Daily Devotional

by Larry Stockstill

In looking back on his long life, David could highlight five attitudes that helped him not to worry, or "fret not," as the King James Version reads (Psalm 37:1). In common language, we might say "sweat not" because the original word used means "to be under heat or pressure." When you are walking through a fiery trial, it is imperative that you learn how to "fret" or "sweat" not!

The first thing you've got to do is "trust in the Lord" (v. 3), or have an inward confidence that God is going to bring you through to the other side. With a conviction in your heart that God is on your side and wants to do you good, you can face anything.

Second, you must "delight in the Lord" (v. 4), or make the Lord "delicious" to you. Just as a son enjoys his father's company, so you must enjoy your heavenly Father's company. Are you truly delighted to spend time with Him, "tasting" of His goodness?

Third, you must "commit everything you do to the Lord" (v. 5), or roll your problem onto Him, acknowledging Him as the only One who can carry your heavy burden. If you commit your problem to Him, you don't have the option of taking it back! It is too heavy for you; you cannot carry it in your own strength.

Fourth, you must "be still in the presence of the Lord" (v. 7). This implies rest, not continually magnifying Satan's attack through your speech.

Finally, you must "wait patiently for Him to act" (v. 7), keeping a constant sense of expectation that your miracle is right around the corner. It's never easy or pleasant to simply wait, but it is the key to seeing God move on your behalf.

Trust, delight, commit, be still, and wait. Your fretting will disappear, and God will bring the victory!

Esther 8:1-10:3

The King’s Edict in Behalf of the Jews

That same day King Xerxes gave Queen Esther the estate of Haman,Pr 22:22-23 the enemy of the Jews. And Mordecai came into the presence of the king, for Esther had told how he was related to her.The king took off his signet ring,S Ge 24:22; S 41:42 which he had reclaimed from Haman, and presented it to Mordecai. And Esther appointed him over Haman’s estate.S Ge 41:41; Pr 13:22; 14:35; Da 2:48

Esther again pleaded with the king, falling at his feet and weeping. She begged him to put an end to the evil plan of Haman the Agagite,S Ex 17:8-16 which he had devised against the Jews.Then the king extended the gold scepterS Est 4:11 to Esther and she arose and stood before him.

“If it pleases the king,” she said, “and if he regards me with favorS Est 2:15 and thinks it the right thing to do, and if he is pleased with me, let an order be written overruling the dispatches that Haman son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, devised and wrote to destroy the Jews in all the king’s provinces.For how can I bear to see disaster fall on my people? How can I bear to see the destruction of my family?”Ge 44:34

King Xerxes replied to Queen Esther and to Mordecai the Jew, “Because Haman attacked the Jews, I have given his estate to Esther, and they have impaledS Dt 21:22-23 him on the pole he set up.Now write another decreeS Est 3:12-14 in the king’s name in behalf of the Jews as seems best to you, and sealS Ge 38:18 it with the king’s signet ringS Ge 41:42—for no document written in the king’s name and sealed with his ring can be revoked.”S Est 1:19; Da 6:15

At once the royal secretaries were summoned—on the twenty-third day of the third month, the month of Sivan. They wrote out all Mordecai’s orders to the Jews, and to the satraps, governors and nobles of the 127 provinces stretching from India to Cush.That is, the upper Nile regionEst 1:1 These orders were written in the script of each province and the language of each people and also to the Jews in their own script and language.S Ne 13:2410 Mordecai wrote in the name of King Xerxes, sealed the dispatches with the king’s signet ring, and sent them by mounted couriers, who rode fast horses especially bred for the king.

11 The king’s edict granted the Jews in every city the right to assemble and protect themselves; to destroy, kill and annihilate the armed men of any nationality or province who might attack them and their women and children,Or province, together with their women and children, who might attack them; and to plunderS Ge 14:23; S Est 3:13; 9:10, 15, 16 the property of their enemies.12 The day appointed for the Jews to do this in all the provinces of King Xerxes was the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month of Adar.Est 3:13; 9:113 A copy of the text of the edict was to be issued as law in every province and made known to the people of every nationality so that the Jews would be ready on that dayEst 3:14 to avenge themselves on their enemies.

