Today’s Text and Thought of Encouragement:
“Trust and be confident in the Lord and do good: so shalt you dwell in the land and feed surely on His faithfulness, and truly you will be fed.”
Psalm 37: 3
“God is mighty! He is able to deliver;
Faith can victor be in every trying hour;
Fear and care and sin and sorrow be defeated
By our faith in God’s almighty, conquering power.
Have faith in God, the sun will shine,
Tough dark the clouds may be today;
His heart has planned your path and mine,
Have faith in God, have faith always.”
L. B. Cowman
Streams in the Desert
“The real secret of faith’s power lies not in the faith itself but in its object, Jesus Christ.”
Life In Christ
Today’s Study Text:
“They called Esther for Hathach, one of the king’s chamberlains, whom he had appointed to attend upon her, and gave him a commandment to Mordecai, to know what it was, and why it was. So Hathach went forth to Mordecai unto the street of the city, which was before the king’s gate. And Mordecai told (Hathach) of all that had happened unto him, and of the sum of money that Haman had promised to pay to the king’s treasuries for the Jews, to destroy them. Also (Mordecai) gave (Hathach) the copy of the writing of the decree that was given at Shushan to destroy (the Jews), to shew it unto Esther, and to declare it unto her, and to charge her that she should go in unto the king.”
Esther 4: 5, 8
“Nurturing The Embers of Hope”
“Living In Haman Days” Part 25
“Too often people fall into the trap of thinking that because God hasn’t dealt with evil yet, He is not dealing with it at all.”
If I was Esther, how would I have felt when I read the edict brought to me from Mordecai?
Have there been times when I’ve heard about terrible persecution of God’s children in different lands around the world and thought to myself, “Well I don’t have to worry about things like this happening in my own neighborhood?”
“In hatred, everybody loses.”
“Our opponents always seem to have the edge. But all that is false. We are never outnumbered. We are never outmanned, or outgunned.”
While every chapter in the book of Esther contains profound truth for us to study, Chapter 4 is very special in many ways. This is why it is important that we thoroughly take time to acquaint ourselves with what is actually taking place.
At the beginning of Chapter 4, we read that Mordecai received news of what had happened when King Ahasuerus and Haman got together for a few drinks. Infuriated by Mordecai’s refusal to bow before him, Haman internalized this behavior as a “royal snub.” He’d worked hard to climb the ladder of success and Haman wasn’t going to let a “God-serving” Jew get away with disrespecting him. Rather than getting rid of one Jew, Haman’s evil plan was a comprehensive murder of all the Jews. We can’t forget that Haman, a very wealthy man, was paying for the Jews to be slaughtered. I had to roll this idea around in my head for a bit. Why would Haman offer to pay for killing off the Jews?
Then the thought hit me. The Jews were helping spur the economic vitality of Medo-Persia. To kill off all these “tax-payers”; business-owners and government workers and artisans, would decrease the income in the coffers of Medo-Persia. So to make certain a financial downturn wasn’t blamed on his rash hatred of someone who slighted him, Haman got the attention of Ahasuerus by saying that he would pay for the massacre.
There’s something audaciously arrogant about a man who is so sure of his bloody plan to kill off his enemies that he’d go to the trouble of footing the bill for such an undertaking. But that’s Haman and even his cohorts down through time.
As Jim and I have spent a great deal of time studying about World War II, one of the most glaring characteristics of Adolph Hitler and his minions was the fact that they always thought they were right! Always! Furthermore, they never wanted to hear an opinion that didn’t agree with them. They didn’t have any idea what the word humble meant. Why should they be humble when they knew everything!!
Sadly, since history has a way of repeating itself, the Haman’s of the world continue to be reflected just as Esther 4 describes them. Opinionated. Godless. Arrogant. And pushy. Once Mordecai digested the edict produced by the evil Haman, he got a written copy to Queen Esther who had for five years been queen of Medo-Persia. It appears as if things had gone quite well not only for Esther but Mordecai too. However, with the meaning of the edict fully planted in his mind, Mordecai had to get word to the one person he thought could do something to hopefully change the situation.
From what we read, Esther didn’t have a direct knowledge of the king’s ruling nor did she understand why Mordecai was so sorrowful. Even a set of new clothing sent by the queen had absolutely no affect on Mordecai’s sorrowful spirit. And so in Esther 4: 5, we find that a chamberlain named Hathach, assigned by King Ahasuerus to care for his queen’s needs, became a conduit between Mordecai and Esther.
