June 24-25 – Esther 9:20-32
This summer, we are looking to the women of the Bible for encouragement, advice, and examples of living life full with God. In June, we’re reading the books of Esther and Ruth. Join our study by reading today’s scripture below and journaling about it using SOAP (click on the “What’s SOAP?” link above to learn more). Comments are always welcome on our website for questions, discussion, and accountability.
Esther 9:20-32 – 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 Adar 22 as the time when the Jews got relief from their enemies, and as the month when their sorrow was turned into joy and their mourning into a day of celebration. He wrote them to observe the days as days of feasting and joy and giving presents of food to one another and gifts to the poor.
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, the enemy of all the Jews, had plotted against the Jews to destroy them and had cast the pur (that is, the lot) for their ruin and destruction. 25 But when the plot came to the king’s attention, he issued written orders that the evil scheme Haman had devised against the Jews should come back onto his own head, and that he and his sons should be impaled on poles. 26 (Therefore these days were called Purim, from the word pur.) 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, 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 provinces 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 fasting and lamentation. 32 Esther’s decree confirmed these regulations about Purim, and it was written down in the records.
Write That Down | Jess Howell
God’s faithfulness couldn’t be ignored. Had Esther not become Queen and had she not spoken up for her people, the Jews could have been utterly erased. But God had other plans. He used Esther to fulfill His plan, though His plan seemed to cut it awfully close! Mordecai did not want the people to forget God’s faithfulness, so the celebration was documented to be remembered every year.
Becky has said it many times – Write it down!! – whenever there have been times when God was faithful, or when times were “good”, so that we can look back at them and remember. This is exactly what Mordecai did – it’s exactly what the Bible is all about! But in our own lives, it helps to write things down to remember the past. Pictures can sometimes do the same thing. Perhaps that’s what makes Facebook so intriguing when we go back and look at where we came from. I’m terrible at keeping a journal, scrapbooks, or even taking pictures, but I’m working on it!
Father – thank You for Esther’s boldness and thank You for showing us how to remember Your faithfulness. It’s easy to forget the past if I’m not intentional in bringing the lessons of the past with me. Teach me to keep Your hand on my life at all times. In Your Son’s name, Amen.
The Discover One Thing main website follows a reading plan that goes through the entire Bible in one year. Click HERE to check out today’s Discover One Thing post.