14 The couriers, riding the royal horses, went out, spurred on by the king’s command, and the edict was issued in the citadel of Susa.Est 3:15

The Triumph of the Jews

15 When MordecaiEst 9:4; 10:2 left the king’s presence, he was wearing royal garments of blue and white, a large crown of goldS 2Sa 12:30 and a purple robe of fine linen.S Ge 41:42 And the city of Susa held a joyous celebration.Est 3:1516 For the Jews it was a time of happiness and joy,Ps 97:10-12 gladness and honor.Est 4:1-3; Ps 112:4; Jer 29:4-717 In every province and in every city to which the edict of the king came, there was joyPs 35:27; 45:15; 51:8; Pr 11:10 and gladness among the Jews, with feasting and celebrating. And many people of other nationalities became Jews because fearS Ex 15:14, 16; Dt 11:25; Da 6:26 of the Jews had seized them.Est 9:3

On the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month of Adar,S Est 8:12 the edict commanded by the king was to be carried out. On this day the enemies of the Jews had hoped to overpower them, but now the tables were turned and the Jews got the upper handJer 29:4-7 over those who hated them.S Est 3:12-14; Pr 22:22-23The Jews assembled in their citiesS Ge 22:17 in all the provinces of King Xerxes to attack those determined to destroy them. No one could stand against them,Ps 35:26; 40:14; 70:2; 71:13, 24 because the people of all the other nationalities were afraid of them.And all the nobles of the provinces, the satraps, the governors and the king’s administrators helped the Jews,S Ezr 8:36 because fear of Mordecai had seized them.Est 8:17MordecaiS Est 8:15 was prominentS Ex 11:3 in the palace; his reputation spread throughout the provinces, and he became more and more powerful.S 2Sa 3:1; 1Ch 11:9

The Jews struck down all their enemies with the sword, killing and destroying them,Dt 25:17-19; S 1Sa 15:3; S Ezr 4:6 and they did what they pleased to those who hated them.In the citadel of Susa, the Jews killed and destroyed five hundred men.They also killed Parshandatha, Dalphon, Aspatha,Poratha, Adalia, Aridatha,Parmashta, Arisai, Aridai and Vaizatha,10 the ten sonsS Est 5:11; Ps 127:3-5 of Haman son of Hammedatha, the enemy of the Jews.S 1Sa 15:33 But they did not lay their hands on the plunder.S Ge 14:23; S 1Sa 14:32; S Est 3:13

11 The number of those killed in the citadel of Susa was reported to the king that same day.12 The king said to Queen Esther, “The Jews have killed and destroyed five hundred men and the ten sons of Haman in the citadel of Susa. What have they done in the rest of the king’s provinces? Now what is your petition? It will be given you. What is your request? It will also be granted.”Est 5:6; 7:2

13 “If it pleases the king,” Esther answered, “give the Jews in Susa permission to carry out this day’s edict tomorrow also, and let Haman’s ten sonsS Est 5:11 be impaledS Dt 21:22-23 on poles.”

14 So the king commanded that this be done. An edict was issued in Susa, and they impaledS Ezr 6:11 the ten sons of Haman.15 The Jews in Susa came together on the fourteenth day of the month of Adar, and they put to death in Susa three hundred men, but they did not lay their hands on the plunder.S Ge 14:23; S Est 8:11

16 Meanwhile, the remainder of the Jews who were in the king’s provinces also assembled to protect themselves and get reliefS Est 4:14 from their enemies.Dt 25:19 They killed seventy-five thousand of themS 1Ch 4:43 but did not lay their hands on the plunder.S Est 8:1117 This happened on the thirteenth day of the month of Adar, and on the fourteenth they rested and made it a day of feastingS 1Ki 3:15 and joy.

18 The Jews in Susa, however, had assembled on the thirteenth and fourteenth, and then on the fifteenth they rested and made it a day of feasting and joy.

