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Nov 29, 2022

Yesterday we heard how Esther became the queen, and how she continued to keep her Jewish background a secret. We also heard how Mordecai, her uncle, was promoted to a palace official after uncovering a plot to assassinate king Xerxes.

Today we are introduced to the villain of the story— Haman. The Jews always read the book of Esther in the celebration of Purim. Whenever Haman’s name is read they boo and shake rattles or noisemakers to drown out his name.

The shift to such beautiful poetry that occurs in chapter 40 of Isaiah is one of the things that has made people think the last part of this book was authored by someone else. But that is the silly. As I have pointed out as we have gone along, Isaiah has written beautiful and memorize-able verses from the beginning of this book. And Isaiah’s amazing predictions about the Messiah are not just found in chapter 53, as we heard again yesterday.

Did you notice yesterday that the little book of Philemon is a picture of the Gospel? Philemon is in the place of God. Paul is an advocate like Jesus. Picture yourself in the position of a runaway slave. I give a hint here for digging deeper in Philemon: There is a wonderful play of words that happens twice based on the name Onesimus.

I hope that you recall that we read 1st Thessalonians several months ago. 2nd Thessalonians seems to have been written soon after the first letter, around 51 AD. Paul was evidently still at Corinth. And the letter seems to have been written to clarify a very important point about Christ’s second coming. This letter contains some of the clearest teaching about the antichrist— although Paul does not use that term.

Constable’s notes say, “Paul wrote to encourage the Thessalonian believers to continue to persevere in the face of continuing persecution (1:3-10). He also wanted to clarify events preceding the day of the Lord to dispel false teaching (2:1-12). Finally, he instructed the church how to deal with lazy Christians in their midst (3:6-15).” Constable’s notes can be found at

NLT Translation notes:
2Thes. 1:3 Dear brothers and sisters,c we can’t help but thank God for you, because [you so fully believe in Christ//your faith is flourishing] and your love for one another is growing.
11 So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call. May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your [full belief in Christ//faith] prompts you to do.


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.