Today’s Daily Bible Reading is from Esther 3:1-7. King Xerxes promoted Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite above all the princes. Today, we may call this position Prime Minister.
All the king’s servants bowed to Haman as the king commanded, except Mordecai, who refused to honor Haman. You see, Haman was a descendent of Agag, who was king of the Amalekites. These people were Israel’s enemy for generations. They hated the Jews, who were God’s chosen people.
“And the LORD said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven. And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovahnissi: For he said, Because the LORD hath sworn that the LORD will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.”
The king’s servants noticed Mordecai wasn’t bowing to Haman daily when he entered the king’s gate. So, they asked him why he wouldn’t bow to Haman, and he told them it was because he was a Jew. The servants told Haman what Mordecai said. When Haman noticed Mordecai wasn’t honoring his position of authority by bowing to him, it made Haman very angry.
Haman hadn’t even noticed this until the king’s servants pointed it out to him. He was probably angry because he felt like Mordecai disrespected him in front of all the other servants. It probably hurt his pride.
Haman not only decided to punish Mordecai for not bowing down to him, but because of his hatred for the Jews, he decided to have all the Jews in all the provinces killed. Don’t you think that was a bit extreme? It was now the first month, which is called Nisan, of the twelfth year of King Xerxes’ reign.
They cast pur, or a lot which was something like tossing a dice, to see what day they would kill the Jews. Even though this was the first month when they rolled the dice, so to speak, it came upon the twelfth month. That means there was going to be eleven months in between for God to intervene. Proverbs 16:33 tells us, “The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the LORD.” This is a reminder for us that God is in control.
Daily Bible Reading:
1 After these things did king Ahasuerus promote Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, and advanced him, and set his seat above all the princes that were with him.
2 And all the king’s servants, that were in the king’s gate, bowed, and reverenced Haman: for the king had so commanded concerning him. But Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence.
3 Then the king’s servants, which were in the king’s gate, said unto Mordecai, Why transgressest thou the king’s commandment?
4 Now it came to pass, when they spake daily unto him, and he hearkened not unto them, that they told Haman, to see whether Mordecai’s matters would stand: for he had told them that he was a Jew.
5 And when Haman saw that Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence, then was Haman full of wrath.
6 And he thought scorn to lay hands on Mordecai alone; for they had shewed him the people of Mordecai: wherefore Haman sought to destroy all the Jews that were throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus, even the people of Mordecai.
7 In the first month, that is, the month Nisan, in the twelfth year of king Ahasuerus, they cast Pur, that is, the lot, before Haman from day to day, and from month to month, to the twelfth month, that is, the month Adar.
Things to think about:
- Do you believe that God is in control?
- Why was Haman angry with Mordecai?
- What did Haman want to do to punish Mordecai?
Prayer of the Day:
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank You for this Scripture in The Book of Esther. It shows us even when people have evil intents against Your people, You are in control. They can only do what You allow, when You allow it. It is comforting as a Christian to know You are always in control of our lives. Help us to know You are working behind the scenes to cause everything to work out for our good and Your glory. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
This is an excerpt from The Book of Esther: A Story of Love and Favor
If you haven’t already read the book be sure to get your copy now! We will only be sharing a few lessons on this blog. In order to read and study the entire book you will need to get a copy. These first five lessons set the stage for all the drama that will take place in the rest of the book. It is exciting to see how God works things out.
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by Deborah H. Bateman
About the book:
The Book of Esther: A Story of Love and Favor by Deborah H. Bateman is a Daily Bible Reading study of the book of Esther from the Old Testament of the Bible. In the book of Esther, Esther was adopted by her cousin Mordecai. In a series of events and through fasting, prayer and God’s favor Esther was placed in a position to save the Jewish people. Esther was adopted by her cousin Mordecai, who told her maybe she was born for such a time as this.
God puts us all in circumstances where He can use us to further His kingdom and give Him glory, if we are willing and obedient. Esther found her purpose for life. Like Esther you were born for such a time as this.
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