Daily Devotional

by Larry Stockstill

Paul shows us that we are a totally interrelated body, not just independent parts thrown together. No part of the human body can continue to function normally when one part is in pain. The whole body focuses its attention on the area afflicted. In the same way, Mordecai sent word to Esther not to think that just because she lived in the palace she would escape the sentence of death imposed on the Jews (Esther 4:13). If she did not help, she would be destroyed, too.

Our influences and gifts are given to us by God to help others for "such a time as this" (Esther 4:14). Let us take inventory of the positions, finances, and grace of God in our lives and see whom those gifts were intended to help. If we keep them for ourselves and do not identify with those in need, we will cry for help one day and no one will respond.

Because Esther was obedient, the words of David's psalm came true in the case of Haman: "Look! They have fallen! They have been thrown down, never to rise again" (Psalm 36:12).

Esther 4:1-7:10

Mordecai Persuades Esther to Help

When Mordecai learned of all that had been done, he tore his clothes,S Nu 14:6 put on sackcloth and ashes,S 2Sa 13:19; Eze 27:30-31 and went out into the city, wailingS Ex 11:6; Ps 30:11 loudly and bitterly.But he went only as far as the king’s gate,S Est 2:19 because no one clothed in sackcloth was allowed to enter it.In every province to which the edict and order of the king came, there was great mourning among the Jews, with fasting, weeping and wailing. Many lay in sackcloth and ashes.

When Esther’s eunuchs and female attendants came and told her about Mordecai, she was in great distress. She sent clothes for him to put on instead of his sackcloth, but he would not accept them.Then Esther summoned Hathak, one of the king’s eunuchs assigned to attend her, and ordered him to find out what was troubling Mordecai and why.

So Hathak went out to Mordecai in the open square of the city in front of the king’s gate.Mordecai told him everything that had happened to him, including the exact amount of money Haman had promised to pay into the royal treasury for the destruction of the Jews.Est 7:4He also gave him a copy of the text of the edict for their annihilation, which had been published in Susa, to show to Esther and explain it to her, and he told him to instruct her to go into the king’s presence to beg for mercy and plead with him for her people.

Hathak went back and reported to Esther what Mordecai had said.10 Then she instructed him to say to Mordecai,11 “All the king’s officials and the people of the royal provinces know that for any man or woman who approaches the king in the inner court without being summonedEst 2:14 the king has but one law:Da 2:9 that they be put to death unless the king extends the gold scepterEst 5:1, 2; 8:4; Ps 125:3 to them and spares their lives. But thirty days have passed since I was called to go to the king.”

12 When Esther’s words were reported to Mordecai,13 he sent back this answer: “Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape.14 For if you remain silentJob 34:29; Ps 28:1; 35:22; Ecc 3:7; Isa 42:14; 57:11; 62:1; 64:12; Am 5:13 at this time, reliefEst 9:16, 22 and deliveranceS Ge 45:7; S Dt 28:29 for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”S Ge 50:20

15 Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai:16 “Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fastS 2Ch 20:3; Est 9:31 for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.”S Ge 43:14

17 So Mordecai went away and carried out all of Esther’s instructions.

Esther’s Request to the King

On the third day Esther put on her royal robesEze 16:13 and stood in the inner court of the palace, in front of the king’sPr 21:1 hall. The king was sitting on his royal throne in the hall, facing the entrance.When he saw Queen Esther standing in the court, he was pleased with her and held out to her the gold scepter that was in his hand. So Esther approached and touched the tip of the scepter.S Est 4:11

Then the king asked, “What is it, Queen Esther? What is your request? Even up to half the kingdom,Est 7:2; Da 5:16; Mk 6:23 it will be given you.”

“If it pleases the king,” replied Esther, “let the king, together with Haman, come today to a banquet I have prepared for him.”

“Bring Haman at once,” the king said, “so that we may do what Esther asks.”

