Read Esther 8 -- 10
Highlights In Today's Reading:
The Jews are turned from destruction to deliverance through God granting Esther's pleas and their enemy is destroyed. The Festival of Purim is instituted and is celebrated even today because of her faithfulness.
Haman appeared to be invincible, and his decree to execute all the Jews seemed final. The law had been established, and the decree had been approved by the Persian king. Under the law of the Medes and the Persians, a decree could not be altered, not even by the king. Because Haman . . . had devised against the Jews to destroy them, and had cast Pur, that is, the lot, to consume them, and to destroy them. . . . Wherefore they called these days Purim (Lots) after the name of Pur (9:24,26). Haman's astrologers had cast Pur (meaning, had cast stones or other objects as a means of divination) to determine the most favorable time for the execution of all the Jews. Haman's "lucky day" fell on the thirteenth day of the last month. The divine principle which Haman did not realize was: The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the Lord (Proverbs 16:33).
The determined day of execution, which is known as Purim, turned from death to deliverance, and the Jews have celebrated it each year for centuries. The Feast of Purim is a testimony to the fact that what seems to be chance and good luck to some is in reality ordered by the Almighty Controller of world affairs.
How tragic that in later years when Christ, their Messiah, came to bring them a far greater deliverance, they failed to recognize Him! The judgment of death has passed upon all men (Romans 5:12), for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God (3:23). By accepting Christ as our Savior, whether Jew or Gentile, we receive deliverance from sin and death and are granted eternal life (John 3:15-16).
No one can gain God's best without paying the price. The rich young ruler (Luke 18:18), was a good man who could have been a disciple — possibly an apostle. Jesus loved him and said unto him . . . Sell whatsoever thou hast . . . and come, take up the cross, and follow Me (Mark 10:21).
The wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it it written, He taketh (entraps) the wise in their own craftiness (unscruptulous conduct) (I Corinthians 3:19).
God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son. . . . that the world through Him might be saved (John 3:16-17).
Thought for Today:
The world says “I will get even” but the Christian knows that vengeance belongs only to the One True God who is the Righteous Judge.
By Mordecai, who was exaltated from servanthood to a position of honor and glory next unto the king (Esther 8:2,15; 10:3). His life illustrated Christian conduct. Christ came to earth as a servant and was exalted to the right hand of God (Philippians 2:5-11; Mark 16:19).
8:3 put away the mischief =b> to avert the evil; device =b> scheme; 8:10 posts =b> couriers; 9:4 waxed greater and greater =b> became increasingly prominent and powerful.
Pray for International Shortwave Radio Broadcasts in honor of Rick Hash • Bible Pathway Accountant: Joe Sarsfield • Government Officials: Rep. Steny Hoyer (MD) and Rep. James Sensenbrenner, Jr. (WI) • Country: Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon) (19 million) an island in the Indian Ocean off the southeastern tip of India • Major languages: Sinhala and Tamil • Christianity suppressed • 69% Buddhist; 15% Hindu; 8% Christian (mostly Catholic); 7% Muslim (mostly Sunni); 1% Other • Prayer Suggestion: Praise God for the power of His Word (Hebrews 4:12).
Optional Reading: Galatians 3
Memory Verse for the Week: II Corinthians 1:7