Focus Verse: Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name. Give your servant success today by granting him favor in the presence of this man.” I was cupbearer to the king. (11)
God hears all prayer, but He is especially attentive to the prayers of those who are obedient to Him. James 5:16 says, “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”
Focus Verse: I was ashamed to ask the king for soldiers and horsemen to protect us from enemies on the road, because we had told the king, “The gracious hand of our God is on everyone who looks to him, but his great anger is against all who forsake him.” (22)
God’s gracious hand is for all those who acknowledge Him in all their ways. It is against those who refuse to look to Him. Because Ezra and those who were with him trusted in God for protection, they did not ask for the king’s soldiers. God honored their faith by hearing their prayer and by protecting them from enemies and bandits on their journey.
Focus Verse: Mordecai was prominent in the palace; his reputation spread throughout the provinces, and he became more and more powerful. (4)
Mordecai became famous and well-known throughout all the land because of the favor and the fear that God gave him in the sight of all people. Mordecai took Haman’s place, but he did not allow the power and prestige that came with that position to corrupt him.
Focus Verse: When Haman entered, the king asked him, “What should be done for the man the king delights to honor?” Now Haman thought to himself, “Who is there that the king would rather honor than me?” (6)
It seems to me that Haman had a rather haughty, narcissistic personality. He was excessively concerned about himself. He constantly thought that everyone else was thinking about him too. Scripture warns us that when we exalt ourselves, we will be humbled. Only when we humble ourselves before God and others will we be exalted.
I pray that the Lord might crown this year with His goodness and in the coming one give you a hallowed dare-devil spirit in lifting the biting sword of Truth, consuming you with a passion that is called by the cultured citizen of Christendom ‘fanaticism’, but known to God as that saintly madness that led His Son through bloody sweat and hot tears to agony on a rude Cross—and Glory!
– Jim Elliot
Focus Verse: Dispatches were sent by couriers to all the king’s provinces with the order to destroy, kill and annihilate all the Jews—young and old, women and children—on a single day, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month of Adar, and to plunder their goods. (13)
From Haman to Hitler, evil people have always tried to rid the earth of the people of God, yet none of them have been successful. No effort to exterminate the Jews will ever be successful. Perhaps the most frightening thing about Haman’s plot and Hitler’s plot, was that they were able to easily persuade a vast number of people to aid them in their evil. It is imperative that we think for ourselves. Laws must be examined critically before they are obeyed, and even those who are in positions of power must have their actions questioned.
Focus Verse: For the queen’s conduct will become known to all the women, and so they will despise their husbands and say, ‘King Xerxes commanded Queen Vashti to be brought before him, but she would not come.’ (17)
How we conduct ourselves can influence how others conduct themselves. We ought to make sure our conduct is good so our influence will be positive.