The queen obviously trusted Hathach for she specifically asked him to “know what it was, and why it was” that Mordecai was acting and dressing in a way she recognized was out of character for her foster father. Obviously, Mordecai trusted Hathach as well for in Esther 4: 7 we are informed that “Mordecai told Hathach all that had happened unto him, and the sum of money that Haman had promised to pay to the king’s treasuries for the Jews, to destroy them.” I believe it is important for us to recognize that every detail Mordecai shared was meant as a wake-up call to Esther. Mordecai wanted his dearest daughter/cousin to understand that this was an incredible situation. Not only was Mordecai’s life at stake but so were the lives of thousands of the Jews in Medo-Persia. But in order for Esther to recognize how terrible the situation was, she needed to know that it wasn’t just the word of Mordecai she should believe. So he also gave Hatach “the copy of the writing of the decree that was given at Shushan (Esther 4: 8) K.J.V.). I don’t know about you but someone can tell you about something that will happen but when every detail is written down, step-by-step all of a sudden things get real. Not only did Mordecai say what was to transpire but Hathach also told Esther and to back up his words, Hathach handed Esther a copy of the very document.
You know, there is a parallel which came to my mind as I read this very specific story in Esther 4. It relates to a message left for you and me by our Father in heaven. In order for us to clearly identify with heaven, Jesus Christ came to earth, bearing a verbal message that detailed the Father’s great love for His earthly children.
However, our heavenly Father didn’t just give us spoken words recorded in the New Testament about Jesus’ life on earth. He also, through the written words of the prophets, psalmists, and apostles, left the written word, given or breathed by inspiration for our instruction and revelation.
Just the other day I was reading that less than 80% of Christians faithfully study God’s Word each day. I thought this must be a joke and then my book agent told me that the publisher of my first book said that a daily devotional book, which contained daily readings over 5 minutes long, would never sell because people lose interest in anything that’s much longer than 5 minutes. And with “Twitter” and its 140 characters, a writer who hopes for anyone to read anything lengthy in this day and age is sunk!
When I found this out, I got to thinking and thanking God for my Garden family where together we find that time in the Word each day, indeed has a transforming power on your life and mine! If we want to stand tall and firm in our spiritual lives in these “Haman Days” in our earth’s history, we too will be like Mordecai as we recognize the signs of the times in which we live. And we, like Esther will read the details and verify the truth for our time. In the words of Fritz Ridenour, “Surrounded as we are today with so many hostile, as well as subtly deceptive, view points, we must always be aware that one of Satan’s oldest and most diabolical strategies is to convince humans that God cannot be trusted.”
May our prayer today be the words of Thomas á Kempis: “O God the Holy Spirit, most loving Comforter, I pray that You will always…turn my mourning into joy, my wandering feet into the right path, my ignorance into knowledge of Your truth, my lukewarmness into zeal, my fear into love, all my material good into a spiritual gift, all my earthly desires into heavenly desires, all that is transient into what lasts forever."
“The reason why wicked men (and women) and devils hate God is, because they see Him in relation to themselves. Their hearts rise up in rebellion, because they see Him opposed to their selfishness.”
Thoughts For Our Consideration
“The question comes to each of us, “Who will I choose to serve?” In your life and mine, the day will arrive when we will be asked to choose: “Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, ‘We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5: 29, K.J.V.).
We Have No King But Caesar
(John 19: 1-30)
“You see how I vacillate Lord
when my life is in danger.
I should be shouting, ‘Away with Caesar!’
You know how I hate the presence of these overlords,
who bring their culture
who rule the streets,
who make us feel so inferior.
But when I’m threatened,
I must side-step the truth,
I must chant and dance with the crowd
‘We have no King but Caesar!’
If I declared myself openly for You Lord,
what would it mean?
Down which insecure alley will You lead me?
I see the crowd moving away from me.
I see the inside of a courtroom,
the place of execution,
the loneliness of a person on His way to the cross.
And I don’t want to share that loneliness.
In the business meeting,
the student controversy,
the family discussion,
the ratepayers’ gathering,
the classroom decision.
I move to the crowd, and cry…
We have no King but Caesar.’”
“The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose,
I will not, I will not desert to His foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake.”
Rippon’s A Selection of Hymns
“At the name of Jesus every knee should bow…and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Philippians 2: 10, 11,
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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