Thursday, April 30, 2009

Missing Countries

It is with sadness that I look at my map of visitors and see that some countries never show a hit. I wish that Russia was an open country and people could visit the websites they liked and enjoy the freedom of information that is out there especially sites such as this Bible Study. I really don't know why there is so much fear of exposure to the Bible. I get a few visitors from China and wish that more would stop by to read a verse or two. I'm sure my thoughts on the Bible conflict with the beliefs of some countries but I have no fear that knowing about another religion is going to corrupt what I believe. I know why I believe what I believe. I am not afraid to ask God for directions. I hope the people of those countries that have not yet visited will get the opportunity to do so. This is by no means the best Bible Study on the Internet but it can help someone by providing a structured study routine. I invite even those whose job it is to monitor the web to stay a couple of minutes and read a passage or a whole lesson. Thanks.

Bildad speaks to Job - Job 8

Job 8:6 "If thou wert pure and upright; surely now he would awake for thee, and make the habitation of thy righteousness prosperous."

I could say a lot about that. Bildad is, first of all, being a judge. He has told Job that if he were a better person, he would be heard in his prayers. Let's remember the meeting between the Lord and Satan. Job was the subject and it was Satan who said Job would cave in if he lost everything. The Lord had faith in Job that he could be true even in adversity.

Bildad is obviously a believer in what has been called The Prosperity Gospel. It means if you try real hard to do right and give of your substance to the one who is preaching, you will be overwhelmed with a nice home and new cars. Your bank account will swell, etc. That is just not right. Jesus was the most upright and perfect person who ever walked the earth and he himself said that he had no place to lay his head. Paul (after he was converted) was always in trouble.

Righteousness does not equate to wealth and sin does not equate to poverty and trials. Sometimes the best Christians have the worst of times and those who live a life of sin seemingly have all the good stuff. Christians are not citizens of this planet but of heaven, so our treasure is there.

What else did Bildad have to say:

v13-14 "So are the paths of all that forget God, and the hypocrite's hope shall perish: Whose hope shall be cut off, and whose trust shall be a spider's web."

Again assumptions are dangerous. Bildad assumes Job has forgotten God and that he is a hypocrite. Then he purports to know what God will do:

v20 "Behold God will not cast away a perfect man, neither will he help the evildoers:"

I guess I am to blunt concerning the babblings of Job's friends. I know their talk is to enhance the point of the story. We would not know how Job was feeling and what he was thinking without this conversation. I would say that these two friends, so far, are not acting and talking like real friends. Anyone can criticize another when they themselves are not going through the fire.

Jesus said it best: Matthew 7:3 "And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in tine own eye? v4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and behold a beam is in thine own eye?"

Proverbs 8:13 "The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate."

Bildad speaks to Job.

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Job Expostulates Job 7

Job 7:4 "When I lie down, I say, When shall I arise, and the night be gone? and I am full of tossings to and fro unto the dawning of the day."

Job has no rest. In this chapter Job reasons about his condition in the form of a prayer. They are words of anguish.

loathsome: repulsive, to dislike greatly, to abominate, to hate

Such is Job's condition, as he describes it.

v5 "My flesh is clothed with worms and clods of dust; my skin is broken, and become loathsome."

He is as a dead man except he has all his senses. He is in a horrible state. He reasons that the grave would be better.

v9 "As the cloud is consumed and vanisheth away, so he that goeth down to the grave shall come up no more."

Even in sleep, he is tormented. v13 "When I say, My bed shall comfort me, my couch shall ease my complaint; v14 Then thou scarest me with dreams, and terrifiest me through visions: v15 So that my soul chooseth strangling, and death rather than my life."

Job has kept his integrity but finally admits to sin but not a particular sin. He must have assumed that some sin existed for him to have to suffer, so he confesses.

v20 "I have sinned; what shall I do unto thee, O thou preserver of men? why hast thou set me as a mark against thee, so that I am a burden to myself?"

Job is resigned to die but as we know his life was preserved by the word of God.

v21 "And why dost thou not pardon my transgression, and take away mine iniquity? for now shall I sleep in the dust; and thou shalt seek me in the morning, but I shall not be."

