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Esther 8

DAILY DEVOTION

FOR

MONDAY, JUNE 25

SCRIPTURE:  ESTHER 8

As the chapter opens, King Ahasuerus becomes aware of the relationship between Esther and Mordecai.  So, for the first time, the king recognizes that the edict he signed was not only directed at his queen but also her family.

The king, however, did not let that stop him from elevating Mordecai to the position that Haman had held.  And Esther put her cousin in charge of Haman’s estates.

But the edict made by the king at Haman’s request to annihilate all of the Jews was still in place.  In that time and in that part of the world, the king was considered to operate as a god and therefore could do no wrong.  That also meant the king could not rescind one of his rulings because that would mean that ruling was wrong.  In other words, the edict to wipe out the Jewish people was still in place.

As much as we might wrestle with this it is important to remember that the same principle holds true with God.  Early in Genesis, He plainly says that when we disobey Him we will die.  That principle held throughout the Bible and still holds today.  The soul that sins will die.  God, in His great grace and mercy, has allowed Jesus to die in our place and redeem us.  But the law of God is still in place and will continue to be in place. 

That didn’t stop Esther from making her request.  Esther couldn’t do everything but she could do something.  So, she did something.  She pleaded her case with the king.  In response the king gave Mordecai the right to issue his own edict, empowered by the king’s signet, on behalf of the Jewish people. 

It is important at this point to think about the imagery of Esther going to the throne of the king and interceding for her people.  There is actually a theme of this working its way throughout the Bible.  Moses interceded for Israel as did David and Elijah, Nehemiah, Ezra, Daniel, and even the Apostle Paul.  So, we have a lot of examples of people interceding for others in the Bible.

We must not negate or try to lessen the importance of interceding for people.  Our King is gracious to let us come boldly to the throne of grace.  Our King is always willing to listen to our petitions.  Our King is able to help in ways that we cannot imagine.  But all of that starts with our willingness to intercede on behalf of others.  We should not shy away from the great responsibility to pray in behalf of others believing God hears and is more than able to respond.

Because of the edict that Mordecai wrote and the king supported, the tide turned for the Jewish people.  As you might imagine the Jewish people rejoiced in this deliverance and were glad.  It is this joy that they had in God and expressed in such public ways that caused other non-Jews in the empire to turn to Judaism.  Pure joy in our relationship with God is an undeniable testimony to all who see it.  And many of those who do see it, will be remarkably drawn to it.

Posted by Joe Ligon with

Esther 7

DAILY DEVOTION

FOR

FRIDAY, JUNE 22

 

SCRIPTURE:  ESTHER 7

Over the centuries and even today there are many who mistake God’s patience for an inability or unwillingness to judge sin.  They are convinced that because they are currently living with apparent immunity, they will certainly continue to live that way.  And God is not going to do anything about it.  This same attitude can be seen in Haman as our story in Esther continues.

Haman was not a good man.  And yet he seems oblivious to the fact that someday somehow he would face the consequences of his wrongs.  He was content to go through life living for himself and was oblivious to the fact that there is a payday someday (as the great evangelist so aptly stated it) for all of us including him.

As with most who flaunt their lifestyle, Haman was completely unprepared for the fact that this day would be his last day.  When he finally faced that reality, the proud, arrogant man was quickly reduced to a beggar as he pleaded with the queen for his life.

There is another great Biblical principle at work in this chapter.  It is the truth that a man reaps what he sows.  Most of us are tempted to sow a lot and then pray for a crop failure.  But the principle, nevertheless, holds true.  We get back what we put out.  We harvest what we plant.

In this story Haman sowed anger against Mordecai and reaped anger from the king.  He planned to execute Mordecai and was executed by the king.  Haman reaped what he planted.

It is important to remember that this principle of reaping and sowing don’t just work on the negative side of life.  It also works on the positive side.  In other words, the more we love others the more frequently others will love us.  The more we show grace and mercy the more we will be treated with grace and mercy.  The more generous we are, the more we will receive.

A third principle in this story is found in the fact that all of Haman’s wealth, position, and power could not save him from death.  Sometimes it looks like those with the most are somehow exempt from the consequences that those with the least deal with.  But at the end of the day, money, position and power are insufficient to save a man.  They may make life “easier” but they cannot stop death.  If the Lord tarries, death will come to us all.

There truly are some important principles in this chapter that we would all do well to consider.

Posted by Joe Ligon with

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