Monday, April 8, 2013

On Reading the Book of Esther

There is a certain people dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom who keep themselves separate, Their customs are different from those of all other people..". Esther 3:8

I told you how I wasted an entire morning watching the sun rise until its rays lighted up the plants on my window sill. It was not a spectacular sunrise, just a regular one, but I enjoyed it so much. Then I had a strong impulse to read the Book of Esther, and I did.

Now many people have--and do now--wonder why Esther is in the canon of scripture. No Bible writer cites it. It is not referred to in cross references.

It is the story of captives under King Xerxes. Esther and her uncle, Mordecai are among those who are "different." They are part of a people who have different customs and beliefs than others in this country. They believe in the one true God.

As soon as I read this I thought, that is like Christians in America today, rapidly becoming strangers in what was once their land. I picture Esther, so beautiful, as a Linda Darnell, if you remember her. She is a smart lady too, who has a heart for her people.

Then that awful word "conspiracy" arises. The word that upsets some people, as if history and the Bible do not have many examples of them.

A persecution is announced. Esther begs the king to revoke it, but she is told that the law, once uttered, cannot be changed. Yet there is still hope--let her people fight back. This is the answer for them, and they do.

I imagine people saying, "I would rather rely on the Lord." As if those who fight do not rely on Him. I see this as the situation in America right now. We sang a song in the World War Two years, "Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition."

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