Ezra 6:14-22; Ezra 4:6; Esther 1:1-4:17
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Today we begin reading about Queen Esther! Hold on tight because Esther is an amazing book – Don’t miss it! Below is Esther:
~ Esther ~
Date: Fifth century B.C.
Content: The book of Esther deals with a momentous event that took place after the Persians had destroyed Babylon and while many Jews were still living in the land of their captivity. The story concerns a Jewess named Ester who had become the wife of the Persian King Ahasuerus (Xerxes I). An evil advisor to the king, named Haman, sought the destruction of the Jews in order to gain control of their wealth, but Esther tactfully intervened and saved her people from this fate. Haman was executed, and after some civil strife things quieted down once more. The remarkable deliverance of the Jews was celebrated by a feast named Purim and it remains to this day.
Theme: The providence and power of God are the central points of this book. God was protecting his people even in their captivity and was working al things together for their good. God’s power is seen in the overthrow of Israel’s enemies. It is important to note that God used human beings to accomplish his purpose here, rather than doing it directly himself. We must be ready at all times to do God’s will when he so directs. (Above commentary is from Tyndale Publishers “The One Year Bible Companion” p. 9) More commentary on the book of Esther is at this link. Below is a fresco of "Queen Esther" from 1450 by Italian artist Andrea Del Castagno:
A map of the Persian empire at the time of the book of Esther in approximately 480 B.C. is below. You can see the city of Susa, just above the Persian Gulf, where the book of Esther begins, as we read in verses 1 & 2 today: "This happened in the days of King Xerxes, who reigned over 127 provinces stretching from India to Ethiopia. At that time he ruled his empire from his throne at the fortress of Susa."
Today in Esther chapter 4 we read about Mordecai persuading Queen Esther to help save the Jews from Haman’s evil plot. In verse 14 we read these amazing words of Mordecai’s to Esther: “And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?” For such a time as this. Powerful words to consider. You’ll recall similar words were used in the narrative of Joseph in Genesis – Joseph was sent ahead to Egypt by God to save his family from famine “for such a time as this.” Esther was married to the Persian King for such a time as this. And I believe that you and I have been placed on this earth this very day for such a time as this. Do you believe it is true that you really have been placed on this earth by God for such a time as this? Do you believe that there is a definite purpose for your life that God has called you to? Do you realize that you have the choice – as Esther had the choice – to move forward with God’s vision and plan for your life or to say no to God? Our time on this life is short. We can live our lives in accordance with God’s will and purpose for us or we can waste away our life with useless distractions. Trust me - the devil wants nothing more than to distract you from what God has called you to for such a time as this. So, what say you? Will you live your life wholly and purposefully for God for such a time as this? Will you leave the distractions behind?
Worship God: Today's readings reminded me of Steven Curtis Chapman's amazing song "Dive." What in your life is God calling you to dive into? Dive in!
Have you dived into a relationship with God yet? Click here and dive!
Comments from You: What verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!