June 14, 2004
Read Esther 8 - 10
In Today's Reading:
Esther's plea to reverse Haman's decree; enemies of the Jews destroyed; Feast of Purim instituted; Mordecai promoted to great honor
Haman's "wise counselors" had cast Pur (lot) to determine the most favorable time for the execution of all Jews. Haman's "lucky day" fell on the 13th day of the twelfth month (Esther 3:7-13; 9:1,24). Undoubtedly Haman felt fortunate that the lot had fallen on the last month of the year so that he would have plenty of time to make his evil plans to murder every Jew in the kingdom.
The fixed day of execution, which came to be known as Purim (Lots), was turned from death to deliverance by the intervening providence of God. Haman did not realize that Mordecai's God is always in control of the affairs of earth. Even though the lot is cast into the lap . . . the whole disposing thereof is of the LORD (Proverbs 16:33).
Following Haman's execution, the king allowed Mordecai to write a new decree giving the Jews the right to defend themselves. In the day that the enemies of the Jews hoped to have power over them, (. . . it was turned to the contrary, that the Jews had rule over them that hated them) (Esther 9:1). The Book of Esther demonstrates how God uses faithful servants to change world affairs in order to fulfill His Word.
In days of peace and prosperity, we are prone to be less concerned about the presence of God. But, when our situation seems critical, we seek His presence, and when He wonderfully intervenes, we praise Him for His merciful protection and provision.
Esther is a testimony to the fact that, even in a secular society dominated by a heathen power, our God can protect His people. But, He expects us, like Esther, to respond courageously in faith
to the threats of the Hamans of this world.
The peace and satisfaction enjoyed by Mordecai and Esther can only be experienced by those who share our Lord's compassion for a lost world. Everyone has a right to know how to be saved. Jesus said: No man comes to the Father, but by Me (John 14:6).
By Mordecai's exaltation from servanthood to a position of honor and glory next to the king (Esther 8:2,15; 10:3). Christ came to earth as a servant and was exalted to the right hand of God (Philippians 2:7-9; Mark 16:19).
8:3 put away the mischief = to avert the evil; device = scheme; 8:10 posts = couriers; 9:4 waxed greater and greater = became increasingly prominent and powerful.
The International Shortwave Radio Broadcast in honor of Bonnie Wilhite · Staff
: Charity Ryan · Government Officials: Rep. Steny Hoyer (MD), Rep. James Sensenbrenner, Jr. (WI), and Rep. Billy Tauzin (LA) · Country
: El Salvador (6 million) in Central America · Major language: Spanish · Some intolerance of Protestants by government officials · 96% Roman Catholic; 3% Protestant
: Pray that your life will always be pleasing to God (John 8:29).
Optional Reading: Galatians 3
Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 1:17