December 22, 2015: Daily Bible Reading with Commentary for Esther 6-10
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Context: Today’s reading begins innocently enough: the King could not sleep. Who hasn’t had a sleepless night?! Yet this is a turning point in the book, and masterfully shows the Lord at work. Not sleeping may be a small thing, but God can take small things and turn them into large things. In this case, because the king could not sleep, he had a scribe read records to him (imagine someone reading the minutes of a meeting). The scribe just happened to be reading of Mordecai saving his life and realized that Mordecai had never been rewarded for his service. In chapter 6 and the following chapter, you can see Haman’s plans start to unravel. Instead of hanging Mordecai, he is forced to walk him through the streets singing his praises. Haman is shamed, but is rushed to the dinner prepared for him and the king by Queen Esther. It is here that Esther reveals to the king that she is a Jew and that she and her people are going to be killed. God has placed Esther in the position of Queen for just this moment - to save His chosen people. Esther’s request, Haman’s actions, and the Lord working in the king’s heart provide salvation for the Jews. Not only salvation, but also a measure of hope. The Feast of Purim is a celebration remembering this time in history.
World History: Haman was able to declare an edict to eliminate the Jews using the king’s signet ring. Once the law was made, it could not be undone. Take note of what the king did. He could not undo the law, but he could grant permission to the Jews to defend themselves in any way necessary. This new law also showed that the support of the king was behind the Jews.