(17 verses, 2:16 to read)
MARK & LEARN
- …1-3: Mordecai learns about the blot of Haman to exterminate his entire people. He and all the Jews clothe themselves in sackclothe, fast, weep, and mourn. This first portion of today’s reading also introduces a very important truth found throughout the rest of the next couple of days readings – you do not go to the King unless you are invited and clothed properly.
- …4-11: Mordecai refuses to be clothed with the garments sent from Esther. After her request, Mordecai told all that happened and gave a copy of the written decree for proof. Vs. 11 needs to read and reread in full.
- 11 “All the king’s servants and the people of the king’s provinces know that if any man or woman goes to the king inside the inner court without being called, there is but one law—to be put to death, except the one to whom the king holds out the golden scepter so that he may live. But as for me, I have not been called to come in to the king these thirty days.”
- …12-17: Mordecai calls Esther to courage to appear before the King. If she keeps silent, all her people will perish. The end of vs. 14 is especially beautiful as we consider the providence of God: “And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” After calling for a fast for three days and nights for all, she will go to the king, saying, “though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.”
- This reading emphasizes the danger of petitioning the King without a call from the King. Mordecai’s wisdom is to be commended. Esther’s courage is to be emulated – she is willing to perish for a possibility that the king will listen to her, change his mind, and her people saved.
- This reading also teaches us about Christ’s sacrifice and the boldness we have in prayer as we petition the King.
- “Lord Jesus, You have clothed me with Your righteousness, for I cannot approach Your Father clothed in my sin and death – but sinful nature His enemy. Your Father also has called me to call upon Him in the day of trouble and He will deliver me, for how could I know that He desires to hear from me unless without His command and promise. You willingly laid down Your life so I not perish eternally. Risen from the dead three days later, You now continually intercede for me at the right hand of the King and call me to intercede for others in boldness. Hear my prayer for them now…..Amen.
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Christopher Stout, Pastor of Mount Calvary Lutheran Church, Kannapolis, NC & Abundant Life Lutheran Church, Charlotte, NC