I know that God is love and surely there was no greater love than when the Father gave his Son for our sins. When I look into the heavens and see the vastness, when I learn of the intricate makeup of a person and how it still baffles the brightest minds, I can only wonder at the awesomeness of God and realize that I am to finite to understand his ways except that I know in the person of the LORD Jesus Christ. He came as a man to help us grasp the love of God. Job did not have the story of Jesus and the explanations of the mystery of God as revealed to us in the gospels and Paul's writings and the rest of the New Testament. Job did not understand.

Romans 16:24 "Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, v26 But now is made manifest..."

Job prays.
Previous post.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Job Speaks, Eliphaz stops Job 6

Job 6:25-27 "How forcible are right words! but what doth your arguing reprove? Do ye imagine to reprove words, and the speeches of one that is desperate, which are as wind? Yea, ye overwhelm the fatherless, and ye did a pit for your friend."

I couldn't have said it better myself. Job is really having a hard time. He has lost about everything and is in great physical distress. Now his friend has attacked his spiritual state. Job basically called him a windbag.

v2 "Oh that my grief were thoroughly weighed, and my calamity laid in the balances together. v3 For now it would be heavier than the sand of the sea: therefore my words are swallowed up."

We might say,'I just don't feel like talking right now.' But Job did speak to his friend. He did not find comfort in his friends words though.

Job goes on to express his feelings inside and does make a confession here.

v7 "The things that my soul refused to touch are as my sorrowful meat."

Apparently there were things that Job just did not have a taste for normally but now in his physical stress, he is forced to eat bland food such as egg whites and food without salt. When I had radiation, I lost my taste buds and everything tasted like sulfur. It was not a pleasant time for me.

Job then talks directly about his friend. He tells him he should have had pity rather than telling him what all he must have surely done wrong.

v14 "To him that is afflicted pity should be showed from his friend; but he forsaketh the fear of the Almighty."

The friend has forsaken, not Job.

Job then describes his friends as he sees them. In verse 17, he hints that they leave him when they get uncomfortable because of the elements. He tells them that they are confused because they did not have the answers in verses 20-21. In 22 he challenges them to teach him and he will listen. Then he tells them that he asked for nothing from them.

Even in his state of agony, Job is teaching his friends.

v28 "Now therefore be content, look upon me; for it is evident unto you if I lie."

Job tells his friends they know him well enough to know if he is speaking the truth or not.

Psalm 62:5 "My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him."

Job talks back to Eliphaz.

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Monday, April 27, 2009

Eliphaz Continues Job 5

Job 5:1 "Call now, if there be any that will answer thee; and to which of the saints wilt thou turn?"

Eliphaz is still talking from the last chapter. I should not be too critical of Eliphaz because what he said was important enough to be recorded in the scriptures.

He shows a lot of wisdom in these verses and no doubt he has had many discussions with his friend Job. In the case, however, I think Eliphaz has missed the point and does not know the whole situation. He is dealing with Job as if this was only an individual struggle. It is a test to show Satan that a righteous man can remain faithful even in the most awful circumstances.

v2 "For wrath killeth the foolish man, and envy slayeth the silly one."

He is not giving Job much credit in this chapter. He is putting Job in the category of fools and then goes on to tell him what all happens to a foolish man. In verse 4 he cruelly reminds Job of the loss of his children and indicates it was his fault "His children are far from safety, and they are crushed in the gate, neither is there any to deliver them."

Then he reminds Job that his crops are being taken by strangers. It also reminds one of the loss of the oxen used to plow and the other animals that were taken in the first chapter. v5 "Whose harvest the hungry eateth up, and taketh it even out of the thorns, and the robber swalloweth up their substance." In better times, Job would have had people to prevent all this from happening but he is in a helpless state.

As if Job had not already been praying, Eliphaz tells him that if it were him he would seek God in verse 8. 'Look now if it was me...' v8 "I would seek unto God, and unto God would I commit my cause: That is good advice but probably not appropriate now for such a man as Job who must have surely been communing with God all along.

In verse 13 Job's wisdom is attacked. He is a teacher of many and must have been sought after for advice since he was so successful. v13 "He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.." I do not believe Job used his wisdom to try to get some advantage. But he is virtually accused of such here.

It goes on and on. Eliphaz is in a accusatory mode and even with his wise words, it seems, he has still missed the jest of Job's situation. I like a lot of what Eliphaz said but if I were Job and had spent my life devoted to God, I would not want to hear all that he said at this time.

In the last verse, Eliphaz takes credit for what he has said. It is based on his great wisdom. "Lo this, we have searched it, so it is; hear it, and know thou it for thy good."

