Seal That is Set

During my sophomore year of high school I was honored to be one of four representatives for the state of North Carolina. We were chosen to attend the Hugh O’Brien Youth Leadership World Conference. I met sophomores from all over the world and learned everything I could about business, leadership and politics. One of the coolest things I received when I returned home from the conference was a letter from the President of the United States. He was congratulating me on being chosen, for attending and for helping to lead our country.

As a clueless teenager I asked my mom how she knew this was really from the President. She pointed to the seal and told me to stop being skeptical and start being thankful (insert “mom” voice here please). I ran my fingers over the embossed seal and was in awe that the President of the United States wrote ME a letter.

Let’s be honest, these letters were most likely printed in mass to all participants, I’m sure the President’s secretary signed them with a stamp and the seal was most likely already on the paper…all of that aside I felt incredibly special because I’d been recognized by our Commander-in-Chief.

Before status updates, press releases or the postal system – members of royalty and leadership had a clear way to prove that they made a decree or supported a document.  How did they do it? Their seal. Some had a seal imprinted on their ring. The ring could be dipped in wax or ink and added to the necessary document. While completing Beth Moore’s study, Esther, I discovered just how powerful the seal of the King could be.

Esther’s patience, grace and strength saved the entire Jewish population from being killed. The twist is that she didn’t have to fight against the ruling King, her husband, to save her family.  She was fighting against the man who had the King’s ring!

King Xerxes had an advisor, Haman, who tricked the King into thinking the Jews were a threat and a menace to the kingdom. In Esther 3:9-11 Xerxes and Haman have this conversation about the Jews: 9 If it pleases the king, let a decree be issued to destroy them, and I will give ten thousand talents of silver to the king’s administrators for the royal treasury.” 10 So the king took his signet ring from his finger and gave it to Haman son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, the enemy of the Jews. 11 “Keep the money,” the king said to Haman, “and do with the people as you please.”

Verse 10 is key –  when Xeres gave Haman his ring he gave Haman the power to not only make decisions, but to make them with the weight and support of the King’s position, power and authority.  This seal was powerful only because of what it represented. The ring wouldn’t win battles and the seal couldn’t stop an enemy’s sword, but words on a page became powerful enough to do both things when the King’s seal was present.
A few books later in the Old Testament we read about another seal – the seal of love. The shortest book in the Old Testament is a song and story about love. Some people interpret this book as a love song between Solomon and his Beloved, others see it more as a parable of God’s love for His chosen people, Israel. The last chapter of Song of Songs (or Song of Solomon in some translations) contains this charge: Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm (Song of Songs 8:6) .
From a King’s signet ring, to the love between two individuals; the idea of setting a seal on something is not only significant, it’s intentional.
So the question for us, during this month of candy, chocolate and love is: “What seal is set on our hearts, our family and our marriage?”
An answer I hope to give comes from one of my favorite hymns, “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing”.  When I think about my life I sing this line in my mind and heart , “Here’s my heart Lord, take and seal it. Seal it for Thy courts above”.
When we ask God to come in, to be a part of our life, he asks us to set His love and ways as a seal upon our hearts. When we do this – we’ll discover that loving people becomes a whole lot easier. Suddenly we aren’t loving out of “should” we love because we “could”. Because God first loved us, because we asked Him to seal us for HIS purpose we get the chance to show love to others.
When we dedicate  our children to God we are essentially removing our “seal” or ownership, and allowing God to put HIS seal on their life and future. Standing at an altar and saying, “I do” seals two lives together.
When you put your kids to bed, greet your co-workers, help a child with homework or prepare a meal for your family – I pray that you are doing all of it because the King of kings has set His seal upon your heart. His power, might and blessing is with you and each activity you undertake.
To help us connect with God, with His seal on our heart and life, I invite you to pray these words as you hear the BYU choirs sing Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing. It’s an amazing arrangement, just ignore the 90’s earrings and hairdo 😮
Start the recording at about 4:30 and get ready for a glimpse of what Heaven might be like. Here are the words you will hear…enjoy!
O to grace how great a debtor daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it, Seal it for Thy courts above.
Seal it for Thy courts above!
Whose seal is set on your heart and life?
What seal are you setting on the life of your children?
I pray the seal of love is set on everything you experience this month. Blessings on you and your family!

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