Category: Esther-BibleTrekToday

Trek Through Esther

Celebrate the God of victory!

Scripture reading for May 16: Esther 8-10

When God wants His people to remember something, He designs a feast or celebration.  God gave Israel “Passover” as a way to remember their deliverance from bondage in Egypt.  He gave them “Pentecost” and “First fruits” to celebrate the harvest and giving of His Law.  He gave them “Tabernacles” where they lived in booths to commemorate their 40 years in the wilderness before entering the promised land.  He gave the church the “Eucharist” (thanksgiving) to celebrate Jesus Christ’s final sacrifice and as a picture of the great wedding banquet to come!  God likes His people celebrating and best is yet to come!

The Jews had good reason to celebrate!  Their enemy, Haman, had been hung on a gallows that he himself built to destroy them.  The king had extended favor to Esther and Mordecai by giving them Haman’s estate. Haman was a rich man who had offered 375 tons of silver, the equivalent of about 120 million dollars, to eliminate the Jews and the king told him to keep his money!  (Esther 3:9-11)   His estate must have been tremendous. Not only that, but they were now granted the right to defend themselves against their enemies on the appointed day that Haman had picked for their destruction! 

Mordecai was granted authority to write up what the Jews needed in order to counter the first decree which, according to the law of the land, could not be set aside.  Before the day came, many people of other nationalities became Jews for fear of them. (Esther 8:17)  On the day set by Haman, the tables were turned and the enemies of the Jews were themselves destroyed.  (Esther 9:1-2)  Five hundred were killed in Suza and another 75,000 were eliminated across the land of Persia by the Jews.  Esther asked for another day in Suza and the king granted her plea and even more enemies were eliminated!  God truly turned the tables!  Thus the feast of Purim was begun.  They celebrated for two days giving gifts and eating choice foods, for their sorrow was turned into joy and their mourning into celebration!  (Esther 9:20-22)

God is in absolute control of everything!  When His people fast and pray and seek to obey, He comes through.  Evil toward His people is turned back on the heads of those who would touch His children!  His children can celebrate a total victory over the forces of evil arrayed against them!  Tell someone this good news today! Celebrate the victory that is yours in Jesus Christ!

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God turns the tables!

Scripture reading for May 15: Esther 5-7

“If a man digs a pit, he will fall into it; if a man rolls a stone, it will roll back on him.” Proverbs 26:27 “An evil man is snared by his own sin, but a righteous one can sing and be glad.” Proverbs 29:6

We must be careful when we plot revenge.  All judgment and vengeance is the Lord’s.  (Romans 12:19)  The Lord has a way of turning the tables on those who seek revenge and plot evil.  He has ways of protecting those who are innocent and those who are serving Him. 

Haman was thrilled with his position and his influence!  He boasted to his wife and friends of his good fortune and how he was the only one invited to meet with Queen Esther for a banquet.  (Nehemiah 6:1-12)  He was happy, except for one fly in the ointment: Mordecai the Jew would not show him honor by bowing before him!  He complained to his wife and friends who proposed a plan to hang Mordecai on a gallows 75 feet high!  This would have been high enough to display the execution above the walls of the city!  He had the gallows built and was ready for the next day.

But God was moving silently behind the scenes.  The king could not sleep, so he had the chronicles of his reign read to him.  He heard the story of a foiled plot to assassinate him–a plot Mordecai had exposed, thus saving his life.  He asked what had been done for this man and found out it had been overlooked.  He asked who might be in the court to honor Mordecai, and providentially, Haman had just walked in.  The king asked him what he would do to honor someone special to the king.  Thinking it was him to be honored, Haman proposed a grand public honor and was shocked when the king told him to honor Mordecai!  God turned the tables deftly and quickly!

The end of the story finds Haman hanged on the gallows he built for Mordecai after being exposed as the one seeking to kill off all Jews, including the Queen!  It may look as if the wicked get by with their schemes, but not in the end!  Do you have thoughts of revenge or plans to get even?  Why not forgive and turn the table back toward God’s mercy before He turns the tables on you?

