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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Pondering the Scriptures Sunday #12

Today let's take a look at Esther 1-4.

Vashti disobeys Ahasuerus, king of Persia, so she was disposed as queen.  The king therefore sook for a new queen.  Mordecai who worked for the king presented his young cousin Esther (whom he took to raise after her parents had died) as one of the candidates, imparting her not to mention that she was Jewish.  The king ended up choosing the very beautiful Esther. 

Haman, the chief prince in the king's court grew angry at Mordecai because he would not bow down and pay homage to him.  In Mordecai's eyes he saw Haman's requests as to worship him instead of allegiance hence Mordecai being a Jew would not break the first commandment.  Haman didn't see it that way and in retaliation he deviously convince the king to destroy "certain people" not naming to the king who they were but Haman was referring to the Jews, therefore including Mordecai.  Moreover, with the permission from the king to handle the matter, Haman sent a decree to all provinces to kill all Jews on the thirteenth day of the twelve month.

Mordecai sent word to Esther regarding the decree and asked her to plead to the king for her people.  Wary at first reminding Mordecai that it was against the law for anyone to go unbidden into the inner court of the king (at that time she had not been called to the king for thirty days).  Those who broke this law would be put to death unless the king held out his golden sceptre, allowing the person to live.  Then Mordecai inferred that she might have been place at her particular situation for such a purpose.  Esther gathered her courage and declared, " will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law:  and if I perish, I perish.".  Then, Esther admonished her people to fast for three days and three night for her. 

When Esther did go into the inner courts of the king, the king found favor in her and held out his golden sceptre.  Esther arranged a feast and there informed the king that she was a Jew and told him of Haman's plot to kill all the Jews.  The king accepted Esther's plea to save her and her people.

Esther's story was an example of courage to stand firm for truth and righteousness.  Her courage resulted in saving a nation and to this day Jews honor her courage through a festival called Purim.

I leave you with a food for thought ... when challenges that require faith and courage to stand for truth and righteousness, how will you respond?

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