Posts tagged ‘Meshach’

July 18, 2012

Beauty AND Brains

Esther, like Daniel, the three Hebrew Princes, Joseph, and her cousin-uncle Mordecai, found herself in the court of a foreign king.  Her people were brought to the Babylonian kingdom, soon overtaken by the Medes and Persians, and under the rule of Xerxes I a.k.a. Ahasuerus.

Esther’s Dual Captivity

Ahasuerus’ wife, Vashti, embarrassed him in front of his likely drunk princes, government officials, and military men by not appearing and thus bought herself and one-way ticket to former “queendom”.  Beautiful virgins were taken from all over the empire and dragged to the royal citadel to become part of the king’s harem in hopes that one of them would be worthy enough to land the newly vacant role of Queen.  Esther, formally known as “Hadassah”, was among these women.

Now most PG-rated ministers will tell you that the king simply wanted to look at the women, pick who was prettiest, and make her queen.  They would be wrong.  The king spent one night—not sleeping—with each virgin, allowing them to cross over from the virgin’s harem to the experienced women’s harem to remain indefinitely until the king called them by name.

This, as I’m sure you know, is against everything Christians and Jews—especially ancient, traditional Jews—believe in.  Sleeping with a man you were not formally married to or at least not considered married until after the [sexual] intercourse took place; marrying a foreigner, etc.  There were rules against that kind of thing.  And yet God allowed it.  Could it be that the king’s acquisition of Esther was made to mirror the acquisition of the entire people?  The prophet Jeremiah prophesied time and time again that those who gave in to the Babylonian captivity would flourish and be blessed while those who resisted it brought themselves under a curse (Jeremiah 29).  Likewise, had Esther fought the king and his servants or allowed herself to sink into the depths of despair, then she would have missed her blessing and ultimately been destroyed.  But Esther knew her God.

Esther’s Smarts

Another Babylonian “acquisition”, Daniel knew the benefit of knowing his God as well.

“But the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits,” (Daniel 11:32).

Like Daniel, Esther understood that her situation was not traditional or even desirable, but she also understood that she could choose to make the most out of it and allow God to do “exploits” through her.

Esther put on a positive attitude and through her amiability, God gave her favour with the eunuch who ran the entire harem.  It was he that instructed her on what she should wear for her encounter with the king.  I don’t know if the king liked a certain kind of jewelry, perfume, Medo-Persian lingerie or what, but whatever the eunuch gave Esther to wear, she apparently wore it very well and I believe that her willingness to adapt and learn coupled with her optimism and favour was what moved the king to select her.  Of course, God’s hand was in all of this from the beginning; however, Esther played her part in the grand scheme of things very well.

Eventually, Esther won favour that had her king-husband overruling himself, countering edicts, and offering her up to half his kingdom on multiple occasions.  Needless to say, Esther had Ahasuerus in the palm of her hand.  I can imagine that they had a very long, happy life together despite his non-Jewish heritage and religion.  God absolutely used Esther “for such a time as this” and through her position and favour, allowed her to save alive her entire captive people and set the stage for Nehemiah and Ezra to lead the people back to Israel.  Today, Esther’s tomb is still guarded and lauded by the Muslim, sworn enemies of Israel and Christianity in Modern day Persia [Iran] despite her Jewish-captive status.  If that isn’t a lasting legacy, I don’t know what is.

Take a Cue from Esther

What I love about Esther was that she was not religious; that would have cost her her life or at least her favour in the royal harems and court.  Esther was discerning with her faith; she knew when to keep it to herself and when to display it.  She also did not employ manipulation, fear, or mere beauty to get what she wanted.  If she had, her favour and position never would have lasted.  Esther chose instead to use her brains.  Yes, her beauty was absolutely a tool and benefit, but it was not all she had.  I dare say there were other, prettier girls in the harem with her, but something about her caused her to stand out.

What do you have in your possession?  As women, especially in the corporate world, we are encouraged to act or dress a certain way that will attract the desired attention and help us up the corporate ladder.  That is not God’s way; it’s manipulation.  Then there is the other extreme who try to equate themselves to men, take no care for their appearance or even hide it, attempting to force the men around them to see only their work and not their face or form.  This doesn’t work too well either.  It is possible to be a successful female entrepreneur and businesswoman whilst being attractive and well-dressed.

