Today’s reading includes the middle chapters of the book of Esther, one of my favorite Old Testament books! While the name of God is not mentioned in the book, He is clearly working behind the scenes demonstrating His sovereignty and faithfulness to His people. On the human level, it is a drama about a confrontation between the devout Jew Mordecai and the Agagite Haman, the 2nd in command of the Persian King Ahasuerus. Caught up in the midst of this confrontation is Esther, Mordecai’s niece and the queen of Persia.

In chapter 4 we read the words of Mordecai to Esther, the key verse of the book: “For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (4:14). After learning of Haman’s plot to kill all the Jews, Mordecai urges Esther to use her position to intercede for herself and the Jewish people.

Esther responds courageously, seeking God’s will and counting the costs of both action and inaction. She bravely confronts the evil Haman in front of the king in a series of events with God ultimately delivering the Jews from not only Haman, but all their enemies at that time. The book of Esther is the story of God doing a marvelous work in the life of an orphan girl raised by her compassionate uncle who became queen in a pagan country “for such a time as this.”

by Paul Schmidt, Elder

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