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April 28, 2023 - Esther 1-10

What a story, Mordecai and Esther! Persian king, Ahasuerus, wanted to show off his wife, Queen Vashti, who refused to come before the foreigners who had come to town. Looking for a new queen, Ahasuerus chose Esther, who revealed a plot against the king and was rewarded with the king’s promise to grant her wish. Mordecai, Esther’s uncle, would not bow to Haman, the refusal which set in motion the rest of the story as Haman, in his anger, sought to destroy the Jews. Talk about political and palace intrigue! The one, Haman, who sought to destroy a people, was himself hanged on the gallows he himself had wanted to use to hang Mordecai.

Moses had said to Israel, “The Lord will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before you. They shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways” (Deuteronomy 28:7). Isaiah promised, “No weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed, and you shall refute every tongue that rises against you in judgment. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord and their vindication from me, declares the Lord” (Isaiah 54:17). With David, we can pray with confidence, “Contend, O Lord, with those who contend with me; fight against those who fight against me! Take hold of shield and buckler and rise for my help! Draw the spear and javelin against my pursuers! Say to my soul, ‘I am your salvation!’” (Psalm 35:1-3). Surely, Esther and Mordecai could confirm with Moses and Isaiah and David and sing these words:

When my dim reason would demand

why that, or this, thou dost ordain,

by some vast deep I seem to stand,

whose secrets I must ask in vain.

When doubts disturb my troubled breast,

and all is dark as night to me,

here, as on solid rock, I rest

that so it seemeth good to thee.

Be this my joy, that evermore

thou rulest all things at thy will;

thy sov’reign wisdom I adore,

and calmly, sweetly, trust thee still. -- Ray Palmer (1858)

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