All posts by steve

Psalm 68:1-18

1Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered: let them also that hate him flee before him. 2As smoke is driven away, so drive them away: as wax melteth before the fire, so let the wicked perish at the presence of God. 3But let the righteous be glad; let them rejoice before God: yea, let them exceedingly rejoice. 4Sing unto God, sing praises to his name: extol him that rideth upon the heavens by his name JAH, and rejoice before him. 5A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation. 6God setteth the solitary in families: he bringeth out those which are bound with chains: but the rebellious dwell in a dry land. 7O God, when thou wentest forth before thy people, when thou didst march through the wilderness; Selah: 8The earth shook, the heavens also dropped at the presence of God: even Sinai itself was moved at the presence of God, the God of Israel. 9Thou, O God, didst send a plentiful rain, whereby thou didst confirm thine inheritance, when it was weary 10Thy congregation hath dwelt therein: thou, O God, hast prepared of thy goodness for the poor. 11The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it. 12Kings of armies did flee apace: and she that tarried at home divided the spoil. 13Though ye have lien among the pots, yet shall ye be as the wings of a dove covered with silver, and her feathers with yellow gold. 14When the Almighty scattered kings in it, it was white as snow in Salmon. 15The hill of God is as the hill of Bashan; an high hill as the hill of Bashan. 16Why leap ye, ye high hills? this is the hill which God desireth to dwell in; yea, the LORD will dwell in it for ever. 17The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels: the Lord is among them, as in Sinai, in the holy place. 18Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: thou hast received gifts for men; yea, for the rebellious also, that the LORD God might dwell among them.

Romans 16

1I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea: 2That ye receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints, and that ye assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of you: for she hath been a succourer of many, and of myself also. 3Greet Priscilla and Aquila my helpers in Christ Jesus: 4Who have for my life laid down their own necks: unto whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles. 5Likewise greet the church that is in their house. Salute my well-beloved Epaenetus, who is the firstfruits of Achaia unto Christ. 6Greet Mary, who bestowed much labour on us. 7Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen, and my fellow-prisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me. 8Greet Amplias my beloved in the Lord. 9Salute Urbane, our helper in Christ, and Stachys my beloved. 10Salute Apelles approved in Christ. Salute them which are of Aristobulus’ household. 11Salute Herodion my kinsman. Greet them that be of the household of Narcissus, which are in the Lord. 12Salute Tryphena and Tryphosa, who labour in the Lord. Salute the beloved Persis, which laboured much in the Lord. 13Salute Rufus chosen in the Lord, and his mother and mine. 14Salute Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermas, Patrobas, Hermes, and the brethren which are with them 15Salute Philologus, and Julia, Nereus, and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints which are with them. 16Salute one another with an holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you. 17Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. 18For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple. 19For your obedience is come abroad unto all men. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil. 20And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen. 21Timotheus my workfellow, and Lucius, and Jason, and Sosipater, my kinsmen, salute you. 22I Tertius, who wrote this epistle, salute you in the Lord. 23Gaius mine host, and of the whole church, saluteth you. Erastus the chamberlain of the city saluteth you, and Quartus a brother. 24The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. 25Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, 26But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith: 27To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen.

In this chapter Paul introduces us to many of his(and ours) brothers and sisters in the Lord. He makes it pretty clear that they are all people who are obedient to Christ and doctrine. Although this is not what caught my attention the most this morning. Versus 16-20 really had an impact on me today, its amazing how God reveals things when we just ask.
So how about you? What did you learn from todays reading? How is God impacting your life?

