Esther 3-5

Pride personified! That’s Haman. He has conjured his way up the hierarchy so that he is second to the king, but his pride is about to bring him down.

Furious that Mordecai doesn’t bow down to him, Haman talks the king into killing all of the Jews. His lies seem to be working.

Little does he know that Esther, the queen, is a Jew, so he has a big surprise coming.

As the story unfolds, we see the bigger picture which God had all along, and we see that Mordecai knew how to walk it out. Remember, he had counseled Esther as she prepared for her selection as queen.  His advice had procured that high position for her so that she now she was in  the place of the king’s respect. Then he had advised her not to let her heritage be known. All of that advice will soon be paying off.

Now Mordecai solicits the help of his niece. It’s a risky thing he asks her to do, but he wants Esther to inform the king of her heritage now and ask for mercy on her people. Mordecai’s remark is one of the famous Bible passages. “Who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this.”(4:14).

With all of the Jews fasting and praying, Esther begins the challenge and obviously has the king’s favor.

In the meantime, Haman’s pride is getting him in deeper and deeper. Furious over Mordecai’s attitude, he erects a gallows so that Mordecai can be hanged.

Tomorrow we will see the wrap up of these events.

Today, let’s remember Mordecai’s famous verse. There are times when the going seems tough as we walk out God’s plan for our lives. Yet this verse can bring great courage to us when we take it to heart. Each of us has a purpose, and the closer we walk with God, the closer we will get to the purpose. There will be times when we will realize that God’s hand on our lives is bringing us to a special moment. And we will be willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish what God has set before us.

Who knows, maybe you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this.

Acts 5:21-42

These disciples are unstoppable.

Yesterday as we left, the apostles had been let out of prison by an angel, and told to go and teach in the temple. So when the officers go to the prison to take them before the council, the apostles are not there. They are reported to be teaching in the temple again.

As the men are now brought before the council, they inspire rage in the leaders. Peter begins to preach to the leaders again. And the results are obvious. “When they hear this they are cut to the quick and are intending to slay them.”(V. 33)

Gamaliel saves the day by reminding these leaders that if they kill the apostles, they might be fighting against God.

So we have two unstoppable forces. The disciples are unstoppable in their determination to preach the gospel. The church leaders are unstoppable in their course of evil. No miracle, no word, not even the demonstration of Jesus’ reality by the wisdom in His men. Nothing catches their attention to change course. They are on a mission to stomp out Christianity, and nothing will stop them, if they can help it.

Stubbornness for the right cause shows character; stubbornness for the wrong cause shows foolishness. I pray that you and I will have the first of these two.

We need to be determined and diligent for our cause, but we have to stay teachable. Only the teachable will stay on the right course, and that’s where we want to be.