Series: Shaped by Environment
Preacher: Jessyka Albert
Daily Walk: Jessyka Albert
Refresh: Open with prayer. Read or listen to Psalm 73:10-14.
Read: Esther 8-10 (ESV). As you read the English Standard Version, note 1-3 insights or questions.
Reflect: Remember when Mordecai saved the king from assassination? And then the next verse started with, “And the king promoted . . . Haman?!” You can’t tell me you weren’t even a bit confused about that. It wasn’t fair!
The last chapter of the book of Esther again follows the pattern of showing how everything comes full circle. Haman was promoted at the beginning of the story, but now Mordecai is given what is rightfully his:
“And all the accomplishments of his authority and strength, and the full account of the greatness of Mordecai, to which the king advanced him, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Media and Persia? For Mordecai the Jew was second only to King Ahasuerus and great among the Jews, and in favor with the multitude of his kinsmen, one who sought the good of his people and one who spoke for the welfare of his whole nation” (Esther 10:2-3).
If you read through the story with fresh eyes, not already knowing every twist and turn and resolution, you would breathe a sigh of relief about now. The happy ending has finally come. At the beginning of the story, we met a king, feasting and drinking his life away. He took advice from those who only had their own best interests at heart, promoting Haman who used the king to increase his own power. The character transformation of King Ahasuerus is breath-taking. When we first met him, he was banishing his queen for failing to follow his orders. At the end of the story, we find him granting his Jewish queen, who did not follow the rules, whatever she wants! He now has Mordecai, the one who consistently looked out for the king's best interests, at his right hand.
The environment of the king has changed. He has surrounded himself with godly people, and in return, we see parts of his personal environment change as well.
Respond: Pray for patience.
Research: Read one of the commentaries from the series’s bibliography.