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.
Verse for Today:
When the king's commandment and his decree drew near to be put in execution . . . of the Jews . . . it was turned to the contrary . . . the Jews had rule over them that hated them (9:1).
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 had 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 plans to murder all the Jews.
The determined 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 in control of the affairs of the 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 gave Haman's estate to Esther, who set Mordecai over it (Esther 8:2). The king's decree, written earlier by Haman, could not be retracted, even by the king. However, Esther requested the king allow Mordecai to write a new decree giving the Jews the right to defend themselves, and it was written according to all that Mordecai commanded (8:7-11).
The celebration of Purim falls on the 14th and 15th days of Adar, a month before the Passover. Every year since that time, the 14th and 15th are days of great joy and feasting among the Jews around the world. The Book of Esther also demonstrates how God uses faithful servants to change world affairs and to fulfill His promises.
In days of peace and prosperity, we are prone to be less concerned about the presence of God. But, when our situation seems critical and He wonderfully intervenes, we praise Him for His loving and merciful provision.
Mordecai 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 to the threats of the Hamans of this world.
The ultimate peace and satisfaction enjoyed by Mordecai and Esther can only be experienced by those who remain faithful to Christ and His Word. We share His compassion for His Church (Ephesians 5) and His Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20). All the world needs to know that those who reject Christ miss the greatest discovery of life. As members of His Church, the Body of Christ, let us gladly respond to His loving authority. No flesh should glory in His presence. But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, Who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord (1 Corinthians 1:29-31).
By Mordecai's exaltation from servanthood to a position of honor and glory next to the king (Esther 8:2; 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
Government Officials: Rep. Steny Hoyer (MD), Rep. James Sensenbrenner, Jr. (WI), and Rep. Billy Tauzin (LA) · Pray for the President · Country: Iraq (22 million) in southern Asia · Major languages: Arabic and Kurdish · Fierce harassment of non-Muslims · 96% Muslim; 3% Christian · Prayer Suggestion: Pray in secret before God, not seeking human praise (Matthew 6:6).
Optional Reading: Galatians 3
Memory Verse for the Week: 2 Timothy 3:16