Friday, October 9, 2015

Peace and Introduction to Esther

James 4:1 Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members?
:2 You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask.
:3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.
:4 Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
:5 Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, “The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously”?
:6 But He gives more grace. Therefore He says” God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
:7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
:8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners/ and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
:9 Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.
:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.
War comes at a high price. Not just monetarily but in lives.
When believers go to war with each other, the cost is high also. In our own selfish pursuits, we sometimes fight without considering the cost to our witness to the world or our relationship to each other. If we want to present the Prince of Peace to the world, believers need to stop fighting each other and practice peace.
Esther – Introduction
There isn’t a record on who wrote the book of Esther. It was apparently a Jew who was familiar with the Persian customs and the royal palace.
The events talked about happened around 486-465 BC.
The story of Esther takes place during the reign of Persian King Ahasuerus, also known as Xeres.
This is at least fifty years after Cyrus’ decree that announced that the exiled Jews could return to Jerusalem and about twenty-five years before Ezra’s return to Jerusalem.
Esther and Mordecai were living in the royal city of Susa.
Esther’s story is similar to Joseph’s and Daniel’s. Each is about a Jew who was delivered from a death plot and rose to a high position in a pagan government.
It reminds Christians that God is never absent, even though those living in a world hostile to the Christian faith may not always be aware of His presence.

Tomorrow (or Monday) we will look at the first chapter (or part of it) of Esther.

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