19 That is why rural Jews—those living in villages—observe the fourteenth of the month of AdarS Est 3:7 as a day of joy and feasting, a day for giving presents to each other.Dt 16:11, 14; S Est 2:9; Rev 11:10

Purim Established

20 Mordecai recorded these events, and he sent letters to all the Jews throughout the provinces of King Xerxes, near and far,21 to have them celebrate annually the fourteenth and fifteenth days of the month of Adar22 as the time when the Jews got reliefS Est 4:14 from their enemies, and as the month when their sorrow was turned into joy and their mourning into a day of celebration.Ne 8:12; Ps 30:11-12 He wrote them to observe the days as days of feasting and joy and giving presents of foodS 2Ki 25:30 to one another and gifts to the poor.S Ne 8:10

23 So the Jews agreed to continue the celebration they had begun, doing what Mordecai had written to them.24 For Haman son of Hammedatha, the Agagite,S Ex 17:8-16 the enemy of all the Jews, had plotted against the Jews to destroy them and had cast the purS Est 3:7 (that is, the lotS Lev 16:8) for their ruin and destruction.Est 3:625 But when the plot came to the king’s attention,Or when Esther came before the king he issued written orders that the evil scheme Haman had devised against the Jews should come back onto his own head,Ps 7:16 and that he and his sons should be impaledS Dt 21:22-23 on poles.Est 7:1026 (Therefore these days were called Purim, from the word pur.S Est 3:7) Because of everything written in this letter and because of what they had seen and what had happened to them,27 the Jews took it on themselves to establish the custom that they and their descendants and all who join them should without fail observe these two days every year, in the way prescribed and at the time appointed.28 These days should be remembered and observed in every generation by every family, and in every province and in every city. And these days of Purim should never fail to be celebrated by the Jews—nor should the memory of these days die out among their descendants.

29 So Queen Esther, daughter of Abihail,Est 2:15 along with Mordecai the Jew, wrote with full authority to confirm this second letter concerning Purim.30 And Mordecai sent letters to all the Jews in the 127 provincesS Est 1:1 of Xerxes’ kingdom—words of goodwill and assurance—31 to establish these days of Purim at their designated times, as Mordecai the Jew and Queen Esther had decreed for them, and as they had established for themselves and their descendants in regard to their times of fastingS Est 4:16 and lamentation.Est 4:1-332 Esther’s decree confirmed these regulations about Purim, and it was written down in the records.

The Greatness of Mordecai

10 King Xerxes imposed tribute throughout the empire, to its distant shores.Ps 72:10; 97:1And all his acts of power and might, together with a full account of the greatness of Mordecai,S Est 8:15 whom the king had promoted,S Ge 41:44 are they not written in the book of the annalsS Est 2:23 of the kings of Media and Persia?Mordecai the Jew was secondDa 5:7 in rankGe 41:43 to King Xerxes,Ge 41:40 preeminent among the Jews, and held in high esteem by his many fellow Jews, because he worked for the good of his people and spoke up for the welfare of all the Jews.Ne 2:10; Jer 29:4-7; Da 6:3

A Decree to Help the Jews

On that same day King Xerxes gave the property of Haman, the enemy of the Jews, to Queen Esther. Then Mordecai was brought before the king, for Esther had told the king how they were related.The king took off his signet ring—which he had taken back from Haman—and gave it to Mordecai. And Esther appointed Mordecai to be in charge of Haman’s property.

Then Esther went again before the king, falling down at his feet and begging him with tears to stop the evil plot devised by Haman the Agagite against the Jews.Again the king held out the gold scepter to Esther. So she rose and stood before him.

Esther said, “If it please the king, and if I have found favor with him, and if he thinks it is right, and if I am pleasing to him, let there be a decree that reverses the orders of Haman son of Hammedatha the Agagite, who ordered that Jews throughout all the king’s provinces should be destroyed.For how can I endure to see my people and my family slaughtered and destroyed?”

