Esther 5

Esther had come to the conclusion that she needed to plead for her people. The custom in the court of the king was that anyone who entered without invitation did so under the threat of death. The only way to live would be through the king’s mercy. If the king extended his golden scepter to the visitor the uninvited guest would have hope.
Ahasuerus chose to welcome Esther. Therefore she did not die.
What was her request of the king? She did not reveal her entire purpose at once. Would the king grant her the privilege of serving him and his adviser, Haman, at a feast that she had prepared on this very day for these two important men? The king agreed. Haman was summoned and the feast commenced.
Ahasuerus knew that there remained a further request that Esther had not yet revealed. After the feast was completed he asked Esther to say more. The queen again did not say everything that was on her heart. She simply requested the honor of serving them on the next day with the promise that she would reveal her desire after this second feast was completed.
Haman left the first celebration in a good mood. He alone of all the great men in the kingdom had been invited by the queen for this special treatment. Yet his mood plummeted at the sight of Mordecai who still refused to bow before the enemy of the Jews.
This insult meant more to Haman than all of the honor that Esther had shown him. He gathered his own advisers and sought their input. What should be done about Mordecai’s insubordination? Their advice was to hang Mordecai on a gallows seventy-five feet high prior to attending Esther’s second feast on the following day. That would be an example to others who would dare to show Haman disrespect! He did not delay in having the gallows built.
What a moment! It would appear that Mordecai’s life would certainly be cut short by a brutal and vain man. Who would save the Jews after Mordecai was dead?
The story of our salvation has a similarly dramatic moment when it appeared that all hope of rescue was lost. When the Man of our confidence was mocked, beaten, and crucified, what would become of the new kingdom that He had spoken of? How could the church that Jesus would build survive after the death of the King?
Yet the Lord’s suffering was not the end of the kingdom of God. The death and resurrection of Jesus would establish both His church and our eternal salvation.
We should never presume that all is lost at the appearance of a prominent gallows or a brutal cross. The Lord may yet have a plan to snatch victory out of the jaws of defeat. Our King has extended His golden scepter to us. We will surely live. We can trust Him even when it seems like disaster is at hand.

Prayer from A Book of Prayers

Lord God, thank You for Your special providence in the history of Your church. Surely we have found great favor in Your sight because of the love and faithfulness of Jesus Christ. Give us wisdom as we face the challenges that seem to come upon us with such intensity in this current age. We know that we are to be as gentle as doves, but we must also be as wise as serpents. Father, we trust that You will not allow the plans of Your enemies to succeed, for they are committed to our destruction.