Nov 30, 2022
In Esther 3-4 Haman cast lots (purim) to find out that March 7 was the lucky date to exterminate the Jews. Mordecai requested that Esther intercede directly to the king. And since she hadn’t been called for, the only way to do that would endanger Esther herself, since no one was allowed to approach the king in the inner court uninvited.
Did you notice in yesterday’s reading, we heard a description of a king that sounded similar to one described in the book of Daniel?
Isaiah 41:2-4 NLT: 2 “Who has stirred up this
king from the east, rightly calling him to God’s service? Who gives
this man victory over many nations and permits him to trample their
kings underfoot? With his sword, he reduces armies to dust. With
his bow, he scatters them like chaff before the wind.
3 He chases them away and goes on safely, though he is walking over unfamiliar ground.
4 Who has done such mighty deeds, summoning each new generation from the beginning of time? It is I, the LORD, the First and the Last. I alone am he.”
Because of the amazingly fast progress of this king being like the description of Alexander the Great (the male goat) in Daniel 8, I previously thought that Isaiah was also describing Alexander. But Alexander came from the west. Instead, this is the same king as mentioned in verse 25 of today’s reading, and scholars say that he is most likely Cyrus. In a few chapters he will be mentioned by name, and chapter 41 is not the only time Isaiah alludes to him without mentioning his name.
In preparing for his topic of Christ’s return, in 2Thessalonians chapter 1 Paul mentioned the punishment of people who refuse to obey the Good News about Christ. They will ‘suffer’ or ‘pay the penalty of eternal destruction’. Note that if people are going to be burned up in hell, or if God’s punishment was simply that people would cease to exist, it would not be called ‘suffer eternal destruction’. This understanding is not just a doctrine. It turns out that this gives great comfort to those who are suffering persecution, and gives a great motivation to all of us for sharing the Good News.
Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.