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Respectful civil disobedience

Scripture reading for May 14: Esther 3-4

As God’s people, we try to be the best citizens we can be.  We should be known as people who obey the law and serve and pray for those in authority.  We should promote respect for those in authority and aid their proper rule.  However, when a civil authority gives orders to disobey the law of God, we must respectfully decline and obey God!  This can bring trouble and wrath from authority!

King Xerxes had exalted Haman to a place of honor above all others.  All officials in the king’s palace knelt down and paid honor to Haman.  (Esther 3:2) But Mordecai, Queen Esther’s Jewish uncle, would not bow his knee before a man because of his faith in God and God’s word. (Esther 3:4)   This infuriated Haman and he devised a plot to eliminate all Jews from Persia.  He offered the king 375 tons of silver to allow him to eliminate these disrespectful people.  (Esther 3:8-9)  For those in authority to feel secure, any threat to their power must be removed.

How did Mordecai react to the decree to kill all Jews?  He immediately began to fast and pray.  (Esther 4:1-3)  He called on other Jews to join with him.  He asked his niece, Queen Esther, to help.  This was not going to be easy.  She would have to exercise some wise “civil disobedience” herself if she were to approach the king.  She asked for prayer covering as she prepared for this potentially life-threatening task of asking the king for help.  (Ester 4:15-17)  Her attitude was one of faith and of willingness to die to protect her people!

Queen Esther, as I see it, is a type of the church.  The Church has been placed by God in places of influence to be a witness for God and His people.  The Church is to be submissive to the authorities of the world in all things except where that compromises faithfulness to God.  The Church is to be willing to die for what is right, rather than compromise the truth.  The Church must speak up or loose its place of influence for God! 

As a believer, what are some ways that you can be an influence for God in our corrupt world? How is the spirit of Haman still at work in our times? It’s time to exercise respectful civil disobedience!

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God places His people for His purposes!

Scripture reading for May 13: Esther1-2

The story of Esther takes place in Persia during the days of Ezra and Nehemiah when the 50,000 Jews were rebuilding the temple and walls in Jerusalem.  It never mentions the name of God, but God’s presence is implied and felt throughout the story.  It is the story of ordinary Jewish people who were trying to be faithful to God while they lived in a foreign land.  The story shows God was moving among His people and turning all circumstances, even those appearing evil, for their good.  (Romans 8:28) 

God put Esther, a beautiful virgin and Jew, in the palace of the pagan king of Persia.  Ahasuerus, the king, liked to drink and boast of his wealth and possessions, and his women!  He called for his beautiful queen, Vashti, to come and display herself before the nobles who were drinking with him, but Queen Vashti refused.  The king was furious and sought counsel as to what to do about this offense.  It was decided that she must be made a public example so that other women would not get the idea that they could disobey their husbands and show them disrespect.  Queen Vashti was removed from her royal position and was never to come into the king’s presence again!  As a result of this, a search was made for the most beautiful and suitable woman to take the queen’s place.  God exalted Esther, a Jew, to this place of honor!

Why was the king was so upset?  In that culture, women were expected to be totally obedient to their husbands.  This disrespect by disobedience was not tolerated!  In the pagan culture, no conviction of right or wrong could stop the king from having what he wanted!  All the men in power agreed about that and felt threatened by the queen’s action!  They felt that they needed to take action to protect themselves and their way of life. (Esther 1:18-20)

But God used the culture of that day to accomplish His purposes.  He removed the one queen, probably protecting her for her stand of faith.  He placed Esther, a godly Jew, in the place of influence and gave her favor in order to bring about the deliverance of all His people!  (Esther 2:17)  As a godly Jew, Esther knew how to obey the king and still remain loyal to her God.  By faith she became an example of a woman true to her people and to God! Her story is written down to help believers understand God’s protective ways.

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Open door? or Closed door?

Scripture reading for December 5th: Esther 7-10, Revelation 3

Revelation 3:8-12 “”Behold I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut. I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept My Word and have not denied My Name. Behold, I will make those of the synagogue of Satan who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie–behold, I will make them come and bow down before your feet, and they will learn that I have loved you. Because you have kept My Word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on earth. I am coming soon. Hold fast what you have so that no one may seize your crown. The one who conquers I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God. Never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the Name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, . . .””

