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READING: Esther 3-5 – Haman Elevated & Esther’s Banquet 


A prince of Ahasuerus named Haman was promoted to a high position. Haman was greatly disturbed by Mordecai, however, because Mordecai would not bow down to him. Haman obtained a decree from the king to destroy all Jews, including Mordecai. The day for this massacre was selected by casting lots (dice) called (in Assyrian) PUR (Hebrew, plural, purim). This decree was circulated throughout the vast empire of Ahasuerus from India to Ethiopia, including Judah. (Esther 3) 

If this decree had been carried out, all of God’s promises to Abraham, to Moses, to David – all the promises of the Messiah would have failed. But the word of the LORD shall stand forever (Isaiah 40:8). 

Mordecai, in great weeping over the decree, sent word to Esther in the palace, asking her to petition the king about the decree. In words of great eloquence, he declared that she may have come to the kingdom “for such a time as this” (4:14). Esther bravely accepted this duty, knowing that if she approached the king without an invitation, she would be put to death unless the king extended his scepter in acceptance of her visit. (Esther 4) 

Esther’s faith was rewarded. The king received her warmly and accepted an invitation to a banquet the next day. Haughty Haman was exultant at the supposed honor to himself, but upon seeing Mordecai as he went home he was again angered. At the suggestion of his wife, Zeresh, he prepared that day a high gallows, and that night went to the king to obtain permission to hang Mordecai upon them. (Esther 5) [From William Smith, LL.D, Old Testament History in Bible Study Textbook Series, Revised and Amended by Wilbur Fields. College Press, Joplin, Missouri, copyright, 1970, 7th printing, 9/1978.] 

After Haman’s promotion, all at the king’s gate bowed to him as the king ordered; Mordecai refused, which angered Haman. He would not lay hands on Mordecai alone. He told Ahasuerus the Jews were scattered all over his kingdom but had laws differing from his law. He paid 10,000 talents of silver to have an edict that would destroy all Jews. The king accepted and the edict was published. 

When Mordecai heard of this, he sent Esther a copy of the decree and told her she would not escape the edict in the palace, but if she kept silent, “relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another quarter, but you and your family will perish. Perhaps you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this.” (4:14) She said the king had not invited her into his presence for thirty days. She asked Mordecai to have the Jews in Susa fast and pray while she and her maidens did the same. Then she would go to the king. When she went, the king held out his scepter to her, and she invited him and Haman to her banquet the next day. 

Note Mordecai’s faith and Esther’s bravery.  

What would you have done? 

PRAY FOR YOURSELF 

Father in Heaven, help me understand your providential working is my prayer in the name of Jesus, Your Son, and my precious Savior, AMEN!  

MY PRAYER FOR YOU (and for myself)  

Holy Father my prayer for all who read this and for myself, is that we, as we read Esther, see the things that “just happen” that will justify the name, “God in the Shadows.” I offer this prayer for myself, and for all who read this, in the precious name of Jesus, I pray, AMEN!

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