Your appearance can be an asset to you just like it was to Esther, but don’t let that be the end; allow it to only be a means to an end.  Think like this “people notice me because of how I look”, (be realistic, not arrogant), “but I will allow it to be a platform for my true gifts and talents”.

Numerous times in the past when I would apply for particular jobs, the hiring managers would verbalize their desire to hire me because of how I looked.  Even back in high school a guest speaker informed me that she would trust me as a [future] wedding planner because of how I looked and presented myself.  And just the other day, a movie executive interested in helping me publish my first book told me that my “great name” was one of the benefits that place me ahead of other aspiring authors.  And guess what?  I have the knowledge and expertise to back up those beauty and name-based remarks.

So again I ask you: what do you have?  Maybe you’re like me and have a good-looking outer shell in your favour.  This also means that many people have probably underestimated you because of your beauty; story of my life.  Most people have no clue of the God-ideas and depth that are within me.

A few weeks ago I participated in a conference call with Marshawn Evans, marketplace mentor and reinvention strategist, who recalled a time when an ex-boyfriend of hers doubted her ability to write a professional column for a magazine saying, “What are you going to write about?  You’re a pretty short book”.  WOW.  I’ve had a lot of things said to me in my day, but never anything so ugly.  Luckily for Marshawn, she’s written that column, SKIRTS in the Boardroom, had a successful law career, and now has a thriving branding and marketing business; all by her early 30s.  Sucks for him whoever he was.

Marshawn Evans

So for the last time, I ask you: what do you have?  Beauty is a God-given gift from the Father of Lights who desires that you use it for His glory (James 1:17).  That beauty will serve as a “foot in the door” which will lead to a platform to display the full set of gifts and talents God has given you as well.  Don’t be a Vashti and hide behind your religious convictions, false humility, and futile desire for the world to judge you based on your talents and not your beauty.  The world will see your outer shell before they ever give you the time to display what you are gifted to do.  Don’t fight it.  Go with the flow, put your trust in God, and allow Him to make you and Esther in your realm of influence!

For the entire story of Esther, see the Book of Esther.

Previous Post: “Wisdom in the Workplace

 

If you would like to use this post, feel free!  Just be sure to include this blurb with today’s blog:

Desiree M. Mondesir is the CEO and Founder of Desired Assistance or “DA” virtual writing and editing company which also encompasses DA Inspires, DA WeddingsDA Luxury and her self-titled authoress blog.  As a dedicated writer and entrepreneur, Desiree seeks to inspire the imagination, educate her readers, and challenge the toxic mindsets of individuals all over the world.  Sign up for a FREE subscription at www.dainspires.wordpress.com

June 27, 2012

Keeping the God-Factor

Last week, you might have read my post “Don’t Eat the King’s Food or Drink the King’s Wine!” based on the experience of Daniel, Hananiah, Azariah, and Mishael—better known as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego—being taken captive to Babylon.  We focused on the refusal of eating and drinking from the king’s table in order to avoid his influence of doctrine and spirit which was wholly intended to help assimilate them into Babylonian culture.

Removing the God-Factor

Today our post will focus on the God-factor in the young Hebrew men’s names.  When King Nebuchadnezzar took the Judean princes captive, one of the first things he did was change their name.

  • Daniel became “Belteshazzar” or “Baltasar”
  • Hananiah became “Shadrach”
  • Mishael became “Meshach”
  • Azariah became “Abed-Nego”

This renaming was not just a foreign king exercising his royal captor rights over his new captives, but it was a pointed effort to remove the “God-factor” from their names and replacing it with a “god-factor”.  But to better understand this, let’s look at what the names mean.