So the king and Haman went to the banquet Esther had prepared.As they were drinking wine,S Est 1:10 the king again asked Esther, “Now what is your petition? It will be given you. And what is your request? Even up to half the kingdom,Da 5:16; Mk 6:23 it will be granted.”Est 9:12

Esther replied, “My petition and my request is this:If the king regards me with favorS Est 2:15 and if it pleases the king to grant my petition and fulfill my request, let the king and Haman come tomorrow to the banquetS 1Ki 3:15 I will prepare for them. Then I will answer the king’s question.”

Haman’s Rage Against Mordecai

Haman went out that day happy and in high spirits. But when he saw Mordecai at the king’s gate and observed that he neither rose nor showed fear in his presence, he was filled with rageS Est 2:21; Pr 14:17 against Mordecai.S Est 3:3, 510 Nevertheless, Haman restrained himself and went home.

Calling together his friends and Zeresh,Est 6:13 his wife,11 Haman boastedPr 13:16 to them about his vast wealth, his many sons,Est 9:7-10, 13 and all the ways the king had honored him and how he had elevated him above the other nobles and officials.12 “And that’s not all,” Haman added. “I’m the only personJob 22:29; Pr 16:18; 29:23 Queen Esther invited to accompany the king to the banquet she gave. And she has invited me along with the king tomorrow.13 But all this gives me no satisfaction as long as I see that Jew Mordecai sitting at the king’s gate.S Est 2:19

14 His wife Zeresh and all his friends said to him, “Have a pole set up, reaching to a height of fifty cubits,That is, about 75 feet or about 23 metersEst 7:9 and ask the king in the morning to have Mordecai impaledS Ezr 6:11 on it. Then go with the king to the banquet and enjoy yourself.” This suggestion delighted Haman, and he had the pole set up.

Mordecai Honored

That night the king could not sleep;Da 2:1; 6:18 so he ordered the book of the chronicles,S Est 2:23 the record of his reign, to be brought in and read to him.It was found recorded there that Mordecai had exposed Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king’s officers who guarded the doorway, who had conspired to assassinate King Xerxes.Est 2:21-23

“What honor and recognition has Mordecai received for this?” the king asked.

“Nothing has been done for him,”Ecc 9:13-16 his attendants answered.

The king said, “Who is in the court?” Now Haman had just entered the outer court of the palace to speak to the king about impaling Mordecai on the pole he had set up for him.

His attendants answered, “Haman is standing in the court.”

“Bring him in,” the king ordered.

When Haman entered, the king asked him, “What should be done for the man the king delights to honor?”

Now Haman thought to himself, “Who is there that the king would rather honor than me?”So he answered the king, “For the man the king delights to honor,have them bring a royal robeS Ge 41:42; S Isa 52:1 the king has worn and a horse1Ki 1:33 the king has ridden, one with a royal crest placed on its head.Then let the robe and horse be entrusted to one of the king’s most noble princes. Let them robe the man the king delights to honor, and lead him on the horse through the city streets, proclaiming before him, ‘This is what is done for the man the king delights to honor!Ge 41:43’”

10 “Go at once,” the king commanded Haman. “Get the robe and the horse and do just as you have suggested for Mordecai the Jew, who sits at the king’s gate. Do not neglect anything you have recommended.”

11 So Haman gotS Ge 41:42 the robe and the horse. He robed Mordecai, and led him on horseback through the city streets, proclaiming before him, “This is what is done for the man the king delights to honor!”

12 Afterward Mordecai returned to the king’s gate. But Haman rushed home, with his head covered2Sa 15:30; Est 7:8; Jer 14:3, 4; Mic 3:7 in grief,13 and told ZereshEst 5:10 his wife and all his friends everything that had happened to him.

His advisers and his wife Zeresh said to him, “Since Mordecai, before whom your downfallPs 57:6; Pr 26:27; 28:18 has started, is of Jewish origin, you cannot stand against him—you will surely come to ruin!”Est 7:714 While they were still talking with him, the king’s eunuchs arrived and hurried Haman away to the banquetS 1Ki 3:15 Esther had prepared.