John 4

When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John, 2(Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples,) 3He left Judaea, and departed again into Galilee. 4And he must needs go through Samaria. 5Then cometh he to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. 6Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour. 7There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink. 8(For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.) 9Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans. 10Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. 11The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water? 12Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle? 13Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: 14But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. 15The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw. 16Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither. 17The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband: 18For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly. 19The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. 20Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. 21Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. 23But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. 25The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. 26Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he. 27And upon this came his disciples, and marvelled that he talked with the woman: yet no man said, What seekest thou? or, Why talkest thou with her? 28The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men, 29Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ? 30Then they went out of the city, and came unto him. 31In the mean while his disciples prayed him, saying, Master, eat. 32But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of. 33Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him ought to eat? 34Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work. 35Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. 36And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together. 37And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth. 38I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labour: other men laboured, and ye are entered into their labours. 39And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did. 40So when the Samaritans were come unto him, they besought him that he would tarry with them: and he abode there two days. 41And many more believed because of his own word; 42And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world. 43Now after two days he departed thence, and went into Galilee. 44For Jesus himself testified, that a prophet hath no honour in his own country. 45Then when he was come into Galilee, the Galilaeans received him, having seen all the things that he did at Jerusalem at the feast: for they also went unto the feast. 46So Jesus came again into Cana of Galilee, where he made the water wine. And there was a certain nobleman, whose son was sick at Capernaum. 47When he heard that Jesus was come out of Judaea into Galilee, he went unto him, and besought him that he would come down, and heal his son: for he was at the point of death. 48Then said Jesus unto him, Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe. 49The nobleman saith unto him, Sir, come down ere my child die. 50Jesus saith unto him, Go thy way; thy son liveth. And the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went his way. 51And as he was now going down, his servants met him, and told him, saying, Thy son liveth. 52Then enquired he of them the hour when he began to amend. And they said unto him, Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him. 53So the father knew that it was at the same hour, in the which Jesus said unto him, Thy son liveth: and himself believed, and his whole house. 54This is again the second miracle that Jesus did, when he was come out of Judaea into Galilee.

There is no such thing as a cover up when it comes to God. Everytime I read the story about the woman at the well it reminds me that, though we may try to hide things from others in our lives, we can not hide anything from God, He knows it all. I am so glad that God can see our thoughts and imaginations and know what is truly in our hearts, because no one is perfect by any means, but if we serve the Lord Jesus Christ with a perfect heart then all of our intentions will be good. Don’t take that the wrong way though, just because we serve the Lord with a perfect heart doesn’t mean that we are impervious to making mistakes. I just think it helps us to realize when we have done something wrong and brings us to repentance.
So how does being aware that God knows it all impact your life? Did it ever cross your mind that He is always watching, and that He doesn’t miss a thing?

Should Christians Celebrate Halloween?

Halloween a day celebrated around the world when people dress up in costumes, collect candy from neighbors and have parties, but do you ever take time to think about the origins of Halloween? Most people don’t think twice about participating in it saying “It’s all in fun” or “It’s not evil to me”, but is this so called hallow evening really so innocent? Are there ties to paganism and Satanism? Shall we as Christians celebrate Halloween or should we have an alternative name for it like Harvest Festival?  Before we get into those questions let’s take a closer look at the history of this night and how it all started. Continue reading Should Christians Celebrate Halloween?

John 20

1The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre. 2Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the LORD out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him. 3Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre. 4So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre. 5And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in. 6Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie, 7And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself. 8Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed. 9For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead. 10Then the disciples went away again unto their own home. 11But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre, 12And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. 13And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my LORD, and I know not where they have laid him. 14And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. 15Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. 16Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master. 17Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God. 18Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the LORD, and that he had spoken these things unto her

Luke 1:26-56

26And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, 27To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. 28And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. 29And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. 30And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. 31And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. 32He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: 33And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. 34Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? 35And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. 36And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. 37For with God nothing shall be impossible. 38And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her. 39And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda; 40And entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth. 41And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: 42And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. 43And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. 45And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord. 46And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, 47And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. 48For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. 49For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name. 50And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation. 51He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. 52He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree. 53He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away. 54He hath helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy; 55As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever. 56And Mary abode with her about three months, and returned to her own house.