  • “Daniel” means “God is my judge”
  • “Hananiah” means “the grace of the Lord” or “Jehovah is gracious”
  • “Mishael” means “who is what God is?” or “He that is the strong God”
  • “Azariah” means “the Lord is my help” or “God has helped”

The Babylonian or Chaldean names they were given are as follows:

  • “Belteshazzar” or “Beltasar” means “keeper/revealer of the hidden treasures of Bel” whom the Babylonians worshiped
  • “Shadrach” means “inspiration of the sun” which the Babylonians worshiped
  • “Meshach” means “of the goddess Shach” Shach being the Babylonian Aphrodite [Greek] or Venus [Roman] whom the Babylonians worshiped
  • “Abed-Nego” means “servant of the shining fire” whom the Babylonians worshiped

Nebuchadnezzar no longer wanted to hear the “El” in Daniel or Mishael nor the “Ah” in Hananiah and Azariah because it was the reference to El Elion and Jehovah and other names of God; with their Hebrew names every time someone called their name, they called on God.  But with their new Babylonian names, the false gods of the Babylonians were called upon instead.

You may be wondering as fascinating as this teaching is—hopefully you think it’s fascinating—what does this have to do with writing or building a business?  Glad you asked!

Keeping the God-Factor in your Work

The God-factor in your ventures and endeavors may not be as literal as changing a name from Judeo-Christian to pagan; however, it is possible to have it and even to remove it.

You have heard me speak of Tolkien’s theory of Sub-creation before, and I will mention it again here.  Sub-creation, the ability to create within our own spheres of influence, mimicking the Ultimate Creator, is an excellent way of keeping the God-factor in your work.  It is possible to have it as a non-Christian, but it is all the more effective and evident if you are a believer.  When you sub-create, you see God’s hand in your work whether you write about Him overtly as I am or whether it just happens to be the spirit of a piece such as in The Chronicles of Narnia series and even in The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

You can also keep scriptural values and mindsets in your work whether it is your office or your blog.  I don’t [usually] preach in my DA Weddings blog, but I silently uphold the Gospel by refusing to celebrate or encourage homosexual “marriages” or commitment ceremonies.  Furthermore, anyone who works for DA Weddings in the future will have to maintain that value in their work as well.  Also in many various pieces I write as well as in my Desired Assistance company mission, I firmly believe in operating in a spirit of excellence, much like Daniel.

Keeping the God-factor could mean that you refuse to take on a particular project or accept a particular client.  It could mean that you discretely shun the language typical for a particular scene or publication.  Whatever your “Babylon”, God will allow you the ability to work in a secular, ungodly environment and maintain your relationship with Him.  And when the time comes, He will use you to demonstrate His supernatural power in a way that will elevate you and exalt your before the world.

Previous Post: “Don’t Eat the King’s Food or Drink the King’s Wine!

Reference Video Series: “The Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory” (Bishop Tudor Bismark).

 

If you would like to use this post, feel free!  Just be sure to include this blurb with today’s blog:

Desiree M. Mondesir is the CEO and Founder of Desired Assistance or “DA” virtual writing and editing company which also encompasses DA Inspires, DA WeddingsDA Luxury and her self-titled authoress blog.  As a dedicated writer and entrepreneur, Desiree seeks to inspire the imagination, educate her readers, and challenge the toxic mindsets of individuals all over the world.  Sign up for a FREE subscription at www.dainspires.wordpress.com

June 20, 2012

Don’t Eat the King’s Food or Drink the King’s Wine!

When we as Christians think about the spirit of excellence, we automatically look to the prince, Daniel, as our example.  His [cousins] Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah—better known as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego—also shared in this spirit of excellence.  But how did they achieve it?  Let’s find out!

Refusing the Influence of Babylon

At the very beginning of the Book of Daniel, we are introduced to the four young men as well as their pathway to excellence.

“But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself….So Daniel said to the steward whom the chief of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, Please test your servants for ten days, and let them give us vegetables to eat and water to drink.  Then let our appearance be examined before you, and the appearance of the young men who eat the portion of the king’s delicacies; and as you see fit, so deal with your servants.’  So he consented with them in this matter, and tested them ten days.  And at the end of ten days their features appeared better and fatter in flesh than all the young men who ate the portion of the king’s delicacies,” (Daniel 1:8; 11-15).

Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah—princes ofIsraelbrought captive toBabylon—respectfully refused to eat the meat and drink the wine of King Nebuchadnezzar.  It was not that the food and wine were evil in and of itself, but rather what they represented.

In the spirit, the king’s meat represented doctrine which is closely related to bread in the Bible which as we know represents the Word (Acts 2:42; 46).  Therefore, if we “eat” from an evil king’s table, we eat of his influence.

