Pastor Tony Pierce
SEPTEMBER 14, 2021 ~ JOURNEY THROUGH THE BIBLE CHRONOLOGICALLY
Updated: Jan 3, 2022
SEPTEMBER 14, 2021 READINGS...Ezra 6:14b-22 & Ezra 4:6 & Esther 1:1-4:17
The work of the second Temple was completed. This Temple did not compare to Solomon’s Temple, but it offered a place for the Jews to give their sacrifices to God. This would be the Temple defiled by Antiochus Epiphanes, when he performed the “abomination of desolation”. This would also be the Temple that Herod the Great would refurbish. It was the Temple during the time of Jesus. It would be destroyed by the Romans in AD 70. The Jews that had come back from exile were now able to hold their feasts once again in the Temple. One of the first they were able to observe in the new Temple was Passover. Not everybody was happy with the Jews being back in the land and having their Temple. The enemies of Judah began to write false accusations to King Xerxes about Judah and Jerusalem. This set the stage for an attempt to destroy the Jewish nation, but God had all things under control and would use a young Jewish maiden named Esther.
The book of Esther begins with a huge seven-day drunken feast thrown by Xerxes. In the midst of the revelry the King called for his wife Queen Vashti to come out so he could show her off. She refused to come and the result was that she was forever removed from the presence of the king. After the wine had worn of and the king began to miss his queen, he regretted what he had done, but it could not be changed. The advice was for the king to gather all the young virgins of the land in hope that one would be chosen to be the next queen. Among these virgins was Esther. Her cousin Mordecai, who was responsible for her, told her not to reveal that she was Jewish. The time came for her to go into the king. Xerxes was very satisfied with Esther and made her his queen. There was a proud man named Haman, who had a very high position in Xerxes court. Haman loved it that others were required to bow down in his presence, but Mordecai refused to bow before him. This angered him so much that he not only wanted to get back at Mordecai, but wanted to destroy the people of Mordecai, the Jews. Haman convinced the king that the Jews were rebellious and needed to be exterminated. Mordecai was filled with grief and challenged Esther to speak to the king. He told her that it just may be that the Lord had put her in the position she held for “just such a time as this."
God knew the time of Esther and Mordecai. He knew that hatred that would be raised against Him and His people the Jews. He was fulfilling His plan for His people through both Esther and Mordecai.
God knows the time in which we live. His plan is playing out before our eyes. I believe we need to see that he has raised us up “for such a time as this.” Will we like Esther answer the call?
Please share your thoughts from today’s readings.
TOMORROW’S READINGS…Esther 5:1-10:3