Read Esther 1 -- 3
In the third year of his reign, it appears that the Persian King Ahasuerus summoned all the chief leaders of his kingdom to an extended feast that lasted six months (Esther 1:3-4). It was probably during this time that Ahasuerus announced his plan to conquer Greece. He then arranged another feast, this one lasting only seven days (1:5). During this second feast, Vashti the queen made a feast for the women in the royal house. . . . On the seventh day, when the heart of the king was merry with wine, he commanded . . . the seven chamberlains . . . to bring Vashti . . . to show the people . . . her beauty (1:9-11). Ahasuerus became enraged when queen Vashti refused to come at the king's commandment (1:12). The king consented to the suggestion of his advisors, who said: Let the king give her royal estate to another who is better than she (1:19).
History indicates that during the next four years Ahasuerus battled Greece, but was defeated and returned to Persia. Once he was back at his palace in Shushan, he remembered Vashti, and what she had done, and what was decreed against her (2:1). Then the king's servants said . . . gather together all the fair (beautiful) young virgins . . . And let the maiden who pleases the king be queen. . . . This pleased the king (2:2-4), and he commanded that this be done.
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 cousin Mordecai, who had adopted her (2:7,15), could only trust God for direction and protection. To complicate their situation, the man given the power to enforce the king's command was the evil and self-serving Haman (3:10,15; 6:6-10; 7:9). Haman, an Amalekite and a descendant of Esau (Esther 3:1), hated all Jews and was determined to destroy them (Deuteronomy 25:17-19). However, Mordecai and Esther used every legal means to defend the interests of the people of God, even risking their own welfare. We are never to doubt that God is in ultimate control, regardless of how difficult our situation may appear.
Like Esther, you too may feel like a victim of circumstances beyond your control. You may feel trapped where you are and you may long for a position where you would be free to "do something for the Lord." But God never makes a mistake or overlooks your situation. We should not give in to self-pity and defeat but we should remain faithful and look to the Lord and His Word for guidance and strength regardless of circumstances. Like Mordecai, we cannot bow down to the Hamans of this world who would seek to destroy us and our loyalty to Christ. Our responsibility is to bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ and . . . our bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God (II Corinthians 10:5; Romans 12:1).
Christ Revealed: By Mordecai, who adopted Esther (2:15). We are adopted into the family of God by Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:5). Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will (Ephesians 1:5), and we are now called the sons of God (I John 3:1).
Word Studies: 1:10 chamberlains means officials; 2:16 Tebeth compares with our December/January; 3:8 to suffer them means to let them remain; 3:13 Adar compares with our February/March; 3:15 posts means special messengers.
Government Official: Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA) · BPM Staff: Rick Hash · Pray for Rick Hash and the Bible Pathway Radio Broadcasts on WMTC-AM, Vancleve, KY · Pray for the Bible Pathway International Radio broadcast sponsored by Mrs. Robert Miller · Country: Macedonia (2 million) in southeastern Europe · Major languages: Macedonian and Albanian · strongly Orthodox country · 60% Macedonian/Albanian/Bulgarian Orthodox; 30% Muslim; 2% Roman Catholic; .2% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Confess your sins to the Lord; He is merciful and forgiving (Daniel 9:4-9).
Optional Reading: Galatians 1
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 25:21