Reading the Bible Day 209
Hello everyone! Today we finish the book of Esther, which I think by the end of the day you will agree was one of the best books we've read so far. It's also a great litmus test for our daily relationship with God because God isn't such an obvious character or voice anywhere in this reading. Esther teaches us to consider how God moves through human interactions silently. This reading is also one of the first in a long time that seems to end on a happy note for the Jew's which was a nice reprieve after so much exile, doom, and gloom. Without spoiling too much let's see how God speaks to us even when God is silent and invisible.
Scripture to Read
Questions to Consider
What does this teach me about God?
What does this teach me about what was happening at the time that influenced this reading? Does reading it through the lens of the past change the reading for me?
What, if anything, feels applicable to today? What does it challenge me to do in response?
- My Thoughts -
This was a really fun read overall. You get to see the scheming Haman not only go home with his tail between his legs but later on get off'd completely by the very means of his own oppression. It's one of those feel good fables that you tell around a campfire or something. It's one of those kind of stories you imagine the troops would tell after Hitler was killed and WW2 came to an end. But the real magic of Esther to me is the silent and invisible God that moves not through pulling strings but flows like a stream ever persistent to find the river of justice. God moved through Esther and Mordecai because of their willingness to take personal risk for the greater good and God moved in an unkind way against Haman for his plans of oppression and injustice. That helps me when I see injustice in our own culture to not think that God is missing, but God is simply moving towards the justice makers and rising them up to make a change. But it also reminds me not to be like the king, who is indecisive in the matter, always looking to do what other want for themselves. The king should have questioned Haman further about his original decree and if he had less bloodshed would have occurred. As a church are we on the side of justice, injustice, or indecisiveness? As a culture? As an individual where do you align? This is the daily challenge of Esther that calls us to be our best- and I LOVEEEE it. :)
Praying the Hymns
Our prayer for today is inspired by hymn 209 in our United Methodist Hymnal - Blessed be the God of Israel! What a perfect hymn for our study of Esther and the Old Testament. I hope you'll join in however you feel moved.
1 Blessed be the God of Israel, who comes to set us free, who visits and redeems us, and grants us liberty. The prophets spoke of mercy, of freedom and release; God shall fulfill the promise to bring our people peace.
2 Now from the house of David a child of grace is given; a Savior comes among us to raise us up to heaven. Before him goes the herald, forerunner in the way, the prophet of salvation, the harbinger of day.
3 On prisoners of darkness the sun begins to rise, the dawning of forgiveness upon the sinner's eyes, to guide the feet of pilgrims along the paths of peace; O bless our God and Savior with songs that never cease!