Saturday, October 10, 2015

Remembering and Esther # 1

Ps 103:1 Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless His holy Name!
:2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits:
:3 Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases,
:4 Who redeems your life form destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,
:5 Who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
:6 The Lord executes righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed.
:7 He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the children of Israel.
:8 The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.
:9 He will not always strive with us, nor will He keep His anger forever.
:10 He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor punished us according to our iniquities.
:11 For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him;
:12 as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.
:13 As a father pities his children, so the Lord pities those who fear Him.
:14 For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust.
In the rush of daily living it’s easy to forget all that the Lord has done for us. These verses are a good reminder.
In the book of Esther, God’s Name isn’t mentioned, yet His handiwork and fingerprints are all over the book. Maybe God’s Name isn’t mentioned because God’s presence is so obvious in the story. Esther’s story shows that each of us has been chosen by God for a purpose, just as Esther was.
Let’s see how even though His Name isn’t mentioned, how God worked through Esther.
Esther 1:1 Now it came to pass in the days of Xerxes (this was the Xerxes who reigned over one hundred and twenty-seven provinces, from India to Ethiopia),
:2 in those days when King Xerxes sat on the throne of his kingdom, which was in Shushan the citadel,
:3 that in the third year of his reign he made a feast for all his officials and servants – the powers of Persia and Media, the nobles, and the princes of the provinces being before him –
:4 when he showed the riches of his glorious kingdom and the splendor of his excellent majesty for many days, one hundred and eighty days in all.
:5 And when these days were completed, the king made a feast lasting seven days for all the people who were present in Shushan the citadel, from great to small, in the court of the garden of the king’s palace.
:6 There were white and blue linen curtains fastened with cords of fine linen and purple on silver rods and marble pillars; and the couches were of gold and silver on a mosaic pavement of alabaster, turquoise, and white and black marble.
:7 And they served drinks in golden vessels, each vessel being different from the other, with royal wine in abundance, according to the generosity of the king.
:8 In accordance with the law, the drinking was not compulsory; for so the king had ordered all the officers of his househo9ld, that they should do according to each man’s pleasure.
King Xerxes plans to go to war with Greece. He throws a huge party to get everyone on his side.
Some Bible experts believe people may have come for a while, left and others come.
Surprisingly after six months of partying, he has another one right after for seven days. Not surprising the feast becomes a drunken party.
As pointed out in the introduction, many Jews had returned to Jerusalem. The Jews who left Persia are rebuilding Jerusalem and consider the ones who stayed to be disobedient to God’s purpose.
God shows His mercy and grace. He works for the safety and protection of the Jews in Persia, even if they are being disobedient to stay.

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