MAY 27

In chapter 3 we see Satan begin to work. Haman's promotion went to his head and turned him into a murderer. Mordecai, Esther's cousin and a very faithful Jew, would not bow down to Haman. This made the proud man even angrier. He then decided to destroy all the Jews, just because of his malice toward Mordecai. The decree was written and sent out (verses 7,12), ordering the Persians to destroy, kill, and plunder all the Jews in the vast reaches of the kingdom.

In chapter 4 we see Mordecai their protector. The old Jew that sat at the king's gate now comes to the front. He is God's prepared vessel to save the nation. In verse 14 God sent a message through Mordecai to Esther to remind her of her responsibility. The message convinced Esther that she must do the bidding of the Lord and intercede for His people, even at the risk of personal harm or death.

The events in the next few chapters center around three feasts. In chapters 5 and 6 we read about a feast of rejoicing. The Jews had fasted and prayed with Esther for three days. It was now time to step out by faith and intercede before the king's throne. Keep in mind that Oriental rulers were almost like gods to their people, and their commands, right or wrong, were obeyed. Esther was truly placing her life in God's hands. As she appeared at the entrance of the throne room, the king lifted his golden scepter and called her in. What a fulfillment of the Scripture, "The king's heart is in the hand of the Lord." Acting very wisely, Esther did not immediately tell Xerxes her true request. Instead, she invited the king and Haman to a banquet. She knew the king's weakness for food and drink, and with womanly intuition she prepared him for the important request she was about to make. She also gave Haman a false feeling of security by including him. One thing ruined the day for Haman. He saw Mordecai at the gate and decided to bring false charges against him and have him killed, since he would now bow down to Haman. He had a gallows erected, intending to have Mordecai hanged.

Chapter 7 could be called a feast of reckoning. The results of Esther's meeting with the king brought justice to all. Mordecai was set free and Haman was hanged.

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