As familiar as the book of Esther is, it is amazing how new and fresh and relevant it is each time it is read.
There were a few observations which I made in reading Esther 1:16-22:
- Did Queen Vashti truly do wrong to ALL the princes and ALL the people who are in the provinces? (verse 16)
- Perhaps the men were just worried their own wives may not obey their every wish. (verse 17)
- The suggestion of Queen Vashti’s removal was very poor advice
- The advisors knew to play to King Ahasuerus‘ vanity and need for recognition (verse 20)
We know all these events were turned for good and to bring about God’s purposes, which was the saving of His people from annihilation.
But today they pointed me to the need for wise counsel. We need people around us who have wisdom and understanding and the ability to think clearly.
“He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will suffer harm.” (Proverbs 13:20, NASB)
So who do you turn to for wise counsel? What makes you trust them for wise counsel? Let’s remove ungodly influences and add godly counsel in our lives.
As we read Esther 2:12-18, we find the girls are being prepared to be queen. Can you only imagine how competitive it must have gotten in their quarters. I wonder just how many “mean girls” were in there.
The girls would have to wait …
“She would not go again unless the king delighted in her and she was summoned by name.” (verse 14, NASB)
Can we even imagine the rejection these girls would feel as time would pass and their name was not called?
Rejection has a sting all of its own.
We are each called by God, He pursues us.
“But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine.” (Isaiah 43:1, NKJV)
Every time I read that verse in Isaiah, I imagine the Lord calling our names from before creation. He called our names out into the expanse and it echoed down through the ages until it pierced our hearts, and we came to Him.
And He calls out to us each and every day to “Come” into His Presence.
“Enter His gates with thanksgiving, And His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name.” (Psalm 100:4,NASB)
It’s been a hard stretch for everyone. Covid and the challenges which have come along with it, still loom over our lives and country.
Today may we hear Him call us into His courts and may we give Him thanks for one blessing in our lives. It’s that simple.
We closed the week with reading Esther 3:1-6.
Haman receives a promotion and one which gives him much influence with the king. The king would have had to order a decree for people to bow and pay homage to Haman. Another unwise decision as it fueled Haman’s arrogance, power, and hatred.
But Mordecai could not bow to a man he knew hated the Jews.
Although he may not have known how deeply that hatred ran in Haman, he could not respect or bow to someone who hated God’s people.
Only after Mordecai’s refusal to bow, do we see recorded how hate-filled Haman truly was:
“But he [Haman] disdained to lay hands on Mordecai alone, for they had told him who the people of Mordecai were; therefore Haman sought to destroy ALL the Jews, the people of Mordecai, who were throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus.” (verse 6, NASB)
Haman was not satisfied to punish or kill just Haman. Here we see his hatred for all the Jews.
His plan was annihilation.
Hatred does not stay contained. It spreads.
We must be so careful to uproot resentment and disappointment before it festers and grows into hatred. Before the wrong done by one person grows and we have ill feelings toward an entire group … and not only a race, but a church denomination, aÂ country, a political party, etc.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that. ”
(Martin Luther King Jr.)
May we be a people that are Light-filled and Love-filled.
May we be filled with Jesus. Â