Highlights In Today's Reading:
Over 50 years elapsed between chapters 6 & 7 of Ezra, during which the events in Esther probably took place - all in Persia. Esther, meaning Star, was the Persian name given to a Jewish maiden who, as queen of Persia, was used to deliver her people, the Jews, from massacre.
Esther was an orphan named Hadassah taken from Jerusalem to Babylon during the destruction of the Southern Kingdom of Judah. She could have become bitter. But it is a reminder that all of us are where God has placed us for His intended purpose. It's up to us whether we maintain an attitude of self pity if we don't like our circumstances or whether we allow Christ to use us where we are.
After Esther became queen, Haman had become so influential with the king that all the king's servants . . . bowed, and reverenced (him) (3:2). Mordecai could have bowed to Haman, along with the rest of the servants, but he chose to tell them that he was a Jew (3:4). This testimony brought about what appeared would be Mordecai's death. When Haman saw that Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence, then was Haman full of wrath (very angry) (3:5). But Mordecai was willing to die, if necessary, rather than compromise his loyalty to God.
God's foreknowledge has determined our circumstances even before we were born (Ephesians 1:4-11). Esther was brought to the king's house along with other maidens to be either slave or queen. Her consent was not asked. The consent of Mordecai, her adopted father, was not asked. They had no choice. But, Our Creator IS in control regardless of circumstances.
As Christians, we are ambassadors for Christ (II Corinthians 5:20) and should maintain a dignity in our daily conduct and conversation that honors our Lord. Are we willing to face rejection, when necessary, in order to remain true to the Lord?
We too may feel like a victim of circumstances beyond our control and wish for another situation where we could do something more for our Lord. There is no need to fear that you are missing God's best; just serve Him where you are, for He has placed you there for such a time as this (Esther 4:14). It is God's will for you to remain a faithful witness willing to sacrifice all. There is nothing about which to complain and nothing of which to boast in God's arrangement. There is also no one of whom to be jealous, for other people's talents and abilities have nothing to do with you.
We pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness (II Thessalonians 1:11-12).
Thought for Today:
God has a purpose and a plan for every Christian that will not only bless that person but countless others as well.
By Mordecai, who adopted Esther (Esther 2:15). We are adopted into the family of God by Jesus Christ (Eph. 1:5; I John 3:1). Ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus (Gal. 3:26).
1:10 chamberlains =b> officials; 2:16 Tebeth compares with our December/January; 3:8 to suffer them =b> to let them remain; 3:13 Adar compares with our February/March; 3:15 posts =b> special messengers.
Pray for International Shortwave Radio Broadcasts sponsored by Thursday Morning Prayer; Arabic International Shortwave Radio Broadcasts sponsored by Vincent & Rebecca Naughton • Staff: Clarence Rathbone • Government Official: Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA)• Country: South Korea (46.9 million) in northeastern Asia • Major languages: Korean and English • Religious freedom • 48% Christian; 40% Buddhist; 3% Confucian; 9% Shamanism; Chodogyo, Other • Prayer Suggestion: Pray for your Christian friends (Philemon 1:4).
Optional Reading: Galatians 1
Memory Verse for the Week: II Corinthians 1:7