Read Esther 1 -- 3
In Today's Reading:
Vashti removed as queen; Esther made queen; Mordecai saves the king's life; Haman's plan to destroy all the Jews
Hadassah was the Hebrew name of the beautiful, young 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 (Esther 2:7,15), could only trust God for direction and protection. To complicate their situation, the king appointed the evil, self-serving Haman with authority to carry out his commands (3:10,15; 6:6-10; 7:9). Haman was an Amalekite, a descendant of Esau (Esther 3:1), who hated all Jews (Deuteronomy 25:17-19). When Mordecai refused to bow down in "homage" to him (Esther 3:2), Haman determined to use his authority to destroy Mordecai and all Jews in the kingdom. Haman's plan was declared law with the king's unwitting approval and Haman cast the lot (pur) to determine the best day to execute all Jews (3:7-13). Mordecai and Esther would have to use every legal means to defend the interests of the people of God, even risking their own lives to do so.
God expects us to do all we can to resolve our own health, job, personal, 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 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 be intimidated by the Hamans of this world who would seek to destroy our loyalty to Christ. Instead, we should be in submission to God, Who is the only One anyone needs to fear, for He alone has the power to eternally destroy or give life (Luke 12:5).
By Mordecai, who adopted Esther (Esther 2:15). We are adopted into the family of God by Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:5), and we are now called children of God (I John 3:1).
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 Hermano Pablo Hispanic Ministries · BPM Staff: Jim Ryan · Government Official: Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA) · Country: Fiji (813,000) in the southwestern Pacific · Major languages: English and Fijian · Religious freedom · 41% Hindu; 40% Protestant; 9% Roman Catholic; 8% Muslim · Prayer Suggestion: Pray for the Lord to give you the right words to share Christ with others (Matthew 10:18-20)
Optional Reading: Galatians 1
Memory Verse for the Week: II Timothy 3:16