Esther 9:20-10:3

20And Mordecai wrote these things, and sent letters unto all the Jews that were in all the provinces of the king Ahasuerus, both nigh and far, 21To stablish this among them, that they should keep the fourteenth day of the month Adar, and the fifteenth day of the same, yearly, 22As the days wherein the Jews rested from their enemies, and the month which was turned unto them from sorrow to joy, and from mourning into a good day: that they should make them days of feasting and joy, and of sending portions one to another, and gifts to the poor. 23And the Jews undertook to do as they had begun, and as Mordecai had written unto them; 24Because Haman the son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, the enemy of all the Jews, had devised against the Jews to destroy them, and had cast Pur, that is, the lot, to consume them, and to destroy them; 25But when Esther came before the king, he commanded by letters that his wicked device, which he devised against the Jews, should return upon his own head, and that he and his sons should be hanged on the gallows. 26Wherefore they called these days Purim after the name of Pur. Therefore for all the words of this letter, and of that which they had seen concerning this matter, and which had come unto them, 27The Jews ordained, and took upon them, and upon their seed, and upon all such as joined themselves unto them, so as it should not fail, that they would keep these two days according to their writing, and according to their appointed time every year; 28And that these days should be remembered and kept throughout every generation, every family, every province, and every city; and that these days of Purim should not fail from among the Jews, nor the memorial of them perish from their seed. 29Then Esther the queen, the daughter of Abihail, and Mordecai the Jew, wrote with all authority, to confirm this second letter of Purim. 30And he sent the letters unto all the Jews, to the hundred twenty and seven provinces of the kingdom of Ahasuerus, with words of peace and truth, 31To confirm these days of Purim in their times appointed, according as Mordecai the Jew and Esther the queen had enjoined them, and as they had decreed for themselves and for their seed, the matters of the fastings and their cry. 32And the decree of Esther confirmed these matters of Purim; and it was written in the book.
Chapter 10 1And the king Ahasuerus laid a tribute upon the land, and upon the isles of the sea. 2And all the acts of his power and of his might, and the declaration of the greatness of Mordecai, whereunto the king advanced him, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Media and Persia? 3For Mordecai the Jew was next unto king Ahasuerus, and great among the Jews, and accepted of the multitude of his brethren, seeking the wealth of his people, and speaking peace to all his seed.

Esther 8:15-9:19

15And Mordecai went out from the presence of the king in royal apparel of blue and white, and with a great crown of gold, and with a garment of fine linen and purple: and the city of Shushan rejoiced and was glad. 16The Jews had light, and gladness, and joy, and honour. 17And in every province, and in every city, whithersoever the king’s commandment and his decree came, the Jews had joy and gladness, a feast and a good day. And many of the people of the land became Jews; for the fear of the Jews fell upon them.
Chapter 9 1Now in the twelfth month, that is, the month Adar, on the thirteenth day of the same, when the king’s commandment and his decree drew near to be put in execution, in the day that the enemies of the Jews hoped to have power over them, (though it was turned to the contrary, that the Jews had rule over them that hated them;) 2The Jews gathered themselves together in their cities throughout all the provinces of the king Ahasuerus, to lay hand on such as sought their hurt: and no man could withstand them; for the fear of them fell upon all people. 3And all the rulers of the provinces, and the lieutenants, and the deputies, and officers of the king, helped the Jews; because the fear of Mordecai fell upon them. 4For Mordecai was great in the king’s house, and his fame went out throughout all the provinces: for this man Mordecai waxed greater and greater. 5Thus the Jews smote all their enemies with the stroke of the sword, and slaughter, and destruction, and did what they would unto those that hated them. 6And in Shushan the palace the Jews slew and destroyed five hundred men. 7And Parshandatha, and Dalphon, and Aspatha, 8And Poratha, and Adalia, and Aridatha, 9And Parmashta, and Arisai, and Aridai, and Vajezatha, 10The ten sons of Haman the son of Hammedatha, the enemy of the Jews, slew they; but on the spoil laid they not their hand. 11On that day the number of those that were slain in Shushan the palace was brought before the king. 12And the king said unto Esther the queen, The Jews have slain and destroyed five hundred men in Shushan the palace, and the ten sons of Haman; what have they done in the rest of the king’s provinces? now what is thy petition? and it shall be granted thee: or what is thy request further? and it shall be done. 13Then said Esther, If it please the king, let it be granted to the Jews which are in Shushan to do to morrow also according unto this day’s decree, and let Haman’s ten sons be hanged upon the gallows. 14And the king commanded it so to be done: and the decree was given at Shushan; and they hanged Haman’s ten sons 15For the Jews that were in Shushan gathered themselves together on the fourteenth day also of the month Adar, and slew three hundred men at Shushan; but on the prey they laid not their hand. 16But the other Jews that were in the king’s provinces gathered themselves together, and stood for their lives, and had rest from their enemies, and slew of their foes seventy and five thousand, but they laid not their hands on the prey, 17On the thirteenth day of the month Adar; and on the fourteenth day of the same rested they, and made it a day of feasting and gladness. 18But the Jews that were at Shushan assembled together on the thirteenth day thereof, and on the fourteenth thereof; and on the fifteenth day of the same they rested, and made it a day of feasting and gladness. 19Therefore the Jews of the villages, that dwelt in the unwalled towns, made the fourteenth day of the month Adar a day of gladness and feasting, and a good day, and of sending portions one to another.

