Insights on Today's Reading
Esther 1 - Though this book appears near the middle of the Old Testament, the events actually take place near the end of the Old Testament narrative. A Persian king, Ahasuerus, holds two important feasts to display his wealth and splendor. One celebration lasts for six months and another feast lasts for one full week. The king, proud as he was, wanted to put his Queen, Vashti, on display for her beauty. When she refused to come he had her dethroned. His advisers encouraged him to put out an edict that all women are to obey their husbands!
Esther 2 - When Ahasuerus became lonely, not having a queen, his advisers suggested he put out a search for beautiful young women who could be brought into his harem and one of them could be chosen to be the next queen. A Jewish man named Mordecai, lived in the capital and raised his young cousin, Esther, as his own child. Esther was taken into the king's harem and eventually would be selected to be the new queen of Persia! She kept her ancestry a secret. Later in the chapter two of the king's servants plotted to assassinate the king, but Mordecai heard about it and warned the king. A record of his act was recorded in the king's journals.
Esther 3 - One of the chief advisers to the king was a man name Haman. He was a wicked man who would be selected by the king to be his top aid. He wanted respect by everyone which including having them bow down in his presence. Mordecai would do no such thing and Haman wanted revenge. When he found out that Mordecai was a Jew he devised an evil plan to have all the Jews in the entire kingdom annihilated. The king agreed with Haman and gave him the authority to call for that judgment to take place in one year.
Esther 4 - Mordecai and all the Jewish community mourned outwardly over this threat. Esther didn't understand what was happening until she got word from Mordecai about the danger she and all the Jews were in. Mordecai suggested that she became the queen for just such a time and he urged her to go to the king to plead for her people. She knew she couldn't walk in on the king unless he held out his golden scepter to her.
Esther 5 - Esther did go to the king and he welcomed her into his throne room. She invited both the king and Haman to come to her quarters for a luncheon. When they did she asked them to come again the next day and she would tell the king her request. Haman went home thrilled that even the queen was looking highly upon him. However, when Haman noted Mordecai's disrespect, he had a gallows built on his property to have Mordecai hung the next day.
Daily commentary and insight from Pastor Eckardt.
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