Highlights In Today's Reading:
Esther is faced with the question that many of us have had to face (4:13-14). She could have avoided getting involved. But, because she was a devout Jew, Esther was led of God to reveal Haman's intentions to the king (5:1-12; 6:14 — 7:10). Note Haman's evil plan and hatred of Mordecai (5:9,13-14), and the miraculous means of God in protecting His own people (6:1-13; 7:10).
The prayer of Mordecai was intense — he cried with a loud and a bitter cry (4:1) and he didn't do it hiding in a closet. Such solemn prayer was always accompanied with fasting as a means of drawing nearer to the Lord and being more separated from the appeals for the world and self-interest (Is. 58:1-4; Dan. 9:3-19; 10:2-3; Matt. 17:21; Mark 9:29).
In every province, whithersoever the king's commandment and his decree came, there was great mourning among the Jews, and fasting, and weeping, and wailing; and many lay in sackcloth and ashes (Esth. 4:3).
A decree made by a Persian King could not be repealed, even by the king. Mordecai had faith that Almighty God would provide a way to overrule Haman's command to execute all the Jews. He didn't just fold his hands and leave it up to the Lord.
Mordecai sent Esther an urgent message asking her to plead with the king on behalf of their condemned race. The principle of usefulness for all of us is still the same as Mordecai said to Esther: Who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this? (4:13-14). Esther was fearful and reminded him of the Persian law that said anyone who approached the king uninvited could be put to death. To make her situation even more serious, she had not been called to see the king for 30 days. If the king had lost interest in Esther, how could she hope to influence him on behalf of the condemned Jewish race (4:13)?
With confidence in God for such a time as this, Esther followed the advice of Mordecai because doing what she could was more important than keeping her prestigious position as queen — or even her life. In faith, she sincerely said: If I perish, I perish (4:16).
Esther sent word to all Jews: Fast . . . for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day (4:16). Fasting, including prayer, had a major part in bringing about the plan of God for the preservation of His people.
No situation ever becomes hopeless when we are willing to be used of God for such a time as this for God can overrule the work of the enemy, and bring fulfillment of His will both in and through the lives of His people, even when the Lord's people are an insignificant, helpless minority ruled by evil men. God has chosen to accomplish His will through His servants who are in submission to Him. The king's heart is in the hand of the Lord . . . He turneth it whithersoever He will (Prov. 21:1).
Thought for Today:
For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds (II Cor. 10:4).
In the honor shown to Mordecai as he was led through the streets (Esth. 6:10-11). Jesus was greatly honored in His triumphal entry into Jerusalem (Matt. 21:8-9).
4:1 rent = tore, as an act of grief and mourning; 6:13 be of the seed of the Jews = is of Jewish origin; 7:4 countervail = justify, compensate, or make up for; 7:5 that durst = who dares to.
Pray for International Shortwave Broadcasts in honor of Bonnie Wilhite • Bible Pathway Printer: Ambrose Printing Staff, Nashville TN • Government Officials: Rep. Jerrold Nadler (NY) and Rep. Eleanor Norton (DC) • Country: Poland (38.6 million) in eastern Europe • Major language: Polish • Religious freedom • 96% Roman Catholic (including Greek Catholic — .31%); 1.56% Orthodox; .5% Protestant; .01% Muslim; .01% Far Eastern Religions; 1.7% Other • Prayer Suggestion: Pray that you will obey the Word of God and not be just a deceived hearer (James 1:22).
Optional Reading: Galatians 2
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 6:33