Todays reading kinda threw me off a little bit. I figured that the Jews would be wanting to celebrate, after all they just had a death sentence lifted. Instead they went out and killed about 76,000 people as far as I can tell. Sometimes there are things in scripture that I don’t understand, but I just have to trust God because I know that He is loving and that He has a plan. Maybe they did what they did because they weren’t taught about forgiveness back then, it was more, eye for eye, tooth for tooth at that time. What are your thoughts? Got anything that may help me to understand this a little better?

Esther 6:14-8:14

14And while they were yet talking with him, came the king’s chamberlains, and hasted to bring Haman unto the banquet that Esther had prepared. Chapter 7 1So the king and Haman came to banquet with Esther the queen. 2And the king said again unto Esther on the second day at the banquet of wine, What is thy petition, queen Esther? and it shall be granted thee: and what is thy request? and it shall be performed, even to the half of the kingdom. 3Then Esther the queen answered and said, If I have found favour in thy sight, O king, and if it please the king, let my life be given me at my petition, and my people at my request: 4For we are sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be slain, and to perish. But if we had been sold for bondmen and bondwomen, I had held my tongue, although the enemy could not countervail the king’s damage. 5Then the king Ahasuerus answered and said unto Esther the queen, Who is he, and where is he, that durst presume in his heart to do so? 6And Esther said, The adversary and enemy is this wicked Haman. Then Haman was afraid before the king and the queen. 7And the king arising from the banquet of wine in his wrath went into the palace garden: and Haman stood up to make request for his life to Esther the queen; for he saw that there was evil determined against him by the king. 8Then the king returned out of the palace garden into the place of the banquet of wine; and Haman was fallen upon the bed whereon Esther was. Then said the king, Will he force the queen also before me in the house? As the word went out of king’s mouth, they covered Haman’s face. 9And Harbonah, one of the chamberlains, said before the king, Behold also, the gallows fifty cubits high, which Haman had made for Mordecai, who spoken good for the king, standeth in the house of Haman. Then the king said, Hang him thereon. 10So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then was the king’s wrath pacified. Chapter 8 1On that day did the king Ahasuerus give the house of Haman the Jews’ enemy unto Esther the queen. And Mordecai came before the king; for Esther had told what he was unto her. 2And the king took off his ring, which he had taken from Haman, and gave it unto Mordecai. And Esther set Mordecai over the house of Haman. 3And Esther spake yet again before the king, and fell down at his feet, and besought him with tears to put away the mischief of Haman the Agagite, and his device that he had devised against the Jews. 4Then the king held out the golden sceptre toward Esther. So Esther arose, and stood before the king, 5And said, If it please the king, and if I have favour in his sight, and the thing seem right before the king, and I be pleasing in his eyes, let it be written to reverse the letters devised by Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, which he wrote to destroy the Jews which are in all the king’s provinces: 6For how can I endure to see the evil that shall come unto my people? or how can I endure to see the destruction of my kindred? 7Then the king Ahasuerus said unto Esther the queen and to Mordecai the Jew, Behold, I have given Esther the house of Haman, and him they have hanged upon the gallows, because he laid his hand upon the Jews. 8Write ye also for the Jews, as it liketh you, in the king’s name, and seal it with the king’s ring: for the writing which is written in the king’s name, and sealed with the king’s ring, may no man reverse. 9Then were the king’s scribes called at that time in the third month, that is, the month Sivan, on the three and twentieth day thereof; and it was written according to all that Mordecai commanded unto the Jews, and to the lieutenants, and the deputies and rulers of the provinces which are from India unto Ethiopia, an hundred twenty and seven provinces, unto every province according to the writing thereof, and unto every people after their language, and to the Jews according to their writing, and according to their language. 10And he wrote in the king Ahasuerus’ name, and sealed it with the king’s ring, and sent letters by posts on horseback, and riders on mules, camels, and young dromedaries: 11Wherein the king granted the Jews which were in every city to gather themselves together, and to stand for their life, to destroy, to slay and to cause to perish, all the power of the people and province that would assault them, both little ones and women, and to take the spoil of them for a prey, 12Upon one day in all the provinces of king Ahasuerus, namely, upon the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month Adar. 13The copy of the writing for a commandment to be given in every province was published unto all people, and that the Jews should be ready against that day to avenge themselves on their enemies. 14So the posts that rode upon mules and camels went out, being hastened and pressed on by the king’s commandment. And the decree was given at Shushan the palace.