Then King Xerxes said to Queen Esther and Mordecai the Jew, “I have given Esther the property of Haman, and he has been impaled on a pole because he tried to destroy the Jews.Now go ahead and send a message to the Jews in the king’s name, telling them whatever you want, and seal it with the king’s signet ring. But remember that whatever has already been written in the king’s name and sealed with his signet ring can never be revoked.”

So on June 25Hebrew on the twenty-third day of the third month, the month of Sivan, of the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar. This day was June 25, 474 B.c.; also see note on 2:16. the king’s secretaries were summoned, and a decree was written exactly as Mordecai dictated. It was sent to the Jews and to the highest officers, the governors, and the nobles of all the 127 provinces stretching from India to Ethiopia.Hebrew to Cush. The decree was written in the scripts and languages of all the peoples of the empire, including that of the Jews.10 The decree was written in the name of King Xerxes and sealed with the king’s signet ring. Mordecai sent the dispatches by swift messengers, who rode fast horses especially bred for the king’s service.

11 The king’s decree gave the Jews in every city authority to unite to defend their lives. They were allowed to kill, slaughter, and annihilate anyone of any nationality or province who might attack them or their children and wives, and to take the property of their enemies.12 The day chosen for this event throughout all the provinces of King Xerxes was March 7 of the next year.Hebrew the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month of Adar, of the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar. The date selected was March 7, 473 B.c.; also see note on 2:16.

13 A copy of this decree was to be issued as law in every province and proclaimed to all peoples, so that the Jews would be ready to take revenge on their enemies on the appointed day.14 So urged on by the king’s command, the messengers rode out swiftly on fast horses bred for the king’s service. The same decree was also proclaimed in the fortress of Susa.

15 Then Mordecai left the king’s presence, wearing the royal robe of blue and white, the great crown of gold, and an outer cloak of fine linen and purple. And the people of Susa celebrated the new decree.16 The Jews were filled with joy and gladness and were honored everywhere.17 In every province and city, wherever the king’s decree arrived, the Jews rejoiced and had a great celebration and declared a public festival and holiday. And many of the people of the land became Jews themselves, for they feared what the Jews might do to them.

The Victory of the Jews

So on March 7Hebrew on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month of Adar, of the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar. This day was March 7, 473 B.c.; also see note on 2:16. the two decrees of the king were put into effect. On that day, the enemies of the Jews had hoped to overpower them, but quite the opposite happened. It was the Jews who overpowered their enemies.The Jews gathered in their cities throughout all the king’s provinces to attack anyone who tried to harm them. But no one could make a stand against them, for everyone was afraid of them.And all the nobles of the provinces, the highest officers, the governors, and the royal officials helped the Jews for fear of Mordecai.For Mordecai had been promoted in the king’s palace, and his fame spread throughout all the provinces as he became more and more powerful.

So the Jews went ahead on the appointed day and struck down their enemies with the sword. They killed and annihilated their enemies and did as they pleased with those who hated them.In the fortress of Susa itself, the Jews killed 500 men.They also killed Parshandatha, Dalphon, Aspatha,Poratha, Adalia, Aridatha,Parmashta, Arisai, Aridai, and Vaizatha—10 the ten sons of Haman son of Hammedatha, the enemy of the Jews. But they did not take any plunder.

11 That very day, when the king was informed of the number of people killed in the fortress of Susa,12 he called for Queen Esther. He said, “The Jews have killed 500 men in the fortress of Susa alone, as well as Haman’s ten sons. If they have done that here, what has happened in the rest of the provinces? But now, what more do you want? It will be granted to you; tell me and I will do it.”

13 Esther responded, “If it please the king, give the Jews in Susa permission to do again tomorrow as they have done today, and let the bodies of Haman’s ten sons be impaled on a pole.”

14 So the king agreed, and the decree was announced in Susa. And they impaled the bodies of Haman’s ten sons.15 Then the Jews at Susa gathered together on March 8Hebrew the fourteenth day of the month of Adar, of the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar. This day was March 8, 473 B.c.; also see note on 2:16. and killed 300 more men, and again they took no plunder.