Haman Impaled

So the king and Haman went to Queen Esther’s banquet,Ge 40:20-22; Mt 22:1-14and as they were drinking wineS Est 1:10 on the second day, the king again asked, “Queen Esther, what is your petition? It will be given you. What is your request? Even up to half the kingdom,S Est 5:3 it will be granted.Est 9:12

Then Queen Esther answered, “If I have found favorS Est 2:15 with you, Your Majesty, and if it pleases you, grant me my life—this is my petition. And spare my people—this is my request.For I and my people have been sold to be destroyed, killed and annihilated.Est 3:9; S 4:7 If we had merely been sold as male and female slaves, I would have kept quiet, because no such distress would justify disturbing the king.Or quiet, but the compensation our adversary offers cannot be compared with the loss the king would suffer

King Xerxes asked Queen Esther, “Who is he? Where is he—the man who has dared to do such a thing?”

Esther said, “An adversary and enemy! This vile Haman!”

Then Haman was terrified before the king and queen.The king got up in a rage,S Ge 34:7; S Est 1:12; Pr 19:12; 20:1-2 left his wine and went out into the palace garden.S 2Ki 21:18 But Haman, realizing that the king had already decided his fate,Est 6:13 stayed behind to beg Queen Esther for his life.

Just as the king returned from the palace garden to the banquet hall, Haman was falling on the couchS Est 1:6 where Esther was reclining.Ge 39:14; Jn 13:23

The king exclaimed, “Will he even molest the queen while she is with me in the house?”S Ge 34:7

As soon as the word left the king’s mouth, they covered Haman’s face.S Est 6:12Then Harbona,Est 1:10 one of the eunuchs attending the king, said, “A pole reaching to a height of fifty cubitsThat is, about 75 feet or about 23 metersEst 5:14 stands by Haman’s house. He had it set up for Mordecai, who spoke up to help the king.”

The king said, “Impale him on it!”S Dt 21:22-23; Ps 7:14-16; 9:16; Pr 11:5-6; S 26:27; S Mt 7:210 So they impaledGe 40:22 HamanPr 10:28 on the poleEst 9:25 he had set up for Mordecai.Da 6:24 Then the king’s fury subsided.Est 2:1

Mordecai Requests Esther’s Help

When Mordecai learned about all that had been done, he tore his clothes, put on burlap and ashes, and went out into the city, crying with a loud and bitter wail.He went as far as the gate of the palace, for no one was allowed to enter the palace gate while wearing clothes of mourning.And as news of the king’s decree reached all the provinces, there was great mourning among the Jews. They fasted, wept, and wailed, and many people lay in burlap and ashes.

When Queen Esther’s maids and eunuchs came and told her about Mordecai, she was deeply distressed. She sent clothing to him to replace the burlap, but he refused it.Then Esther sent for Hathach, one of the king’s eunuchs who had been appointed as her attendant. She ordered him to go to Mordecai and find out what was troubling him and why he was in mourning.So Hathach went out to Mordecai in the square in front of the palace gate.

Mordecai told him the whole story, including the exact amount of money Haman had promised to pay into the royal treasury for the destruction of the Jews.Mordecai gave Hathach a copy of the decree issued in Susa that called for the death of all Jews. He asked Hathach to show it to Esther and explain the situation to her. He also asked Hathach to direct her to go to the king to beg for mercy and plead for her people.So Hathach returned to Esther with Mordecai’s message.

10 Then Esther told Hathach to go back and relay this message to Mordecai:11 “All the king’s officials and even the people in the provinces know that anyone who appears before the king in his inner court without being invited is doomed to die unless the king holds out his gold scepter. And the king has not called for me to come to him for thirty days.”12 So HathachAs in Greek version; Hebrew reads they. gave Esther’s message to Mordecai.

13 Mordecai sent this reply to Esther: “Don’t think for a moment that because you’re in the palace you will escape when all other Jews are killed.14 If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?”

15 Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai:16 “Go and gather together all the Jews of Susa and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will do the same. And then, though it is against the law, I will go in to see the king. If I must die, I must die.”17 So Mordecai went away and did everything as Esther had ordered him.

Esther’s Request to the King

On the third day of the fast, Esther put on her royal robes and entered the inner court of the palace, just across from the king’s hall. The king was sitting on his royal throne, facing the entrance.When he saw Queen Esther standing there in the inner court, he welcomed her and held out the gold scepter to her. So Esther approached and touched the end of the scepter.

