Passage of the Day: Esther 8: 15 – 17 … 15 So Mordecai went out from the presence of the king in royal apparel of blue and white, with a great crown of gold and a garment of fine linen and purple; and the city of Shushan rejoiced and was glad. 16 The Jews had light and gladness, joy and honor. 17 And in every province and city, wherever the king’s command and decree came, the Jews had joy and gladness, a feast and a holiday. Then many of the people of the land became Jews, because fear of the Jews fell upon them.
My Journal for Today: Let me go to the very end of Chuck Swindoll’s devotional for this date in his book. And it was today’s highlight passage from the Book of Esther which obviously inspired Swindoll to quote Psalm 30: 5, which declares, ... Weeping may last for a night. But a shout of joy comes in the morning.
And in today’s close to Chapter 8 of Esther’s story, we see a wonderful truth, which cannot be minimized in our lives today any more that it could be in the time of our Jewish Queen. And perhaps you need this truth in your life right now. Maybe you’re like the Jewish people were right before the Persian King provided protection and freedom for Esther’s people. Perhaps you’re down-hearted and depressed because of some pressing issue in your life. I think of a young Christian friend of mine, who is in prison now because of series of bad choices he made. I think of another recent acquaintance, another Christian brother, who is in the public eye of scrutiny and now faces a divorce. Both of these men, and perhaps you, are not quite in the place the Jews were in today’s scenario. But the hope described in today’s passage should give rise to the hope that is in the future for any Christian no matter what their down trodden state.
My friend, no matter how down your life may be at the foot of the cross, Easter is ahead. Nothing could be as bad as it was for our Savior, hanging on the tree of Golgotha; but for Jesus, and for anyone who has Christ as Savior and Lord, it may be Friday, … but … Sunday’s coming!
Right now, as I’ve read today’s passage and Swindoll’s devotional slant on this story, God’s Spirit has caused me to go back and meditate on Christ’s message of hope in His Temple declaration of Luke 4: 18-19, which was our Lord’s restatement of the fulfillment of God’s prophesy in Isaiah 61: 1-2. And it reads thusly, …
“ The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD.”
As Swindoll rightly points out, Esther’s story, a segment in ancient Biblical history, is relevant for anyone who is facing intimidating circumstances; … for anyone who’s been scarred by damage or steeped in oppression; … or for anyone who seems to be incarcerated physically, emotionally, or spiritually. As Swindoll declares in bold type, the story of Esther is in the canon of Scripture because it loudly declares the message for any believer in Esther’s God, and especially for any believer in Jesus Christ, … There is hope!
And when you read today’s highlight passage or the declaration of Christ above from Luke 4 above, I hope you see that we all can rejoice as did the Jews in Esther’s story. Christ has set us free; and in Him, we are free indeed!
My Prayer for Today: Lord, in You, and only in You, do I find freedom. Amen