Jesus explained to the church at Philadelphia that He had set before them an open door, which no one would be able to shut. Although these believers had little strength, they had been faithful to Jesus’ Word and had not denied His Name. Their patient endurance had brought rewards of deliverance from the hour of trial. In Jesus’ next message to the church at Laodicea, however, Jesus told them that He was knocking on their door, closed to His entrance! He implored them to open the door so He could come in and fellowship with them. Which kind of door is Jesus finding or providing in your life?

Revelation 3:20-21 “Behold! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with Me. The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with Me on My throne, as I also conquered and sat down with My Father on His throne.”

Prayer: Father God, thank You that you always seek the welfare of Your people and speak peace and blessings for encouragement. You also warn those on a dangerous path. I have chosen to open the door of my heart to You and desire daily fellowship at Your table. Help me today to hear Your voice and remain faithful even though I often feel I have little strength. I will walk in faith through Your open door.

Esther 10:3 “For Mordecai the Jew was second in rank to King Ahasuerus, and he was great among the Jews and popular with the multitude of his brothers, for he sought the welfare of his people and spoke peace to all his people.”

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The one who conquers!

Scripture reading for December 2nd: Esther 4-6, Revelation 2

Revelation 2: 8-11 “And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: ‘The Words of the First and the Last, Who died and came to life. “‘I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich) and the slander of those who say that they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you in prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who conquers will not be hurt by the second death.’

Jesus Christ, the glorified Savior and Head of the Church, His Bride, spoke messages to John for each of the seven churches of Asia that John had oversight for. In each instance, Jesus gave commendation to them and then proceeded to instruct or warn them of their need to be overcomers–ones who conquered! Their battle was with Satan, the prince of darkness and he would seek to imprison, kill and destroy God’s people. They must do battle by standing firm in Christ’s Words and the victory of the cross. Those who remain faithful, even unto death, reap amazing rewards. Authority over nations, the crown of life, eating of the tree of life in paradise, hidden manna, a new name and the morning star are just a few!

Revelation 2:26-27 “The one who conquers and who keeps My works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received authority from My Father.”

Prayer: Father God, thank You for sending Jesus Christ as our Savior and the promise of His return to reward each believer with amazing gifts of Your grace. Strengthen me today to stand firm in Christ’s victory over death and hell. I want to keep Your Word and do Your works until the end. I want my family, friends and neighbors to all know You and conquer the evil one through faith in Your Son.

Esther 4:14 “”For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?””

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Behold! Jesus is coming–again!

Scripture reading for December 1st: Esther 1-3, Psalm 139, Revelation 1

Revelation 1: 4-8 “John, to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from Him Who is and Who was and Who is to come, and from the seven Spirits that are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ the Faithful Witness; the Firstborn of the dead and the Ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him Who loves us and has freed us from our sins by His blood and made us a kingdom, priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of Him. Even so. Amen. “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “Who is and Who was and Who is to come, the Almighty.””

John the Apostle, was by this time an old man. He was suffering exile on the Isle of Patmos for preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ and wrote this amazing letter to the seven churches of Asia that God had assigned Him oversight for. John writes a letter of love and grace from the heart of God the Father and Jesus Christ, conveying God’s Word and prophetic insight concerning the things to come. This God we serve is the great “I Am,” and is described by John as the One Who was in existence from everlasting, the ‘Alpha’ and Who is now present and Who also is the One Who is to come in time yet known. Our Father knows it all–past, present, and future! He knows the end from the beginning and His will will be done on earth as in heaven. He will come again with the clouds to receive glory and dominion forever and ever! That is Truth!

Psalm 139:3-4 “You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, You know it altogether.”

