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Day 9: Chapter 9

Do you remember how Haman decided which month to kill the Jews? He cast a “pur” or lot. Purim, the Jewish celebration of Esther’s having saved the Jews, is the plural of lot. There is irony in the title, since Haman was using the lot for plotting evil, and Purim is a celebration of the overthrowing of Haman.

While this book is the story of Esther and her courage, let’s not forget Mordecai and his wisdom. He keeps Esther on the straight and narrow, and encourages her not to give up. Also, why does he rise in popularity with the people so quickly? Why would the Persians suddenly follow a Jew? God can do anything, and one must acknowledge that God has chosen Mordecai to be great among the people.

Who would have thought that a Jew would become so powerful? He became second in rank to King Xerxes. Mordecai is described as “working for the good of his people” and that he “spoke up for the welfare of the Jews.” With God, all things are possible.

Just as we said at the beginning of the book, Jews still celebrate Purim today. They read the book of Esther as a family, give gifts to the poor, exchange gifts and have a “banquet” to celebrate what God did for the Jews.

And, because Jesus died for all, we can join in, as a branch grafted into the Jewish nation, and celebrate the freedom we have in Christ. God saved the Jewish people, and His heart is still to save us today.

Key Verse:
“And these days of Purim should never fail to be celebrated by the Jews—nor should the memory of these days die out among their descendants.” ~ Esther 9:28b

Questions to ponder:

  • Do you think that God is in charge of who leads us today? Does he choose people to honor as Mordecai was honored?
  • Why do you think the Jews didn’t “lay their hands on the plunder?” What do you think would have happened if they had?
  • Are there people for whom you feel called to speak up for their welfare?
  • What character trait of either Mordecai or Esther would you like to have?
  • How would the world be different if all leaders worked for the good?
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