16 Meanwhile, the other Jews throughout the king’s provinces had gathered together to defend their lives. They gained relief from all their enemies, killing 75,000 of those who hated them. But they did not take any plunder.17 This was done throughout the provinces on March 7, and on March 8 they rested,Hebrew on the thirteenth day of the month of Adar, and on the fourteenth day they rested. These days were March 7 and 8, 473 B.c.; also see note on 2:16. celebrating their victory with a day of feasting and gladness.18 (The Jews at Susa killed their enemies on March 7 and again on March 8, then rested on March 9,Hebrew killed their enemies on the thirteenth day and the fourteenth day, and then rested on the fifteenth day, of the Hebrew month of Adar. making that their day of feasting and gladness.)19 So to this day, rural Jews living in remote villages celebrate an annual festival and holiday on the appointed day in late winter,Hebrew on the fourteenth day of the month of Adar. This day of the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar occurs in February or March. when they rejoice and send gifts of food to each other.

The Festival of Purim

20 Mordecai recorded these events and sent letters to the Jews near and far, throughout all the provinces of King Xerxes,21 calling on them to celebrate an annual festival on these two days.Hebrew on the fourteenth and fifteenth days of Adar, of the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar.22 He told them to celebrate these days with feasting and gladness and by giving gifts of food to each other and presents to the poor. This would commemorate a time when the Jews gained relief from their enemies, when their sorrow was turned into gladness and their mourning into joy.

23 So the Jews accepted Mordecai’s proposal and adopted this annual custom.24 Haman son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the enemy of the Jews, had plotted to crush and destroy them on the date determined by casting lots (the lots were called purim).25 But when Esther came before the king, he issued a decree causing Haman’s evil plot to backfire, and Haman and his sons were impaled on a sharpened pole.26 That is why this celebration is called Purim, because it is the ancient word for casting lots.

So because of Mordecai’s letter and because of what they had experienced,27 the Jews throughout the realm agreed to inaugurate this tradition and to pass it on to their descendants and to all who became Jews. They declared they would never fail to celebrate these two prescribed days at the appointed time each year.28 These days would be remembered and kept from generation to generation and celebrated by every family throughout the provinces and cities of the empire. This Festival of Purim would never cease to be celebrated among the Jews, nor would the memory of what happened ever die out among their descendants.

29 Then Queen Esther, the daughter of Abihail, along with Mordecai the Jew, wrote another letter putting the queen’s full authority behind Mordecai’s letter to establish the Festival of Purim.30 Letters wishing peace and security were sent to the Jews throughout the 127 provinces of the empire of Xerxes.31 These letters established the Festival of Purim—an annual celebration of these days at the appointed time, decreed by both Mordecai the Jew and Queen Esther. (The people decided to observe this festival, just as they had decided for themselves and their descendants to establish the times of fasting and mourning.)32 So the command of Esther confirmed the practices of Purim, and it was all written down in the records.

The Greatness of Xerxes and Mordecai

10 King Xerxes imposed a tribute throughout his empire, even to the distant coastlands.His great achievements and the full account of the greatness of Mordecai, whom the king had promoted, are recorded in The Book of the History of the Kings of Media and Persia.Mordecai the Jew became the prime minister, with authority next to that of King Xerxes himself. He was very great among the Jews, who held him in high esteem, because he continued to work for the good of his people and to speak up for the welfare of all their descendants.

On 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.

And 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.

And 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.

Then the king held out the golden sceptre toward Esther. So Esther arose, and stood before the king,

And 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:

For 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?

Then 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.

Write 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.

Then 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.

10 And 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:

11 Wherein 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,

12 Upon one day in all the provinces of king Ahasuerus, namely, upon the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month Adar.

13 The 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.

14 So 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.

15 And 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.

16 The Jews had light, and gladness, and joy, and honour.

17 And 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.

Now 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;)

The 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.

And 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.

For 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.

Thus 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.

And in Shushan the palace the Jews slew and destroyed five hundred men.

