Read Esther 8
Esther's plea to reverse Haman's decree; decree revised; enemies of the Jews destroyed; Feast of Purim instituted.
Because Haman . . . the enemy of all the Jews, had devised against the Jews to destroy them, and had cast Pur, that is, the lot, to consume them, and to destroy them. . . . Wherefore they called these days Purim (Lots) after the name of Pur (Esth. 9:24,26).
Haman appeared to be invincible, and his decree to execute all the Jews seemed final. The law had been established, and the decree had been approved by the Persian king; and under the law of the Medes and Persians, a decree could not be revoked or altered (1:19).
Haman's astrologers had cast Pur (meaning, "had cast lots") to determine the most favorable time for the execution of all the Jews. Haman's "lucky day" fell on the thirteenth day of the last month. The divine principle which Haman did not realize was: The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the Lord (Prov. 16:33).
But the determined day of execution, known as Purim, was turned from death to deliverance, and the Jews have celebrated it each year for centuries. It is important to remember the times God has moved so greatly in our lives and on our behalf. This is not so we can live in the past. However, it is to remind us that we serve a God that loves His people. Since God loves His people, He is concerned about them. So, as result of God's love and concern for you, He lovingly responds to your prayers. Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you (Matt. 7;7).
The Feast of Purim is a testimony to the fact that what seems to be chance, good luck, or the wisdom of the world to some is in reality ordered by the Almighty Controller of world affairs.
Christ brought an even greater deliverance when He freed all mankind from the bondage of sin. How tragic that in later years when Christ, their Messiah, brought them a far greater deliverance, the Jews failed to recognize Him! For the Law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death (Rom. 8:2).
The judgment of death has passed upon all men, for all have sinned (3:23). As we put our trust in Christ as our Savior, we receive deliverance from sin and death and are given eternal life through His Son, our Deliverer.
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son . . . that the world through Him might be saved (John 3:16-17).
Thought for Today:
There is no sin that works more deceitfully than the sin of pride.
By Mordecai, who was exalted from servanthood to a position of honor and glory next unto (the) king (Esth. 8:2,15; 10:3). His life illustrated Christian conduct. Christ came to earth as a servant and was exalted to the right hand of God (Phil. 2:5-11; Mark 16:19).
8:3 put away the mischief, avert the evil; device, scheme; 8:10 posts, couriers; 9:4 waxed greater and greater, became increasingly popular and powerful.
Pray for International Broadcasts sponsored by Thursday Morning Prayer • Staff: Rita Guerra • Government Officials: Rep. Steny H. Hoyer (MD), Rep. Bob Gibbs (OH), and Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, Jr. (WI) • Country: Hungary (10.1 million) in east-central Europe • Major language: Hungarian • New freedom has opened the door to evangelism and Bible distribution • 61.7% Roman Catholic; 24.4% Protestant; 12.5% non-Religious/Other; .8% Jewish; .3% Orthodox; .2% Marginal; .1% Muslim • Prayer Suggestion: Glorify God who is able to use national leaders to accomplish His purposes (Ezra 7:27-28)
Optional Reading: Galatians 3
Memory Verse for the Week: Ecclesiastes 5:4