Desperation to Faith
Hebrews 4:16 - "Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need."
I see a similarity between two amazing women in the Bible, one from the Old Testament and one from the New. Both these stories are extremely important, and well discussed. These two women were Esther, the Queen of Persia, a Jewish woman, and a woman known only as a woman with an issue of blood. No name. If you know the stories you might know the similarities.
Esther, a Jew, was called by God to save her people from the hand of one evil man who had a grudge...against one single, solitary man, Mordecai who was Queen Esther's cousin. Haman wanted all of Mordecai's people killed, wiped off the face of the earth just because of this one man's refusal to bow to him (because it was against Mordecai's religious beliefs to bow to anyone other than God). What power and captivity our egos, pride and humiliation can have over our lives.
Esther became Queen of Persia without anyone knowing she was a Jew, no doubt God's plan. Long story short, Esther was urged to speak to her husband the king regarding the word that had gotten out and the decree made that all Jews were to be killed. She knew she had to do this by faith because for her to approach her king unannounced could mean her death. Her faith-filled statement was: And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish! (Esther 4:16). When she approached he held out his scepter which was the sign that he was accepting of her appearance. She was safe; the king in the end granted her desires to save her people. Thankfully, our King's scepter, His hand, is always outstretched when we choose to approach.
The woman with the issue of blood, with no name, had to do a similar thing. I point out no name only because this could be any woman, or man, today. Jesus was in a throng of people. He reached out to the people He was encircled by as they requested salvation, deliverance or healing. Unbeknownst to Him this woman had worked her way through the crowd. Because she had this of issue of blood it meant, by the customs of the day, that she was considered unclean and was not allowed to be in the presence of others. It is suggested that this woman was crawling on her hands and knees to get to Jesus to touch the hem of His garment so as not to be seen by the people. Just like Esther, she was in a desperate state.
This hem...the hem of His garment: it would have been a shawl or sash of sorts that all Jewish priests (He is our Great High Priest) wore (and still do). Sewn delicately into that sash were blue threads whose fringe would hang at the end of it. This blue thread is called a tzitzit. Through a number of Hebrew definitions they are also called wings. It was worn as a reminder to the Old Testament priests that God's word and His will prevailed over self-will. In Jesus' case it would be His only desire to do the will of His Father. And what was His will...to bring deliverance, to heal, physically and spiritually. This woman, being Hebrew, would have known this and perhaps this Old Testament Scripture came to mind as she determined to press through the crowd: But to you who fear My name the Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings; and you shall go out and grow fat like stall-fed calves. (Malachi 4:2). The definition for wings here means edge, border or the corner of a garment.
This woman had been ill for twelve years, her money spent seeking doctors to no avail. Like Esther she only had one more possible Source of help. Like Esther she sought a King. Like Esther she needed to reach out for deliverance. The blood issue might not be illness for us but a deliverance from whatever holds us captive. This woman took a chance; not that Jesus would have ignored her. But as Esther reached out her hand for her king's scepter, this woman reached out for the healing hem of Jesus' garment. She had as much tenacity and faith as Esther. And [Jesus] said to her, "Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction."
No matter what our consuming need might be, we are told we can reach out to Jesus and He will supply our need. He will provide deliverance. He will save us from destruction. This need might be great or small. If we truly believe and have faith that God can help, we need only search for the hem of His garment, spiritually.
We can have faith the size of a mustard seed and God will acknowledge us. These two women were both tenacious in their acts. They reached out to their king/King and received deliverance. Each knew they could fail but in their determination they chose not to concern themselves with failure. Their lives were at stake; they had no place else to go.
Let us believe that we can have this same faith for something in our own lives. Let us realize we may boldly approach His throne of grace. Think about one thing you would reach out to the Lord for, believing He will come through.
Luke 7:50 - And Jesus said ... "Your faith has saved you, go in peace."