Esther has given us a good example of how we should respond to things that may happen in our lives. Even though I’m pretty sure none of us have ever been in this kind of situation, we get a good glimpse of how we should approach trails in our life. Esther didn’t go running to the king yelling and screaming about what Mordecai had told her of Haman, she came to the king in humbleness and meekness with knowledge. After reading this far into this book it reminds me of another verse in Matthew 10:16 when the Lord said “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves”. How about you? What do you get from this scripture? How do we become wise as serpents? What does it mean “be harmless as doves”?

Esther 5:9-6:13

9Then went Haman forth that day joyful and with a glad heart: but when Haman saw Mordecai in the king’s gate, that he stood not up, nor moved for him, he was full of indignation against Mordecai. 10Nevertheless Haman refrained himself: and when he came home, he sent and called for his friends, and Zeresh his wife. 11And Haman told them of the glory of his riches, and the multitude of his children, and all the things wherein the king had promoted him, and how he had advanced him above the princes and servants of the king. 12Haman said moreover, Yea, Esther the queen did let no man come in with the king unto the banquet that she had prepared but myself; and to morrow am I invited unto her also with the king. 13Yet all this availeth me nothing, so long as I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king’s gate. 14Then said Zeresh his wife and all his friends unto him, Let a gallows be made of fifty cubits high, and to morrow speak thou unto the king that Mordecai may be hanged thereon: then go thou in merrily with the king unto the banquet. And the thing pleased Haman; and he caused the gallows to be made.Esther 6 1On that night could not the king sleep, and he commanded to bring the book of records of the chronicles; and they were read before the king. 2And it was found written, that Mordecai had told of Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king’s chamberlains, the keepers of the door, who sought to lay hand on the king Ahasuerus. 3And the king said, What honour and dignity hath been done to Mordecai for this? Then said the king’s servants that ministered unto him, There is nothing done for him. 4And the king said, Who is in the court? Now Haman was come into the outward court of the king’s house, to speak unto the king to hang Mordecai on the gallows that he had prepared for him. 5And the king’s servants said unto him, Behold, Haman standeth in the court. And the king said, Let him come in. 6So Haman came in. And the king said unto him, What shall be done unto the man whom the king delighteth to honour? Now Haman thought in his heart, To whom would the king delight to do honour more than to myself? 7And Haman answered the king, For the man whom the king delighteth to honour, 8Let the royal apparel be brought which the king useth to wear, and the horse that the king rideth upon, and the crown royal which is set upon his head: 9And let this apparel and horse be delivered to the hand of one of the king’s most noble princes, that they may array the man withal whom the king delighteth to honour, and bring him on horseback through the street of the city, and proclaim before him, Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delighteth to honour. 10Then the king said to Haman, Make haste, and take the apparel and the horse, as thou hast said, and do even so to Mordecai the Jew, that sitteth at the king’s gate: let nothing fail of all that thou hast spoken. 11Then took Haman the apparel and the horse, and arrayed Mordecai, and brought him on horseback through the street of the city, and proclaimed before him, Thus shall it be done unto the man whom the king delighteth to honour. 12And Mordecai came again to the king’s gate. But Haman hasted to his house mourning, and having his head covered. 13And Haman told Zeresh his wife and all his friends every thing that had befallen him. Then said his wise men and Zeresh his wife unto him, If Mordecai be of the seed of the Jews, before whom thou hast begun to fall, thou shalt not prevail against him, but shalt surely fall before him.