Then the king asked her, “What do you want, Queen Esther? What is your request? I will give it to you, even if it is half the kingdom!”

And Esther replied, “If it please the king, let the king and Haman come today to a banquet I have prepared for the king.”

The king turned to his attendants and said, “Tell Haman to come quickly to a banquet, as Esther has requested.” So the king and Haman went to Esther’s banquet.

And while they were drinking wine, the king said to Esther, “Now tell me what you really want. What is your request? I will give it to you, even if it is half the kingdom!”

Esther replied, “This is my request and deepest wish.If I have found favor with the king, and if it pleases the king to grant my request and do what I ask, please come with Haman tomorrow to the banquet I will prepare for you. Then I will explain what this is all about.”

Haman’s Plan to Kill Mordecai

Haman was a happy man as he left the banquet! But when he saw Mordecai sitting at the palace gate, not standing up or trembling nervously before him, Haman became furious.10 However, he restrained himself and went on home.

Then Haman gathered together his friends and Zeresh, his wife,11 and boasted to them about his great wealth and his many children. He bragged about the honors the king had given him and how he had been promoted over all the other nobles and officials.

12 Then Haman added, “And that’s not all! Queen Esther invited only me and the king himself to the banquet she prepared for us. And she has invited me to dine with her and the king again tomorrow!”13 Then he added, “But this is all worth nothing as long as I see Mordecai the Jew just sitting there at the palace gate.”

14 So Haman’s wife, Zeresh, and all his friends suggested, “Set up a sharpened pole that stands seventy-five feetHebrew 50 cubits [23 meters]. tall, and in the morning ask the king to impale Mordecai on it. When this is done, you can go on your merry way to the banquet with the king.” This pleased Haman, and he ordered the pole set up.

The King Honors Mordecai

That night the king had trouble sleeping, so he ordered an attendant to bring the book of the history of his reign so it could be read to him.In those records he discovered an account of how Mordecai had exposed the plot of Bigthana and Teresh, two of the eunuchs who guarded the door to the king’s private quarters. They had plotted to assassinate King Xerxes.

“What reward or recognition did we ever give Mordecai for this?” the king asked.

His attendants replied, “Nothing has been done for him.”

“Who is that in the outer court?” the king inquired. As it happened, Haman had just arrived in the outer court of the palace to ask the king to impale Mordecai on the pole he had prepared.

So the attendants replied to the king, “Haman is out in the court.”

“Bring him in,” the king ordered.So Haman came in, and the king said, “What should I do to honor a man who truly pleases me?”

Haman thought to himself, “Whom would the king wish to honor more than me?”So he replied, “If the king wishes to honor someone,he should bring out one of the king’s own royal robes, as well as a horse that the king himself has ridden—one with a royal emblem on its head.Let the robes and the horse be handed over to one of the king’s most noble officials. And let him see that the man whom the king wishes to honor is dressed in the king’s robes and led through the city square on the king’s horse. Have the official shout as they go, ‘This is what the king does for someone he wishes to honor!’”

10 “Excellent!” the king said to Haman. “Quick! Take the robes and my horse, and do just as you have said for Mordecai the Jew, who sits at the gate of the palace. Leave out nothing you have suggested!”

11 So Haman took the robes and put them on Mordecai, placed him on the king’s own horse, and led him through the city square, shouting, “This is what the king does for someone he wishes to honor!”12 Afterward Mordecai returned to the palace gate, but Haman hurried home dejected and completely humiliated.

13 When Haman told his wife, Zeresh, and all his friends what had happened, his wise advisers and his wife said, “Since Mordecai—this man who has humiliated you—is of Jewish birth, you will never succeed in your plans against him. It will be fatal to continue opposing him.”

14 While they were still talking, the king’s eunuchs arrived and quickly took Haman to the banquet Esther had prepared.

The King Executes Haman

So the king and Haman went to Queen Esther’s banquet.On this second occasion, while they were drinking wine, the king again said to Esther, “Tell me what you want, Queen Esther. What is your request? I will give it to you, even if it is half the kingdom!”

