It’s natural to want to spend time with those we love; I want to commune with them as much as I can. I thank GOD for His open door; and I am never disappointed when I walk through it.
Esther took a great risk to enter into the inner court of Xerxes; and she prevailed. Conversely, we take a great risk when we don’t enter into the inner court of GOD for it is there that we receive the mercy and grace we need to prevail over the challenges, trials and tribulations of earthly life. How Great Is Our GOD!
I’m deeply grateful for those who have taught and encouraged me to enter in, and for those who still set the example. Let me encourage you.
© Byron L. Hannon, 2019. All rights reserved for text content.