Similarly, the wine or drink of the king represents his spirit (Amos 9:13 AMP; Revelation 14:8).  Wine is even nicknamed as “spirits” because it has the propensity to influence a person and make them act a certain way that is out of character.  Therefore, if we partake of the king’s wine and drink, we partake of his ungodly spirit.  Do you want that? I don’t.

Thus, the four Hebrew princes decided not to “defile” themselves and instead chose to refuse the kings richness and ate fresh vegetables and water and milk.  And when the eunuch charged with their care saw the pleasant appearance of their countenance, he never tried to feed them anything but their special diet again.

The Results of the Princes’ Nutritional Abstinence

Upon the princes’ graduation from “Babylon University”, King Nebuchadnezzar personally examined all of the young captive graduates and found that the four were “TEN TIMES BETTER than all the magicians and astrologers who were in ALL HIS REALM” (Daniel 1:20), TEN TIMES BETTER!

Now let me break this down to you. Babylon, the seat of the Babylonian empire, the greatest empire in the world at the time, was an absolute cesspool of Occultic practices.  All of the “wise men” or “magi” of the time who were considered the best in the world, were there.  These people were psychics, necromancers, witches and wizards, mediums, pagan priests/priestesses, and many more who excelled in their demonic professions and practices, yet Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah excelled them all!  The learned men including the advisors and counselors of the king and the heads of “BabylonianUniversity” were completely outshined.  Just as Joseph had outshined the wise men and magicians of Pharaoh’s court, so did these young princes.  Not to mention that the Bible says they were TEN TIMES BETTER “in all matters of wisdom and understanding” which mean they exceeded every Chaldean [Babylonian] expert in every subject.

Don’t Let Babylon Influence You

Three years ago this month, I heard Bishop Tudor Bismark preach a message on this very subject.  In it, he stated that the “system [ofBabylon] is designed to attack young people” (The Kingdom”, King Jesus International Ministry).  He could not have been more right.

When Nebuchadnezzar took the Northern Kingdom of Judah, he took the very best of the kingdom.

“Then the king instructed Ashpenaz, the master of his eunuchs, to bring some of the children of Israel and some of the king’s descendants and some of the nobles, young men in whom there was no blemish, but good-looking, gifted in all wisdom, possessing knowledge and quick to understand, who had ability to serve in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the language and literature of the Chaldeans,” (Daniel 1:3-4).

He took the most handsome, the most intelligent, the fastest learners, and the most socially adjusted young men from among the royal family and upper echelon of society and took them back toBabylonto indoctrinate them with their culture, religion, and overall thinking.  In short, they wanted fully assimilated Hebrew princes so you could not tell the difference between Hebrew and Chaldean.  It’s a very smart plan if you plan on assimilating an entire people, detaching them from their God and history, as well as shifting the future of their lineage.

Newsflash: you may be in New York, London, or Lagos, but Satan’s demonic plans to forcefully assimilate you into his kingdom has not changed.  The spirit of Babylon still seeks to take your talents, your God-given gifts, you ideas, concepts, and inventions and claim them for his own use.  Don’t give in!

Don’t drink the spirit of the age whether it be apathy, passivity, or lukewarmness.  Refuse to eat from his doctrines of tolerance, homosexuality, free love, and other doctrines of devils.  If you do, you will be assimilated into the Babylonian culture of our day like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah’s undiscerning and unrecognized peers.

All of the gifts God has given you, literary skills, entrepreneurial ventures, vocal abilities, brilliant inventions, and more will never be fully realized in you unless you fully submit them to God and refuse to be influenced by the dark kingdom.  Every good and perfect thing comes from God (James 1:17); don’t let Satan use your good for his vain glory.

Previous Post: “Plagiarise for Jesus

 

If you would like to use this post, feel free!  Just be sure to include this blurb with today’s blog:

Desiree M. Mondesir is the CEO and Founder of Desired Assistance or “DA” virtual writing and editing company which also encompasses DA Inspires, DA WeddingsDA Luxury and her self-titled authoress blog.  As a dedicated writer and entrepreneur, Desiree seeks to inspire the imagination, educate her readers, and challenge the toxic mindsets of individuals all over the world.  Sign up for a FREE subscription at www.dainspires.wordpress.com