And Parshandatha, and Dalphon, and Aspatha,

And Poratha, and Adalia, and Aridatha,

And Parmashta, and Arisai, and Aridai, and Vajezatha,

10 The ten sons of Haman the son of Hammedatha, the enemy of the Jews, slew they; but on the spoil laid they not their hand.

11 On that day the number of those that were slain in Shushan the palace was brought before the king.

12 And 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.

13 Then 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.

14 And the king commanded it so to be done: and the decree was given at Shushan; and they hanged Haman's ten sons.

15 For 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.

16 But 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,

17 On 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.

18 But 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.

19 Therefore 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.

20 And 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,

21 To stablish this among them, that they should keep the fourteenth day of the month Adar, and the fifteenth day of the same, yearly,

22 As 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.

23 And the Jews undertook to do as they had begun, and as Mordecai had written unto them;

24 Because 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;

25 But 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.

26 Wherefore 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,

27 The 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;

28 And 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.

29 Then Esther the queen, the daughter of Abihail, and Mordecai the Jew, wrote with all authority, to confirm this second letter of Purim.

30 And 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,

31 To 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.

32 And the decree of Esther confirmed these matters of Purim; and it was written in the book.

10 And the king Ahasuerus laid a tribute upon the land, and upon the isles of the sea.

And 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?

For 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.

1 Corinthians 12:27-13:13

27 Now you are the body of Christ,Eph 1:23; 4:12; Col 1:18, 24 and each one of you is a part of it.S Ro 12:528 And God has placed in the churchS 1Co 10:32 first of all apostles,S Eph 4:11 second prophets,S Eph 4:11 third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing,ver 9 of helping, of guidance,Ro 12:6-8 and of different kinds of tongues.ver 10; S Mk 16:1729 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles?30 Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tonguesOr other languages?ver 10 Do all interpret?31 Now eagerly desire1Co 14:1, 39 the greater gifts.

Love Is Indispensable

And yet I will show you the most excellent way.

13 If I speak in the tonguesOr languagesver 8; S Mk 16:17 of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.If I have the gift of prophecyver 8; S Eph 4:11; S Ac 11:27 and can fathom all mysteries1Co 14:2 and all knowledge,S 2Co 8:7 and if I have a faith1Co 12:9 that can move mountains,Mt 17:20; 21:21 but do not have love, I am nothing.If I give all I possess to the poorLk 19:8; S Ac 2:45 and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,Some manuscripts body to the flamesDa 3:28 but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient,1Th 5:14 love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.1Co 5:2It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking,S 1Co 10:24 it is not easily angered,S Mt 5:22 it keeps no record of wrongs.Job 14:16, 17; Pr 10:12; 17:9; 1Pe 4:8Love does not delight in evil2Th 2:12 but rejoices with the truth.2Jn 4; 3Jn 3, 4It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.ver 8, 13

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies,ver 2 they will cease; where there are tongues,ver 1 they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.For we know in partver 12; S 1Co 8:2 and we prophesy in part,10 but when completeness comes,Php 3:12 what is in part disappears.11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhoodPs 131:2 behind me.12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror;Job 26:14; 36:26 then we shall see face to face.Ge 32:30; Job 19:26; 1Jn 3:2 Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.1Co 8:3; Gal 4:9

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.Ro 5:2-5; Gal 5:5, 6; Eph 4:2-5; Col 1:4, 5; 1Th 1:3; 5:8; Heb 6:10-12 But the greatest of these is love.Mt 22:37-40; 1Co 16:14; Gal 5:6; 1Jn 4:7-12, 16

27 All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it.28 Here are some of the parts God has appointed for the church:

first are apostles,

second are prophets,

third are teachers,

then those who do miracles,

those who have the gift of healing,

those who can help others,

those who have the gift of leadership,

those who speak in unknown languages.

29 Are we all apostles? Are we all prophets? Are we all teachers? Do we all have the power to do miracles?30 Do we all have the gift of healing? Do we all have the ability to speak in unknown languages? Do we all have the ability to interpret unknown languages? Of course not!31 So you should earnestly desire the most helpful gifts.

