Day 209 – Thru the Bible
Today we complete Esther. Well done!
Esther 6 – A seemingly inconsequential night of restlessness results in deliverance for God’s people as Ahasuerus is reminded of Mordecai’s faithfulness and Haman, who has just constructed gallows on which to hang Mordecai, is forced to exalt him instead.
Two gospel reminders are embedded in this event. First, we see once more that God is working behind the scenes for the good of His people. The king just “happened” to have a sleepless night, and just “happened” to hear of Mordecai’s saving of the king! Second, we remember that God humbles those who exalt themselves, yet He delights to exalt those who humble themselves (Luke 18:14; James 4:10). The supreme example of this upside-down principle is Jesus Himself (Philippians 2:6–11).
How does this truth lead you to continue to trust God?
Esther 7 – Esther cunningly appeals to Ahasuerus, revealing Haman’s plan to annihilate her and her people. Haman’s treachery is nothing new: From the beginning, the Serpent has sought again and again to destroy God’s people, but God honors His covenant and preserves the lineage of the Seed of the woman so that we would have life through His death (John 10:10–14). Though we might not see His hand, God is at work even in circumstances that seem doomed.
The terror that Haman experienced is analogous to the terror that will be known by all who have futilely plotted against God (2 Corinthians 2:15–16; Colossians 2:15). This reality makes us grateful for the gospel through which even Haman-like wickedness can be fully and freely forgiven. For in God’s plan, Jesus hung not on a gallows, as did Haman, but on a cross, where the penalty for the sin of all who trust in Him was fully paid.
How does knowing what Jesus has done for you lead you to worship Him?
Esther 8 – Although Haman has been hanged, the edict to destroy God’s people was still in effect. How will God change what seems unchangeable? Yet Mordecai is elevated to a position of authority and writes a new law so that God’s people are freed to defend themselves. Again, we see how the sovereign plan of God overcomes the seemingly insurmountable opposition to His people. The point of all of this is to demonstrate the nature of God so that we will trust Him when He promises that His mercy and provision for His people continues, as He knows is best. Back then, and today, the Lord refuses to abandon those who are His.
The Jews had light, gladness, joy, honor, and victory because Esther had stepped into the gap to risk all for them. But her saving actions were made possible only by the supernatural intervention of God controlling the events of her life and the lives of her people. The message of the gospel is that this same God (who demonstrates His nature in the life of Esther) still intervenes to deliver His people from the sin and miseries of this present world.
How does this truth comfort you today?
Esther 9 – “. . . the reverse occurred.” Just when God’s enemies think that they have finally gained mastery over His people, the reverse occurs and God’s people are victorious (2 Corinthians 6:9–10). Again, we see that God’s ways are not our ways. Human weakness is the channel through which divine power is manifested. The gospel truth is given its richest meaning in Jesus, who won the greatest victory of all just when His enemies thought they had vanquished Him (Colossians 2:14–15). And God yet uses jars of clay such as us to display the glories of His grace (2 Corinthians 4:7).
How are you encouraged by knowing you already have, as the old hymn says, victory in Jesus!?
Esther 10 – Mordecai sought the welfare of others rather than himself. The commendation of the narrator reflects the ethic and nature of the Lord who inspired the text by the Holy Spirit. The supreme and ultimate expression of this nature is Jesus, who supremely loved others ahead of Himself and whom God therefore showered with honor (John 13:1; 17:4–5). Jesus is the true and final Mordecai, who, as the last verse of Esther says, “sought the welfare of his people and spoke peace to all his people.”
How does this story help you see how the whole Bible is pointing us to Jesus?
What other thoughts or questions does today’s reading bring up?
Some of these notes are from the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible study notes. We highly recommend this study Bible.
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