Prayer: Father God, I am in awe of Who You are–the God Who always was, and is now and will exist in eternity future. You truly know all things and have revealed Your plans to us through Your Word and the prophets and apostles. You place us where You desire and fulfill Your purposes through those who serve You. Use me today to bring others to know You through the Good News of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Esther 2:16-17 “Now Esther was winning favor in the eyes of all who saw her. And when Esther was taken to king Ahasuerus, into his royal palace, in the tenth month, which is the month of Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign, the king loved Esther more than all the women, and she won grace and favor in his sight more than all the other virgins, so that he set the royal crown on her head and made her queen instead of Vashti.”

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Patient endurance rewarded

Scripture reading for December 3rd: Esther 7-10, Revelation 3

Key Scriptures: Revelation 3:10-13 “Because you have kept My Word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell upon the earth. I am coming soon. Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown. The one who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God. Never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the Name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down from My God out of heaven, and My own new Name. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

Jesus dictated this short letter to the church at Philadelphia. These faithful followers had kept Jesus’ Word about patient endurance as they lived in a world and culture that was hostile to the believers of Jesus. In response to their faith, Jesus promised them escape from the final hour of trial that would ultimately come upon the earth in the last days of the last days. Jesus stated clearly that He was coming soon. They must continue to hold fast to their faith for a crown awaited the overcomers. Jesus would make them strong like a pillar and give them an everlasting inheritance which would never be taken away.

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, open my ears to the Spirit’s voice and Your truth. Help me to have the patient endurance of those who fully trust Your Word. I want to be a pillar in Your holy temple and be marked with Your Name. Help me to proclaim Your Name to the nations!

Esther 8:15-17 “Then Mordecai went out from the presence of the king in royal robes of blue and white, with a great golden crown and a robe of fine linen and purple, and the city of Susa shouted and rejoiced. The Jews had light and gladness and joy and honor. And in every province and in every city, wherever the king’s command and his edict reached, there was gladness and joy among the Jews, a feast and a holiday. And many from the peoples of the country declared themselves Jews, for fear of the Jews had fallen on them.”

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Don’t be afraid of suffering!

Scripture reading for December 2nd: Esther 4-6, Revelation 2

Key Scriptures: Revelation 2:8-10 “”And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: ‘The Word of the First and the Last, Who died and came to life. “‘I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich) and the slander of those who say that they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.”

John was given dictation by the risen Jesus Christ to write down for the seven churches. Jesus identified Himself as the One Who died and came to life. He gave a Word of knowledge to this body of believers. Jesus wanted them to know that He knew about their tribulation and the poverty that also had beset them. He reminded them they were really rich! He also knew about the slander of the false teachers who claimed to be Jews but were really tools of Satan. Jesus told them not to be fearful about the coming trial of suffering and persecution. Satan was behind it but God would reward the faithful with a crown of life eternal!

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, I am thankful You are alive from the dead and know all things. At Your Word, I will not be fearful about future suffering or even of death. I look forward to the crown of life eternal!

Esther 4:16 “”Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night of day. I and my young women will also fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.””

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Eternal Glory and Dominion

Scripture reading for December 1st: Esther 1-3, Psalm 139, Revelation 1

Key Scriptures: Revelation 1:4-7 “John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from Him Who is and Who was and Who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ the Faithful Witness, the Firstborn of the dead, the Ruler of kings on earth. To Him Who loves us and has freed us from our sins by His blood and made us a kingdom, priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him, and all tribes of earth will wail on account of Him. Even so. Amen.”

John was imprisoned on the Isle of Patmos for preaching the Gospel. He was likely in his late eighties at this time and had been an Apostle of Jesus Christ, a missionary and church planter and now an overseer. Writing to the seven churches he oversaw, he described God the Father and Jesus Christ to them. They are the eternal Ones, having past existence, present reality and perfect future existence. Jesus Christ, the Son, loves us now and demonstrated His love by giving His blood for our freedom. He made us part of His kingdom and priesthood. To Him and the Father belong eternal glory and dominion. Jesus is coming soon and every eye will behold Him!

Psalm 139:23-24 “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, You have redeemed me by Your blood and freed me from my sins by Your divine grace and favor. Guide me today to fulfill Your will and prepare me for Your soon return.

Esther 2:17 “. . the king loved Esther more than all the women, and she won grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins, so that he set the royal crown on her head and made her queen instead of Vashti.”

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