Just because Eliphaz has done some research on the problem, does not give him the final say so and does not make it so just because he has spoken it. There is wisdom far beyond that of man.

In the next chapter we will see what Job's response is.

Psalm 88:1-3 "O LORD God of my salvation, I have cried day and night before thee: Let my prayer come before thee: incline thine ear unto my cry; For my soul is full of troubles and my life draweth nigh unto the grave."

Eliphaz continues speaking to Job.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Eliphaz Speaks to Job - Job 4

Job 4:2 "If we assay to commune with thee, wilt thou be grieved? but who can withhold himself from speaking?"

Eliphaz was sort of respectful but as good as said that he was going to talk anyway. He makes several points in the next two chapters and I believe stretches the truth some. He is basically talking from 'much learning' and does not understand the test Job is going through.

(A note of caution when quoting and studying the Bible. There are often conversations in the Bible or someone telling a story i.e. the conversation Jesus had with Satan when he was being enticed to test God. Another is when the Philistine was telling David of Saul's death, he lied that Saul was killed by himself when actually Saul fell on his sword. The danger is in picking out a single verse and using it without considering the context.)

Let's look at the points Eliphaz made:

-Job must have sinned:
v7 "Remember, I pray thee, who ever perished being innocent? or where were the righteous cut off?"

He tells Job that he has been a shining light but surely he must have done something to bring all this trouble on him.

-God's judgment and his own experience:
v8 "Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same. v9 By the blast of God they perish, and by the breath of his nostrils are they consumed."

Remember the first chapter. God said Job was a perfect and upright man. It was Satan who said Job would fail if his blessings were taken away. Contrary to some present day teachings, hard times are not always a sign of sinful living, nor is wealth a sign of righteous living.

-Now Eliphaz says he was given a secret vision:
v13 "In thoughts from the visions of the night, when deep sleep falleth on men."
He lays it on thick. v 14 "Fear came upon me, and trembling, which made all my bones to shake. v15 "Then a spirit passed before my face; the hair of my flesh stood up:"

Now I get a little skeptical when people start talking like that. There are many spirits in the world and all of them are not of God. A cold chill will also make goose bumps and a breeze will move hair on your arm.

I John 4:1 "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world."
I Timothy 4:4 "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that int he latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; v2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; heaving their conscience seared with a hot iron;"

-It seems here that Eliphaz is saying that Job has placed himself above God in some way.
v17 "Shall mortal man be more just than God? shall a man be more pure than his maker?"

I have seen nothing in Job that would indicate that he felt he was better than God. Eliphaz seems to be attacking Job's mind, to put in swirling thoughts to torment him. Is Eliphaz part of the test? Is Satan using him to no good? I cannot be sure but if a friend came to me when I was in such trouble, I would not want a long discourse. I would enjoy a drink of cool water more.

Eliphaz continues in the next chapter.

Psalm 40:14-15 "Let them be ashamed and confounded together that seek after my soul to destroy it; let them be driven backward and put to shame that wish me evil. Let them be desolate for a reward of their shame that say unto me, Aha, aha."

Eliphaz talks to Job.
Link to previous post.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Job Regrets His Birth Job 3

Job3:3 "Let the day perish wherein I was born, and the night in which it was said, There is a man child conceived."

After seven days of sitting in ashes and scraping his boils with his friends watching and saying nothing, Job finally speaks. His words come from the heart of a man who has seen his life ripped away and only his breath remains.

v9 "Let the stars of the twilight thereof be dark; let it look for light, but have none; neither let it see the dawning of the day."

v13 "For now should I have lain still and been quiet, I should have slept; then had I been at rest."

Job goes over all the possibilities that would void the day he was born. He wishes he had been born dead. He wishes the day he was born was omitted. He wishes there was no cause for rejoicing on that day.

v7 Lo, let that night be solitary, let no joyful voice come therein."

He compares his child death and subsequent rest to the rest of prisoners and such which he would gladly share.

v18 "There the prisoners rest together; they hear not the voice of the oppressor."

Then Job wonders at the mystery of life itself. He hints at the things man does not know but only God knows.

v23 "Why is light given to a man whose way is hid, and whom God hath hedged in?"

Then in verse 25 he makes a confession concerning his hidden fear.

v25 "For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me."