Queen Esther replied, “If I have found favor with the king, and if it pleases the king to grant my request, I ask that my life and the lives of my people will be spared.For my people and I have been sold to those who would kill, slaughter, and annihilate us. If we had merely been sold as slaves, I could remain quiet, for that would be too trivial a matter to warrant disturbing the king.”

“Who would do such a thing?” King Xerxes demanded. “Who would be so presumptuous as to touch you?”

Esther replied, “This wicked Haman is our adversary and our enemy.” Haman grew pale with fright before the king and queen.Then the king jumped to his feet in a rage and went out into the palace garden.

Haman, however, stayed behind to plead for his life with Queen Esther, for he knew that the king intended to kill him.In despair he fell on the couch where Queen Esther was reclining, just as the king was returning from the palace garden.

The king exclaimed, “Will he even assault the queen right here in the palace, before my very eyes?” And as soon as the king spoke, his attendants covered Haman’s face, signaling his doom.

Then Harbona, one of the king’s eunuchs, said, “Haman has set up a sharpened pole that stands seventy-five feetHebrew 50 cubits [23 meters]. tall in his own courtyard. He intended to use it to impale Mordecai, the man who saved the king from assassination.”

“Then impale Haman on it!” the king ordered.10 So they impaled Haman on the pole he had set up for Mordecai, and the king’s anger subsided.

When 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;

And came even before the king's gate: for none might enter into the king's gate clothed with sackcloth.

And 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.

So 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.

Then 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.

So Hatach went forth to Mordecai unto the street of the city, which was before the king's gate.

And 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.

Also 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.

And Hatach came and told Esther the words of Mordecai.

10 Again Esther spake unto Hatach, and gave him commandment unto Mordecai;

11 All 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.

12 And they told to Mordecai Esther's words.

13 Then Mordecai commanded to answer Esther, Think not with thyself that thou shalt escape in the king's house, more than all the Jews.

14 For 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?

15 Then Esther bade them return Mordecai this answer,

16 Go, 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.

17 So Mordecai went his way, and did according to all that Esther had commanded him.

Now 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.

And 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.

Then 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.

And 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.

Then 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.

And 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.

Then answered Esther, and said, My petition and my request is;

If 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.

Then 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.

10 Nevertheless Haman refrained himself: and when he came home, he sent and called for his friends, and Zeresh his wife.

11 And 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.

12 Haman 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.

13 Yet all this availeth me nothing, so long as I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king's gate.

14 Then 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.

On 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.

And 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.

And 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.

And 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.

And the king's servants said unto him, Behold, Haman standeth in the court. And the king said, Let him come in.

So 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?

And Haman answered the king, For the man whom the king delighteth to honour,

Let 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:

And 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.

10 Then 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.

11 Then 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.

12 And Mordecai came again to the king's gate. But Haman hasted to his house mourning, and having his head covered.

13 And 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.

14 And while they were yet talking with him, came the king's chamberlains, and hasted to bring Haman unto the banquet that Esther had prepared.

So the king and Haman came to banquet with Esther the queen.

And 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.

Then 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:

For 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.

Then 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?

And Esther said, The adversary and enemy is this wicked Haman. Then Haman was afraid before the king and the queen.

And 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.

Then 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.

And 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.

10 So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then was the king's wrath pacified.

1 Corinthians 12:1-26

Concerning Spiritual Gifts

12 Now about the gifts of the Spirit,Ro 1:11; 1Co 1:7; 14:1, 37 brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed.S Ro 11:25You know that when you were pagans,S Eph 2:2 somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to mute idols.Ps 115:5; Jer 10:5; Hab 2:18, 19Therefore I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed,”Ro 9:3; 1Co 16:22 and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,”S Jn 13:13 except by the Holy Spirit.1Jn 4:2, 3

There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spiritver 8-11; Ro 12:4-8; Eph 4:11; Heb 2:4 distributes them.There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyoneS Php 2:13 it is the same GodEph 4:6 at work.

Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.1Co 14:12; Eph 4:12To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom,1Co 2:6 to another a message of knowledgeS 2Co 8:7 by means of the same Spirit,to another faithMt 17:19, 20; 1Co 13:2 by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healingver 28, 30; Mt 10:1 by that one Spirit,10 to another miraculous powers,ver 28-30; Gal 3:5 to another prophecy,S Eph 4:11 to another distinguishing between spirits,1Jn 4:1 to another speaking in different kinds of tongues,Or languages; also in verse 28S Mk 16:17 and to still another the interpretation of tongues.Or languages; also in verse 2811 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit,S ver 4 and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.

Unity and Diversity in the Body

12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body,S Ro 12:5 so it is with Christ.ver 2713 For we were all baptizedS Mk 1:8 byOr with; or in one SpiritEph 2:18 so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or freeGal 3:28; Col 3:11—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.Jn 7:37-3914 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.ver 12, 20

15 Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body.16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body.17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be?18 But in fact God has placedver 28 the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be.ver 1119 If they were all one part, where would the body be?20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body.ver 12, 14; S Ro 12:5

21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!”22 On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable,23 and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty,24 while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it,25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other.26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.

Spiritual Gifts

12 Now, dear brothers and sisters,Greek brothers. regarding your question about the special abilities the Spirit gives us. I don’t want you to misunderstand this.You know that when you were still pagans, you were led astray and swept along in worshiping speechless idols.So I want you to know that no one speaking by the Spirit of God will curse Jesus, and no one can say Jesus is Lord, except by the Holy Spirit.

There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all.There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord.God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us.

A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other.To one person the Spirit gives the ability to give wise adviceOr gives a word of wisdom.; to another the same Spirit gives a message of special knowledge.Or gives a word of knowledge.The same Spirit gives great faith to another, and to someone else the one Spirit gives the gift of healing.10 He gives one person the power to perform miracles, and another the ability to prophesy. He gives someone else the ability to discern whether a message is from the Spirit of God or from another spirit. Still another person is given the ability to speak in unknown languages,Or in various tongues; also in 12:28, 30. while another is given the ability to interpret what is being said.11 It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have.

One Body with Many Parts

12 The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ.13 Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles,Greek some are Greeks. some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit.Greek we were all given one Spirit to drink.

14 Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part.15 If the foot says, “I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand,” that does not make it any less a part of the body.16 And if the ear says, “I am not part of the body because I am not an eye,” would that make it any less a part of the body?17 If the whole body were an eye, how would you hear? Or if your whole body were an ear, how would you smell anything?

18 But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it.19 How strange a body would be if it had only one part!20 Yes, there are many parts, but only one body.21 The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.”

22 In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary.23 And the parts we regard as less honorable are those we clothe with the greatest care. So we carefully protect those parts that should not be seen,24 while the more honorable parts do not require this special care. So God has put the body together such that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity.25 This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other.26 If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad.

12 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.

Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led.

Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.

Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.

And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.

And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.

But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.

For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;

To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;

10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:

11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.

12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.

13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

14 For the body is not one member, but many.

15 If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?

16 And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?

17 If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?

18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.

19 And if they were all one member, where were the body?

20 But now are they many members, yet but one body.

21 And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.

22 Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary:

23 And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.

24 For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked.

25 That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.

26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.

Psalm 36:1-12

Psalm 36In Hebrew texts 36:1-12 is numbered 36:2-13.

For the director of music. Of David the servant of the Lord.

I have a message from God in my heart

concerning the sinfulness of the wicked:Or A message from God: The transgression of the wicked / resides in their hearts.S Job 21:16

There is no fearJer 2:19; 36:16, 24 of God

before their eyes.S Job 23:15; Ro 3:18*

In their own eyes they flatter themselves

too much to detect or hate their sin.Dt 29:19

The words of their mouthsPs 10:7 are wicked and deceitful;S Job 5:13; Ps 5:6, 9; 43:1; 144:8, 11; Isa 44:20

they fail to act wiselyPs 94:8 or do good.Jer 4:22; 13:23; Am 3:10

Even on their beds they plot evil;Pr 4:16

they commit themselves to a sinful courseIsa 65:2

and do not reject what is wrong.Ps 52:3; Ro 12:9

Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens,

your faithfulnessPs 89:1; 119:90 to the skies.Ps 57:10; 71:19; 89:2; 103:11; 108:4