I think todays reading has been my favorite part of the book of Esther so far. When I started reading where we left off yesterday Haman was soo happy, I could just imagine him walking around whistling and holding his head up. But his pride got in the way yet again when he came across Mordecai and he didn’t even move or acknowlege his presence. When he told his people to go make gallos for Mordecai I got a little worried, but I think it was hilarious what happened instead. You know that both of these men had to be experiencing some major emotional changes.
So what has the book of Esther shown us about God’s involvement in the details of our lives? What about trusting God? Let me hear from you!!

Esther 4-5

Esther 4 1When Mordecai perceived all that was done, Mordecai rent his clothes, and put on sackcloth with ashes, and went out into the midst of the city, and cried with a loud and a bitter cry; 2And came even before the king’s gate: for none might enter into the king’s gate clothed with sackcloth. 3And in every province, whithersoever the king’s commandment and his decree came, there was great mourning among the Jews, and fasting, and weeping, and wailing; and many lay in sackcloth and ashes. 4So Esther’s maids and her chamberlains came and told it her. Then was the queen exceedingly grieved; and she sent raiment to clothe Mordecai, and to take away his sackcloth from him: but he received it not 5Then called Esther for Hatach, one of the king’s chamberlains, whom he had appointed to attend upon her, and gave him a commandment to Mordecai, to know what it was, and why it was. 6So Hatach went forth to Mordecai unto the street of the city, which was before the king’s gate. 7And Mordecai told him of all that had happened unto him, and of the sum of the money that Haman had promised to pay to the king’s treasuries for the Jews, to destroy them. 8Also he gave him the copy of the writing of the decree that was given at Shushan to destroy them, to shew it unto Esther, and to declare it unto her, and to charge her that she should go in unto the king, to make supplication unto him, and to make request before him for her people. 9And Hatach came and told Esther the words of Mordecai. 10Again Esther spake unto Hatach, and gave him commandment unto Mordecai; 11All the king’s servants, and the people of the king’s provinces, do know, that whosoever, whether man or women, shall come unto the king into the inner court, who is not called, there is one law of his to put him to death, except such to whom the king shall hold out the golden sceptre, that he may live: but I have not been called to come in unto the king these thirty days. 12And they told to Mordecai Esther’s words. 13Then Mordecai commanded to answer Esther, Think not with thyself that thou shalt escape in the king’s house, more than all the Jews. 14For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this? 15Then Esther bade them return Mordecai this answer, 16Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish. 17So Mordecai went his way, and did according to all that Esther had commanded him.Esther 5 1Now it came to pass on the third day, that Esther put on her royal apparel, and stood in the inner court of the king’s house, over against the king’s house: and the king sat upon his royal throne in the royal house, over against the gate of the house. 2And it was so, when the king saw Esther the queen standing in the court, that she obtained favour in his sight: and the king held out to Esther the golden sceptre that was in his hand. So Esther drew near, and touched the top of the sceptre. 3Then said the king unto her, What wilt thou, queen Esther? and what is thy request? it shall be even given thee to the half of the kingdom. 4And Esther answered, If it seem good unto the king, let the king and Haman come this day unto the banquet that I have prepared for him. 5Then the king said, Cause Haman to make haste, that he may do as Esther hath said. So the king and Haman came to the banquet that Esther had prepared. 6And the king said unto Esther at the banquet of wine, What is thy petition? and it shall be granted thee: and what is thy request? even to the half of the kingdom it shall be performed. 7Then answered Esther, and said, My petition and my request is; 8If I have found favour in the sight of the king, and if it please the king to grant my petition, and to perform my request, let the king and Haman come to the banquet that I shall prepare for them, and I will do to morrow as the king hath said.