It appears to me that Job suffers deep depression along with his physical sickness. Being sick can make a person very depressed. Looking back on illness can make one wonder why they were depressed at all, but during the sickness and a time of loss, when the end is not in sight, depression can take hold and pull you down. I have experienced that black hole with its slippery walls like an old well long forgotten by everyone. But I know God's grace is sufficient. We often have to look at what God has done in the past to understand what he will do in our present situation.

v26 "I was not in safety, neither had I rest, neither was I quiet; yet trouble came."

Job was a man of renown and a teacher of many. He was perhaps one of those people who people would say about 'See how Job did it and look at his success'. Yet now in his trouble, his friends do not console him. Their words must have been like knives. In the next chapter.

Psalm 5:7 "But as for me, I will come into thy house in the multitude of thy mercy: and in thy fear will I worship toward thy holy temple."

Job is sorry he was born.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Job Suffers Physically Job 2

Job 2:6 "And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life."

Many of us have suffered loss in life. We have lost jobs, our property and sometimes our loved ones. Job suffered such pain. If we have our physical strength, we can usually come back from great distress. Our heart will heal with time and we can work to restore our possessions.

Now in this chapter, Satan has again appeared in the presence of God with the sons of God. Again, he is presented with a challenge. JOB.

v3 "And the LORD said unto Satan Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him to destroy him without cause."

Note the word 'still'. Through no fault of his own, Job has seemingly lost everything but he still holds fast his integrity. So Satan is given power over Job's body but cannot take his life.

v7 "So went Satan forth from the presence of the LORD, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown."

You know, some people think Satan is just misunderstood. That he maybe is not all that bad or that he really does not exist. Here we can see the heart of Satan. Once God took his hand off Job and allowed Satan to proceed, Satan wasted no time in doing hurt to Job. He would waste no time doing harm to us, if the LORD took his protecting hand off us. If Satan was not restrained, he would do much more harm than he already does. It is who he is.

v8 "And he took him a potsherd to scrape himself withal; and he sat down among the ashes."

This was a great man, he must have been very intelligent to accumulate all that he had. He also honored God with his heart. We will see that he found no support during this times. It seems that everyone thought surely Job had committed some awful sin for him to have such trouble. We cannot always see the action going on behind the scenes.

v9 "Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die."

'You'd be better off dead.' it seems she was saying. And from his wife of all people. Job did not lash out at her but did correct her thinking.

v10 "But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh, What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? in all this did not Job sin with his lips."

Notice the last words 'with his lips'. I suspect we all have fleeting thoughts flashing through our mind that makes you wonder where they came from. I don't think Satan can read our mind but I do believe he can inject thoughts to hurt and confuse us. Maybe it is suspicion about a friend or a criticism about someone. We do not have to voice these thoughts. We can accept them as an attack and know (if it is so) that these thoughts are not what is in our heart. We keep them to our self and let them pass. Once bad thoughts are voiced, they are fuel that Satan can use.

v11 "Now when Job's three friends heard of all this evil that was come upon him, they came everyone from his own mourn with him and to comfort him."

Job looked so bad they did not recognize him from a distance. They approached him and did not speak for seven days and nights but sat with him. I do not see what comfort it would be for Job while he sat in ashes and scratched his boils, to have his friends stare at him for seven days.

In the next chapter, Job speaks of his birth.

Psalm 18:21 "For I have kept the ways of the LORD, and have not wickedly departed from my God."

Job suffers physically.
Previous Post.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Job Intro Job 1

Job 1:1 "There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil."

Job: one perecuted

Uz: Probably in eastern Edom

Book of Job: largely Hebrew poetry style but also a historical document. Some refer to it as the Shakesphere of the Bible

Time: not penned down exactly.

Author: not known, some say Moses, some place it in Solomon's time

The book of Job deals with the fact of sin and an all-wise and merciful God.

Uz is mentioned in Jeremiah 25:20 along with many other nations. See also Ezekiel 14:14,20 where Job is placed in the elite company of Noah and Daniel. Also see Genesis 22:20 where mention is made of Abraham's brother who had sons named Huz and Buz.

The question or the problem confronted in Job is: Why do the righteous suffer?

v2 "And there were born unto him seven sons and three daughters."

He also had: 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke oxen, 500 she asses. He is called the greatest of all the men of the east.

v6 "Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them."

There is a continual discussion about who the 'sons of God' were. Some say angels, some go back to an age when angels took human women and produced offspring. It is a question I will leave for scholars.

