For the Family Planning Prayer Vigil Kick-Off Event
Sunday, April 14, 2013
Most taken from an Internet free commentary on Esther
The book of Esther does not mention the name of God. This is strange for a book that is in the Bible. Sometimes God seems to be silent. We might even think that He does not care about us. The writer of the book of Esther probably wanted his readers to realize that God is always in control. Although we cannot see God, He is always doing things in the world. Nobody can stop His plans. He, however, delights in the prayers of His people so we should never stop praying and watch Him work.
- Usually the kings of Persia only married wives from the seven most important families in Persia. But God wanted Esther, who was a Jew, to be queen. The servants of the king suggested that officials should search all the kingdom for suitable young girls. The king would then choose his favorite girl and he would make her queen (Esther 2:2-4). God made Esther beautiful (Esther 2:7). And the king chose her to be queen.
- Mordecai was Esther’s relative. He saved the king’s life. But the king forgot to reward him. That was unusual. But God knew that the best time for Mordecai to get his reward was much later (Esther 2:21-23).
- Haman was the enemy of the Jews. He wanted to select a lucky date when he could kill the Jews. So he used the Purim stones, which were a game of chance. God made sure that the Purim stones chose a date nearly a year later. God had a special plan to save the Jews from Haman’s plot (Esther 3:7).
- Mordecai believed that God had made Esther queen. So Mordecai believed that God could use her to save the Jews. But even if Esther did not speak on their behalf, God would still save the Jews. Mordecai believed this also (Esther 4:12-14).
- Esther went to see the king, although he had not invited her. In Persia, this was a dangerous thing to do. She knew that she was risking her life. But she also knew that God was in control. God helped Esther to please the king. The king promised to give her almost anything that she wanted (Esther 5:1-3).
- We do not know why the king could not sleep that night. We do not know why he chose to read the books of official records. But we know that this was part of God’s plan. The records described how Mordecai saved the king’s life. So the king wanted advice about how to reward Mordecai. He decided to ask the first important official that he could find. It was Haman. Haman got up early and, at exactly the right time, he came to see the king. But Haman wanted the king to hang Mordecai (Esther 6:1-5).
- Haman told his wife and his friends about Mordecai. He told them that Mordecai was a Jew. They seemed to believe that God would protect his Jewish people (Esther 6:12-14).
- God changed the situation. Mordecai got the king’s reward that Haman had wanted for himself. And Haman got the punishment that Haman wanted Mordecai to get (Esther 7:5-10). Then the king allowed Mordecai to write a new law that would protect the Jews from Haman’s evil plan.
- The day that Haman had chosen for his plan came. The enemies of the Jews had hoped to kill all the Jews. But Mordecai’s law allowed the Jews to defend themselves on that day. Haman’s plot had failed. God’s plan had succeeded (Esther 9:1-4).
- The book of Esther records the origin of the holiday called Purim. During this holiday, the Jews remember how God saved them from their enemies (Esther 9:20-22).
About Purim today
The Jews still remember Purim each year. It is on the 14th and 15th days of the month called Adar.
On the day before, the 13th day in the month called Adar, many Jews do not eat food. This day is called the ‘fast of Esther’. A fast is when people do not eat for a short time.
The 14th and 15th days of the month called Adar are days to be happy. These days are called ‘Purim’. Jews have some special traditions on these days:
- They read the Book of Esther in public. This book is called the ‘Megilla’.
- They give gifts of food to friend
- They give gifts to help poor people.
- They have a special meal with their family and friends. This meal is a happy party.
God has a plan for our lives as well. He blesses our obedience to His call to service and welcomes and hears our prayers. He is working, and we must keep on praying. We can praise Him for South Portland being closed to abortion and keep praying this one will close as well, leaving the outcome to Him who knows best and will show His power in His time.