December 19, 2023
DAY 354 JOURNEY THROUGH THE BIBLE IN A YEAR
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Focus Verses For Today: Esther 4:15-5:2
Today we begin our journey through the book of Esther. The book of Esther, who is of the tribe of Benjamin, takes place after they had been taken captive by King Nebuchadnezzar. Years after the sack of Jerusalem, the Medo-Persian Empire defeated the Babylonians, inheriting the Jewish captives. Esther is one of two books of the Bible in which God is never mentioned, yet His presence is throughout the entire account.
Take a moment and pray, asking for understanding of today’s reading. Read Esther 1-5. Let’s journey!
Esther 1-5: When the queen refuses an order of King Xerxes, the queen is disposed and a search is conducted for a beautiful woman to become the new queen. Esther was one of the women selected to be brought to the palace, where she immediately gains favor, although she keeps her heritage a secret as instructed by her cousin Mordecai. She is eventually made queen. Mordecai stopped a plot to kill the king. Haman, an Agagite and honored noble, planned to destroy the Jews, convincing King Xerxes that they were a threat. Mordecai learns of the plot and goes to Esther for help. Esther fasted before approaching the king without permission and sought a dinner with the king and Haman. Haman became angry with Mordecai because he refused to bow to Haman. (Esther 1:1-5:14)
Our focus verses for today:
15 Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: 16 “Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.”
17 So Mordecai went away and carried out all of Esther’s instructions.
1On the third day Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the palace, in front of the king’s hall. The king was sitting on his royal throne in the hall, facing the entrance. 2 When he saw Queen Esther standing in the court, he was pleased with her and held out to her the gold scepter that was in his hand. So Esther approached and touched the tip of the scepter.
(Esther 4:15-5:2, NIV)
In Persia, it was forbidden for a person to appear before the king without being summoned. To do so was to risk death. Esther knew the risk. Likely she was scared, hence the three days of fasting and the beseeching of others to join her. God’s name is never mentioned, but it is God who gave her the strength to do what she needed. It was God that gave her the words to speak. Where are you in life? We all need to seek out the Lord. Are you in a place where you need to reach out for prayers from others? Do not be afraid to seek help!
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