Series: Shaped by Environment
Preacher: Jessyka Albert
Daily Walk: Jessyka Albert
Refresh: Open with prayer. Read or listen to Psalm 72:1-7.
Read: Esther 8-10 (ESV). As you read the English Standard Version, note 1-3 insights or questions.
Reflect: The beginning of chapter eight brings us full circle:
“On that day King Ahasuerus gave to Queen Esther the house of Haman, the enemy of the Jews. And Mordecai came before the king, for Esther had told what he was to her. And the king took off his signet ring, which he had taken from Haman, and gave it to Mordecai. And Esther set Mordecai over the house of Haman” (Esther 8:1-2).
This is the plot we all know and love! The ring is taken from Haman and given to his mortal enemy, Mordecai. It doesn't stop there. His household is given to Esther who then appoints Mordecai over it. The awful Jew that Haman detested is now ruling over his property. These verses are jam-packed with poetic justice.
The book of Esther takes many quick twists and turns in a matter of chapters—or sometimes even just a few verses. Our emotions are jerked in all directions. From Esther becoming queen to Haman being promoted. Mordecai’s life on the line, Esther’s life on the line, the Jews' lives on the line, and now Haman’s life being flatlined. We breeze through this story and get to the “happy ending” in a matter of minutes, but what we may forget is that the twists and turns did not happen as rapidly for the characters who were living through the events of this story.
Remember Mordecai publicly mourning in the streets dressed in sackcloth and covered in ashes?
Remember Esther withering in anguish when she heard the news of Haman’s edict?
Remember the three long days of Jewish fasting as Esther prepared to put her life on the line?
Esther could not read a little faster or jump ahead to the next chapter to make sure everything was going to turn out well. She had to feel anguish, she had to practice patience, she had to fast, and she had to trust that God would provide deliverance for His people and that she would be the channel through which He accomplished that.
Respond: Pray for strength to endure the season of life you’re currently in.
Research: Read the chapter on fasting in Richard Foster’s book, Celebration of Discipline.