But now let me show you a way of life that is best of all.

Love Is the Greatest

13 If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing.If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it;Some manuscripts read sacrificed my body to be burned. but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proudor rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

Prophecy and speaking in unknown languagesOr in tongues. and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever!Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture!10 But when the time of perfection comes, these partial things will become useless.

11 When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things.12 Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity.Greek see face to face. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.

13 Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.

27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.

29 Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?

30 Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?

31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

13 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,

Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;

Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.

10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

Psalm 37:1-11

Psalm 37This psalm is an acrostic poem, the stanzas of which begin with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet.

Of David.

Do not fret because of those who are evil

or be enviousPr 3:31; 23:17-18 of those who do wrong;Ps 73:3; Pr 24:19

for like the grass they will soon wither,S 2Ki 19:26; Job 14:2; Ps 102:4; Isa 40:7

like green plants they will soon die away.ver 38; Ps 90:6; 92:7; Jas 1:10

Trust in the Lord and do good;

dwell in the landDt 30:20 and enjoy safe pasture.Eze 34:14; Jn 10:9

Take delightS Job 27:10 in the Lord,

and he will give you the desires of your heart.S Job 7:6; Ps 21:2; 145:19; Mt 6:33

Commit your way to the Lord;

trust in himPs 4:5 and he will do this:

He will make your righteous rewardPs 18:24; 103:17; 112:3 shine like the dawn,S Job 11:17

your vindication like the noonday sun.

Be stillS Ex 14:14; S Isa 41:1 before the Lord

and wait patientlyS Ps 27:14; 40:1; 130:5; Isa 38:13; Hab 3:16; Ro 8:25 for him;

do not fretver 1 when people succeed in their ways,Jer 12:1

when they carry out their wicked schemes.Ps 21:11; 26:10; 119:150

Refrain from angerEph 4:31; Col 3:8 and turn from wrath;

do not fretver 1—it leads only to evil.

For those who are evil will be destroyed,S Ps 31:22; 101:8; 118:10; Pr 2:22

but those who hopeIsa 25:9; 26:8; 40:31; 49:23; 51:5 in the Lord will inherit the land.ver 22; Ps 25:13; Isa 49:8; 57:13; Mt 5:5

10 A little while, and the wicked will be no more;S Job 7:10; Eze 27:36

though you look for them, they will not be found.

11 But the meek will inherit the landS Nu 14:24; Mt 5:5

and enjoy peace and prosperity.S Lev 26:6; S Nu 6:26

Psalm 37This psalm is a Hebrew acrostic poem; each stanza begins with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet.

A psalm of David.

Don’t worry about the wicked

or envy those who do wrong.

For like grass, they soon fade away.

Like spring flowers, they soon wither.

Trust in the Lord and do good.

Then you will live safely in the land and prosper.

Take delight in the Lord,

and he will give you your heart’s desires.

Commit everything you do to the Lord.

Trust him, and he will help you.

He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn,

and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun.

Be still in the presence of the Lord,

and wait patiently for him to act.

Don’t worry about evil people who prosper

or fret about their wicked schemes.

Stop being angry!

Turn from your rage!

Do not lose your temper—

it only leads to harm.

For the wicked will be destroyed,

but those who trust in the Lord will possess the land.

10 Soon the wicked will disappear.

Though you look for them, they will be gone.

11 The lowly will possess the land

and will live in peace and prosperity.

37 Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.

For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.

Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.

Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.

And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.

Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.

Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.

For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth.

10 For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be.

11 But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.

Proverbs 21:23-24

23 Those who guard their mouthsS Ps 34:13 and their tongues

keep themselves from calamity.S Pr 10:19; 12:13; S 13:3

24 The proud and arrogant personJer 43:2—“Mocker” is his name—

behaves with insolent fury.

23 Watch your tongue and keep your mouth shut,

and you will stay out of trouble.

24 Mockers are proud and haughty;

they act with boundless arrogance.

23 Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles.

24 Proud and haughty scorner is his name, who dealeth in proud wrath.

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