WHAT ARE YOU ENTERTAINING?
Then the king’s personal attendants proposed, “Let a search be made for beautiful young virgins for the king. Esther 2:2
So that the king could forget Vashti and what he had regrettably done against her, he put out a search to find beautiful young virgins to replace her. It was a contest and one would be chosen out of the ‘best of the best’ of his kingdom. Distractions are usually very effective to drown out a guilty conscience plagued with regret. Satan makes sure of that because his ultimate goal is to see the same sin happen again.
An appetite that strays from God’s prescription for a prosperous life will become, over time, twisted and unquenchable. There’s no other way it can go because sin begets sin. Iniquity can never stay small. The journey to the land of perversion is slow paced because the changes in a sinful appetite seem subtle at first. It is like lowering the lighting in a room a little bit at a time. It isn’t until I’m nearly in darkness that I wake up and say, “Hey, wait a minute. I can’t see.” I am oblivious to the changes as I head toward ultimate blindness.
The degree of sin I will tolerate tomorrow is directly linked to what goes unnoticed today! A stray word, a lustful thought, a brief contemplation of revenge; these are the seeds which sprout spiritual weeds. No wonder Paul encourages each of us to take every thought captive. He’s not encouraging OCD but the prevention of small things becoming big things.
Some time back, a Christian businessman in our small city did the unthinkable. He threw away his future and the future of his family when he robbed a bank here in Athens, GA. It covered the front pages. Everyone who knew him, including me, was stunned. His witness was strong. His family was model. His business was well respected. But somewhere in his thought life, an idea simmered. The time it took from the conception of the idea of robbery to the actual occurrence didn’t happen overnight. It probably took years but the point is ~ it happened.
Did the king act out of character toward Vashti? Probably not. Others must have experienced him as an angry, impulsive person and they walked on eggshells around him. “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” I may not be a polygamist like King Ahaseurus but his life teaches me far more than a lesson on morality. His choices, recorded for anyone to read, reveal the gravity of unbridled appetites that begin where thoughts are conceived, out of sight and usually at random.
Magnify my thoughts so that I may compare them to Your Word. I hold every one of them up to the light of Your glory and do daily sifting. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Originally published Friday, 22 March 2019.