Your righteousnessPs 5:8 is like the highest mountains,Ps 68:15

your justice like the great deep.S Ge 1:2; S 7:11

You, Lord, preserve both people and animals.Ne 9:6; Ps 104:14; 145:16

How priceless is your unfailing love, O God!Ps 6:4

People take refuge in the shadow of your wings.S Ru 2:12; S Ps 17:8; 57:1; 91:4

They feast on the abundance of your house;Ps 65:4; Isa 25:6; Jer 31:12, 14

you give them drink from your riverJob 20:17; Rev 22:1 of delights.S Ps 23:2; 63:5

For with you is the fountain of life;Ps 87:7; Pr 10:11; 16:22; Jer 2:13

in your lightPs 4:6; 27:1; 76:4; 104:2; Isa 2:5; 9:2; 60:1, 19; Jn 1:4; 1Pe 2:9 we see light.

10 Continue your loveJer 31:3 to those who know you,Jer 9:24; 22:16

your righteousness to the upright in heart.Ps 7:10; 11:2; 94:15; 125:4

11 May the foot of the proud not come against me,

nor the hand of the wickedPs 71:4; 140:4 drive me away.

12 See how the evildoers lie fallen—

thrown down, not able to rise!S Ps 18:38

Psalm 36

For the choir director: A psalm of David, the servant of the Lord.

Sin whispers to the wicked, deep within their hearts.As in some Hebrew manuscripts and Syriac version, which read in his heart. Masoretic Text reads in my heart.

They have no fear of God at all.

In their blind conceit,

they cannot see how wicked they really are.

Everything they say is crooked and deceitful.

They refuse to act wisely or do good.

They lie awake at night, hatching sinful plots.

Their actions are never good.

They make no attempt to turn from evil.

Your unfailing love, O Lord, is as vast as the heavens;

your faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds.

Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains,

your justice like the ocean depths.

You care for people and animals alike, O Lord.

How precious is your unfailing love, O God!

All humanity finds shelter

in the shadow of your wings.

You feed them from the abundance of your own house,

letting them drink from your river of delights.

For you are the fountain of life,

the light by which we see.

10 Pour out your unfailing love on those who love you;

give justice to those with honest hearts.

11 Don’t let the proud trample me

or the wicked push me around.

12 Look! Those who do evil have fallen!

They are thrown down, never to rise again.

36 The transgression of the wicked saith within my heart, that there is no fear of God before his eyes.

For he flattereth himself in his own eyes, until his iniquity be found to be hateful.

The words of his mouth are iniquity and deceit: he hath left off to be wise, and to do good.

He deviseth mischief upon his bed; he setteth himself in a way that is not good; he abhorreth not evil.

Thy mercy, O Lord, is in the heavens; and thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds.

Thy righteousness is like the great mountains; thy judgments are a great deep: O Lord, thou preservest man and beast.

How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.

They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures.

For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light.

10 O continue thy lovingkindness unto them that know thee; and thy righteousness to the upright in heart.

11 Let not the foot of pride come against me, and let not the hand of the wicked remove me.

12 There are the workers of iniquity fallen: they are cast down, and shall not be able to rise.

Proverbs 21:21-22

21 Whoever pursues righteousness and love

finds life, prosperityOr righteousnessPs 25:13 and honor.Mt 5:6

22 One who is wise can go up against the city of the mightyS Pr 8:14

and pull down the stronghold in which they trust.

21 Whoever pursues righteousness and unfailing love

will find life, righteousness, and honor.

22 The wise conquer the city of the strong

and level the fortress in which they trust.

21 He that followeth after righteousness and mercy findeth life, righteousness, and honour.

22 A wise man scaleth the city of the mighty, and casteth down the strength of the confidence thereof.

Aug 18 Aug 20
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