每日诗歌: 我在這裡敬拜 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8wo_DqKGmwM)
Esther 1 [Read]
Esther 2 [Read]
Esther 3 [Read]
Acts 5:1-16 [Read]
On the surface, Esther is a book in which the LORD was not mentioned at all. It focuses on Esther and Mordecai, the two cousins who singlehandedly saved the Jews in the Persian Empire of 5thcentury BC. It’s a story of hero and heroine. However, anyone who reads the book can’t help coming away with a clear sense that God was the one who guided the whole episode in history to preserve his people. This is especially clear in the opening chapters.
The narrative begins with an unrelated incident in Persian history. King Xerxes celebrated his prosperity and wanted to show off his beautiful wife (1:11). Queen Vashti did not appreciate that and disobeyed his command, and this infuriated the king (1:12). She was stripped of her queenship. What does this has anything to do with God’s plan or people? What happened next provided the answer. The removal of Queen Vashti allowed Esther, a beautiful Jewish descendant, to enter king’s palace (2:17) and became a critical channel for God’s deliverance of his people.
The plot continued to unfold. Haman the Agagite was elevated above all nobles (3:1), and all kneeled to this new power of the empire except Mordecai the Jew (3:2). This conflict runs deeper than a simple personality clash, for it actually indicated a continual struggle between Amalekites and Israelites. Mordecai was the descendant of Kish the Benjamite, father of King Saul (1Sam 9:1-2), and Haman’s ancestor, Agag, was the archenemy of Israel at Saul’s time (1Sam 15). The hatred accumulated over 500 years was the main cause of Mordecai’s refusal to kneel, and it also explained why Haman wanted to wipe out all the Jews with such a minor conflict. This is actually an unceasing spiritual battle between God’s Kingdom and its enemies. As we will see later, God’s providence again delivered the Jews from the hands of Amalekites.
In the spiritual realm, there is always more than what meets the eyes. As we encountered seemingly insurmountable problems, we tend to be intimidated by the surrounding visible enemies. This is the time for us to know that our troubles are part of a greater conflict in the spiritual realm (Eph 6:12), and we can only be comforted when God opens our eyes to see that “those who are with us are more than those who are with them” (2Kg 6:16). May the Lord open your eyes today, so you will see what kind of protection he is giving you.
Keep on reading,