Read Esther 8
A decree to save the Jews is issued (Esth. chap. 8), and God brings victory to His people (9:1-19). The annual Festival of Purim is established (9:19-32). King Ahasuerus proclaims Mordecai prime minister, second only to the king (chap. 10).
Haman appeared to be invincible, and his decree to execute all the Jews seemed final. The law had been established, and the decree had been approved by the Persian king. Under the law of the Medes and the Persians, a decree could not be altered, not even by the king. Because Haman . . . had devised against the Jews to destroy them, and had cast Pur, that is, the lot, to consume them, and to destroy them. . . . Wherefore they called these days Purim (Lots) after the name of Pur (Esth. 9:24,26). Haman's astrologers had cast Pur (meaning, had cast stones or other objects as a means of divination) to determine the most favorable time for the execution of all the Jews. Haman's "lucky day" fell on the thirteenth day of the last month. The divine principle which Haman did not realize is: The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the Lord (Prov. 16:33).
The determined day of execution, which is known as Purim, turned from death to deliverance, and the Jews have celebrated it each year for centuries. The Feast of Purim is a testimony to the fact that what seems to be chance and good luck to some is in reality ordered by the Almighty Controller of world affairs.
How tragic that in later years when Christ, their Messiah, came to bring them a far greater deliverance, they did not recognize Him! The judgment of death has passed upon all men (Rom. 5:12), for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God (3:23). By accepting Christ as our Savior, whether Jew or Gentile, we receive deliverance from sin and death and are granted eternal life (John 3:15-16).
We cannot gain the Lord's best without surrendering our all. The rich young ruler (Luke 18:18) was a good man who could have been a disciple — possibly an apostle. Jesus loved him and said unto him . . . Sell whatsoever thou hast . . . and come, take up the cross, and follow Me. And he . . . went away grieved: for he had great posessions (Mark 10:21-22).
The wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh (entraps) the wise in their own craftiness (unscruptulous conduct) (I Cor. 3:19).
Thought for Today:
No sin works more deceitfully than the sin of pride.
By Mordecai, who was exalted from servanthood to a position of honor and glory next unto (the) king (Esth. 8:2,15; 10:3). His life illustrated Christian conduct. Christ came to earth as a servant and was exalted to the right hand of God (Phil. 2:5-11; Mark 16:19).
8:3 put away the mischief avert the evil; device scheme; 8:10 posts couriers; 9:4 waxed greater and greater became increasingly popular and powerful.
Pray for Staff: Rita Guerra • Government Officials: Rep. Steny Hoyer (MD), Rep. Bob Gibbs (OH) and Rep. James Sensenbrenner, Jr. (WI) • Country: Lebanon (4.3 million) in the Middle East • Major languages: Arabic and French • Limited religious freedom • 55% Muslim (Shi'a, Sunni); 41% Christian (Maronite, Orthodox, Melchite, Protestant, Chaldean, Assyrian, Syriac); 3% Druze; 1% Others (Jewish, Baha'i, Alawi, Jehovah's Witness) • Prayer Suggestion: Thank God for His mercy (Num. 12:11-14).