June 8, 2019

Today you should read: Esther 9:20-10:3

With our passage today, we come to the close of our time walking through the book of Esther. What should stand out today is the emphasis on “remembering.” Throughout the book, we have seen God’s faithfulness in protecting and delivering the people of Israel from the evil hand of Haman.

It was to be a special remembrance that would take place on 2 days in the same month in a year. This was to be a celebration of high importance, signifying the great deliverance of the people.

The way this should affect you is by discerning what your thankfulness could say about your love and dependence on God. When is the last time that you thanked God for answering prayer? For being with you in a difficult time? For giving you life? In all honesty, your love and dependence on God can be truly gauged not when you’re going through a crisis, but when you’re going through the mundane. Most people are desperate during a difficult time, but the reality is that we are just as dependent upon God when we feel we are in control as when we don’t feel we are in control.

So, if you find yourself in a pretty “normal” season right now, it is a great time to ask yourself some tough questions regarding your relationship with God. Are you thankful in all circumstances? Are you taking God’s grace for granted? When is the last time you wrote down the ways you have seen God’s faithfulness in the “mundane”? Take some time to reflect on these questions today.

By: Graham Withers — Pastoral Ministry Associate


June 7, 2019

Today you should read: Esther 9:1-19

If Esther were a movie this would be the ending climax to the story. When all of a sudden, the tables turned for the underdog heroes and they end up defeating their enemy after some scary, close calls throughout the story. You know that God’s people were not just acting out of bitterness and vengeance, but obedience, as it is mentioned that they were faithful in not plundering in their victories, unlike other times in conquests. What sticks out the most to me in these passages is found in the very first verse of ch. 9:

…on the very day when the enemies of the Jews hoped to gain the mastery over them, the reverse occurred: the Jews gained mastery over those who hated them.

What Satan intended for evil, God used for good and His glory. The reverse occurred. This verse reminds me of the cross. How Satan had worked so hard leading up to the crucifixion and how many around Jesus believed this was the end to this great man, his great works and the future. But instead, the reverse occurred and Jesus used this humiliating, hard event to rescue, redeem and save those who were separated from the God they were originally created for. Jesus had mastery over Satan when Satan thought he finally had Jesus.

God uses these events in chapter 19 to finally deliver God’s people and in the same way Jesus used the cross to finally deliver us.

By: Erik Koliser — West Campus Pastor

June 6, 2019

Today you should read: Esther 8:1-17

Yesterday in Esther 7, Haman had a pretty bad day. After Haman was killed on the gallows he erected for Mordecai, the king elevated Mordecai in his place. Mordecai was given the king’s signet ring—symbolizing political authority. There still exists a problem, however: the decree against the Jews is still active.

Esther begs the king to revoke the decree made with Haman to kill the Jews. The king states that he has given great authority to Esther and Mordecai, yet no one can revoke a sealed edict of the king (verse 8). Esther and Mordecai write to the Jews with the authority of the king to defend themselves against all attackers on Adar 13th—more on that tomorrow.

By the time we read verses 15–17, we see Mordecai elevated in robes of blue and white. He wore a great crown and purple linen. The Jews rejoiced, and the non-Jews started declaring themselves as Jews.

Chapter 8 highlights the role reversal between the enemy of the Jews, Haman, and Mordecai. I hope this brings you comfort today—the enemies of God’s people may triumph for a season, but they will not ultimately win.

Additionally, chapter 8 is a great snapshot of the time in which we find ourselves, between the cross and Christ’s return. Christ defeated sin on the cross—sin has been crushed like Haman. Yet, the decree still exists—sin has not yet been eradicated. As sons and daughters of God the Father, we have the authority to fight the lingering decree of sin.  

As it has been mentioned, God’s name is conspicuously absent from the book of Esther although His presence is everywhere. As believers, we have enemies and we fight sin. Yet, God is never absent or far away. God’s power is displayed in our weakness. When enemies come and sin seems victorious, remember that Christ has made a way. In Christ we are the victors.  

For reflection:

I was struck by a quote from an author that said, we often mistake success for the rewards of success. Success, however, is found in obedience rather that its rewards. Reading this chapter can focus us in on rewards, but in what areas has God called you to be faithful?

By: Tyler Short — Connections Ministry Associate

June 5, 2019

Today you should read: Esther 7:1-10

Esther 7 is really the climax of the story. So far in Esther, Haman has lied to King Ahasuerus and has plotted to kill all the Jews. At the feast in chapter 7, the king tells Esther to make any request. This is where it gets interesting. The king still does not know that Esther is a Jew, and she finally reveals this to him. She says, “For we have been sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be killed, and to be annihilated” (v.4). This means that if Haman’s plot of killing all the Jews is carried out then Esther would lose her life too. The king would lose his queen. Esther makes the request that the Jews would be saved, and the king grants that request. Haman, who tricked the king, is ultimately put to death because of his wrongdoing.

Esther 7 truly shows God’s deliverance of His people. The Jews were in a bad situation, but God was sovereignly working all of this according to His plan. If Esther had not been the queen then Haman’s plot would have been carried out and the Jews would have been destroyed. As Christians, we have to trust in God.

In our passage, we see God deliver His people. This is not the greatest act of deliverance though. The greatest act of deliverance is when Jesus went to the cross. Through Jesus, He has delivered people from death to life. Rest in that today.

Final thought: how have you seen God’s sovereignty in your own life?

By: Brice Stockton — Student Ministry Apprentice