One of the things I got from todays reading is how important fellowship is. Esther had no clue what was going on with Haman and the Jews, and when her uncle told her about the situation and what she needed to do about it, she was afraid that she would be killed for going to the king. Then Mordecai brought to light the fact that maybe this was why she ended up being queen in the first place, so that she could help out a stop to Hamans plan for the Jews. So she stepped out on faith and prayed and fasted, now we haven’t gotten to the conclusion yet on what is going to happen from her decision, and I have never read this book before, but I’m willing to bet that it will work out for the best by the last chapter. What do you think? What can we do in our lives to have the kind of faith that Esther has? I’m anxious to read more but I’m going to wait…. Maybe.

Esther 2:19-3:15

19And when the virgins were gathered together the second time, then Mordecai sat in the king’s gate. 20Esther had not yet shewed her kindred nor her people; as Mordecai had charged her: for Esther did the commandment of Mordecai, like as when she was brought up with him. 21In those days, while Mordecai sat in the king’s gate, two of the king’s chamberlains, Bigthan and Teresh, of those which kept the door, were wroth, and sought to lay hands on the king Ahasuerus. 22And the thing was known to Mordecai, who told it unto Esther the queen; and Esther certified the king thereof in Mordecai’s name. 23And when inquisition was made of the matter, it was found out; therefore they were both hanged on a tree: and it was written in the book of the chronicles before the king.Esther 3 1After 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. 2And 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. 3Then the king’s servants, which were in the king’s gate, said unto Mordecai, Why transgressest thou the king’s commandment? 4Now 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. 5And when Haman saw that Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence, then was Haman full of wrath. 6And 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. 7In 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. 8And Haman said unto king Ahasuerus, There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the people in all the provinces of thy kingdom; and their laws are diverse from all people; neither keep they the king’s laws: therefore it is not for the king’s profit to suffer them. 9If it please the king, let it be written that they may be destroyed: and I will pay ten thousand talents of silver to the hands of those that have the charge of the business, to bring it into the king’s treasuries. 10And the king took his ring from his hand, and gave it unto Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the Jews’ enemy. 11And the king said unto Haman, The silver is given to thee, the people also, to do with them as it seemeth good to thee. 12Then were the king’s scribes called on the thirteenth day of the first month, and there was written according to all that Haman had commanded unto the king’s lieutenants, and to the governors that were over every province, and to the rulers of every people of every province according to the writing thereof, and to every people after their language; in the name of king Ahasuerus was it written, and sealed with the king’s ring. 13And the letters were sent by posts into all the king’s provinces, to destroy, to kill, and to cause to perish, all Jews, both young and old, little children and women, in one day, even upon the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month Adar, and to take the spoil of them for a prey. 14The copy of the writing for a commandment to be given in every province was published unto all people, that they should be ready against that day. 15The posts went out, being hastened by the king’s commandment, and the decree was given in Shushan the palace. And the king and Haman sat down to drink; but the city Shushan was perplexed.

This Haman guy is really messed up! He is full of pride and anger, the only reason I can tell that he wanted to kill all those Jews and Mordecai, was because he wouldn’t bow down to him. This is a good example of the kind of fury that can come from pride and arrogance.
As followers of Christ, what can we do to keep ourselves in check so that we don’t fall into these sinful ways? Personally I stay in the word so if I do start to get prideful or arrogant or slothful God points out where it leads to me real quick. Thank you Jesus for your truth in the gospel!

