God prepared His plan to preserve His chosen people. Events began with Queen Vashti being deposed. Esther, from an exiled Jewish family, was chosen to replace her (chap. 1— 2). Mordecai found favor with the king (Esth. 2:21-23). Haman, the king's chief advisor, plotted to kill the entire Jewish population in Persia (3:7-15).
Hadassah was the Hebrew name for the Jewish orphan whose Persian name was Esther (Star). She was taken to the king's palace along with other maidens, either to be made queen or to become a part of the king's harem. Esther found herself in a situation over which she had no control. She and her faithful, older cousin Mordecai, who had adopted her (Esth. 2:7,15), could only trust God for direction and protection. But, to complicate their situation, the man given the power to enforce the king's commands was the evil and self-serving Haman ( 3:10,15). Haman was an Amalekite, a descendant of Esau (3:1; also Genesis 36:12; I Sam. 15:2-3, 32-33), who hated all Jews (Deut. 25:17-19).
When Mordecai refused to bow down in "reverence" (Esth. 3:2), Haman was determined to use his authority to destroy Mordecai and all Jews in the kingdom. Haman's plan was declared law with the king's approval and the lot (Pur) was cast to determine the best day to execute all Jews (3:7-13). However, Mordecai and Esther used every legal means to defend the interests of the people of God, even risking their own well-being.
God expects us to do all we can to resolve our own health, job, and financial problems. However, we should never doubt that God is in ultimate control to protect us and provide what we can't do. God never makes a mistake, is never partial, and never overlooks one of His children. We should not give in to self-pity and defeat but remain faithful and look to the Lord and His Word for guidance and strength. Like Mordecai, we must not bow down to the Hamans of this world who would seek to destroy our loyalty to Christ.
Like Esther, you may feel hopelessly trapped where you are and may long for the time when you would be free to do what you desire. But, Jesus explained the importance of doing your best now with the parable of a man with two talents . . . (who) said (to his master), Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things (Matt. 25:22-23).
Thought for Today:
Be not afraid of sudden fear. . . . For the Lord shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken (Prov. 3:25-26).
By Mordecai, who adopted Esther (Esth. 2:15). We are adopted into the family of God by Jesus Christ (Eph. 1:5; I John 3:1). Ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus (Gal. 3:26).
1:10 chamberlains =officials; 2:16 Tebeth compares with our December/January; 3:8 to suffer them =to let them remain; 3:13 Adar compares with our February/March; 3:15 posts =special messengers.
Pray for Government Official: Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA) • Country: Mongolia (2.4 million) in east-central Asia • Major language: Khalkha Mongol • As a 70-year era of communism wanes, Bibles are now on sale in the capital, Ulaanbaatar • 95.5% Tibetan Buddhist; 4% Muslim; .3% Christian; .2% Other • Prayer Suggestion: Thank God in prayer for His faithfulness to His Word and His desire that all come to repentance (II Pet. 3:9).
Optional Reading: Galatians 1
Memory Verse for the Week: 2 Corinthians 1:7