Esther 2:1-18

1After these things, when the wrath of king Ahasuerus was appeased, he remembered Vashti, and what she had done, and what was decreed against her. 2Then said the king’s servants that ministered unto him, Let there be fair young virgins sought for the king: 3And let the king appoint officers in all the provinces of his kingdom, that they may gather together all the fair young virgins unto Shushan the palace, to the house of the women, unto the custody of Hege the king’s chamberlain, keeper of the women; and let their things for purification be given them: 4And let the maiden which pleaseth the king be queen instead of Vashti. And the thing pleased the king; and he did so. 5Now in Shushan the palace there was a certain Jew, whose name was Mordecai, the son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, a Benjamite; 6Who had been carried away from Jerusalem with the captivity which had been carried away with Jeconiah king of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away. 7And he brought up Hadassah, that is, Esther, his uncle’s daughter: for she had neither father nor mother, and the maid was fair and beautiful; whom Mordecai, when her father and mother were dead, took for his own daughter. 8So it came to pass, when the king’s commandment and his decree was heard, and when many maidens were gathered together unto Shushan the palace, to the custody of Hegai, that Esther was brought also unto the king’s house, to the custody of Hegai, keeper of the women. 9And the maiden pleased him, and she obtained kindness of him; and he speedily gave her her things for purification, with such things as belonged to her, and seven maidens, which were meet to be given her, out of the king’s house: and he preferred her and her maids unto the best place of the house of the women. 10Esther had not shewed her people nor her kindred: for Mordecai had charged her that she should not shew it. 11And Mordecai walked every day before the court of the women’s house, to know how Esther did, and what should become of her. 12Now when every maid’s turn was come to go in to king Ahasuerus, after that she had been twelve months, according to the manner of the women, (for so were the days of their purifications accomplished, to wit, six months with oil of myrrh, and six months with sweet odours, and with other things for the purifying of the women;) 13Then thus came every maiden unto the king; whatsoever she desired was given her to go with her out of the house of the women unto the king’s house. 14In the evening she went, and on the morrow she returned into the second house of the women, to the custody of Shaashgaz, the king’s chamberlain, which kept the concubines: she came in unto the king no more, except the king delighted in her, and that she were called by name. 15Now when the turn of Esther, the daughter of Abihail the uncle of Mordecai, who had taken her for his daughter, was come to go in unto the king, she required nothing but what Hegai the king’s chamberlain, the keeper of the women, appointed. And Esther obtained favour in the sight of all them that looked upon her. 16So Esther was taken unto king Ahasuerus into his house royal in the tenth month, which is the month Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign. 17And the king loved Esther above all the women, and she obtained grace and favour in his sight more than all the virgins; so that he set the royal crown upon her head, and made her queen instead of Vashti. 18Then the king made a great feast unto all his princes and his servants, even Esther’s feast; and he made a release to the provinces, and gave gifts, according to the state of the king.

Woah talk about intimidating, all these virgin women were taken from their homes, probably by force, to be purified because one of them would possibly become queen. Esther seemed to not be frightened at all though, why do you think that was? I think that she must have had trust in the Lord so she was willing to go along with anything that happened in her life. She is a very good example of a Godly woman, did you notice that when all of the women were brought before the king they were able to take whatever they wanted with them? Probably different jewels and aperal to make themselves seem more attractive. But not Esther, she went in just as she was and the scripture says that she obtained favour in the site of all them that looked upon her. That’s pretty amazing, she wasn’t trying to impress anyone with what she could put on, she just went in with her humbleness before the king. Esther is a good example of a virtuous woman, like the one mentioned in Proverbs 31:10, and the king must have noticed that because he made her queen.
So how can we be more like Esther when it comes to accepting, submitting, and obeying Gods will for our lives? How about when we don’t understand our circumstances, or when someone else caused them?

Proverbs 31:10-31

10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. 11The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. 12She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. 13She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. 14She is like the merchants’ ships; she bringeth her food from afar. 15She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens. 16She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. 17She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms. 18She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night. 19She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff. 20She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy. 21She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet. 22She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple. 23Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land. 24She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant. 25Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. 26She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. 27She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. 28Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. 29Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. 30Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised. 31Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.

Verse 10 asks “Who can find a virtuous woman?” well after the book we just read this week we should know for sure that Boaz did. I think Ruth was virtuous, don’t you? I also think that it asks this question because they are hard to find, especially in todays world. I thank the Lord for the wife that I am blessed with, and I completely understand why verse 10 also says that her price is far above rubies. When you have a wife that fears the Lord it is a blessing. Women that fear the Lord want to keep his commandments and that is such a beautiful thing. So if you are a woman reading this today, are you virtuous? Do you fear the Lord? Being virtuous is not going to be the easiest thing in life to accomplish, but it is a choice that you can make. If you chose the right way you will be praised.