I believe Satan has already been stripped of his glory and yet even in his 'cast down' state he still appears before God. The question must have reminded Satan of his low estate as compared to when he was clothed with the glory of God. God does not ignore him but confronts him with a questions:

v7 "And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it."

I Peter 5:8 "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:"

You might say Satan had his wings clipped for in both passages he was walking.

The second question:

v8 "And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?"

It seems that a challenge is made here. Satan is out devouring people and Job is pointed out.

Satan complains to God that he has put a hedge around Job and that is why he is like he is then lays down a challenge of his own.

v11 "But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face."

God's response:

v12 "And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD."

Here we could launch into a discussion of the permissive will of God, where he allows certain things to happen for his own purpose. Things that happen to people are not always because they have committed some sin but may be for a higher purpose that we do not understand. I think in the book of Job we see an example of Satan being put in his place and shown that as he failed as an angel of God, so he will and does fail in his efforts as destroyer on earth.

We should keep in mind as we read the rest of the chapter that Job was not aware of the discussion in heaven between the LORD and Satan. He was going about his business and then the messengers came with bad news. Neither was he aware of the perimeter set down by the LORD as to what Satan could and could not do to him.

v13 "And there was a day when his sons and his daughters were eating, and drinking wine in their eldest brother's house. v14 And there came a messenger unto Job, and said, ...v15 And the Sabeans fell upon them, and took them away; yea they have slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee."

This was the first message. Job had 500 yoke of oxen. If they plowed two in a yoke it would be 1000, a big loss for Job.

The cruelty of Satan's methods are illustrated here: he bombards Job with one thing after another and leaves a servant alive to make sure Job got the news.

The second messenger brought news of the fire that burned up the sheep with only one servant escaping to tell the news to Job.

Look at the verse: v16 "...The fire of God is fallen from heaven, and hath burned up the sheep..." It would appear to be the judgment of God upon Job as the servant referred to the fire of God. Remember the object is to get Job to curse God.

Verse 17 has the Chaldeans taking the camels. Then with these tragedies fresh in Job's mind, the final blow comes:

v19 "And behold, there came a great wind from the wilderness, and smote the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young men, and they are dead; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee."

We can not battle such power with will and might. The only way to victory is through the grace of God. Job did not react in an unseemly manner. He seems to say as the LORD taught us to pray 'thy will be done' in heaven and earth.

v21 "And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.

v22 "In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly."

What a story, even if we stopped after the first chapter. Such men as Noah, Daniel and Job make me feel very small and unworthy. They had a view of God that transcended the physical.

Psalm 147:11 "The LORD taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy."

Job is spoken of highly by the LORD and becomes Satan's target.

Link to previous post. Esther.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Ahasuerus Esther 10

Esther 10 1-3 "And the king Ahasuerus laid a tribute upon the land, and upon the isles of the sea. And all the acts of his power and of his might, and the declaration of the greatness of Mordecai, whereunto the king advanced him, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Media and Persia? For Mordecai the Jew was next unto king Ahasuerus and great among the Jews, and accepted of the multitude of his brethren, seeking the wealth of his people, and speaking peace to all his seed."

This concludes the book of Esther. It is worthy of repeated reading. During the captivity, one might have traveled through Jerusalem and seen the shame that disobedience causes but if the journey continued to the countries where the Jews were scattered one would see the loving care of the LORD for his people.

Next we venture into the book of Job. It is a blessed book and fearful. Fearful because we see Satan accusing Job before God and the test Job had to endure. Blessed because we will also see the beautiful and mighty things Job learned about his God.

Job 1:1 "There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil."

Chapter 9 link.

Purim Esther 9

Esther 9:1-2 "Now in the twelfth month, that is, the month Adar, on the thirteenth day of the same, when the king's commandment and his decree drew near to be put in execution, in the day that the enemies of the Jews hoped to have power over the, (though it was turned to the contrary, that the Jews had rule over them that hated them;) The Jews gathered themselves together to their cities throughout all the provinces of the king Ahasuerus, to lay hand on such as sought their hurt: and no man could withstand them; for the fear of them fell upon all people."

After Haman was discovered and reported to the king, his decree was reversed so that the Jews could defend themselves and they had the help of those governing them so that the tide turned totally in their favor.

Pur or Purim: called the feast of lots because Haman sought to determine by lots when the day would be to destroy the Jews. In celebration for their deliverance the feast is still honored. There was a difference in the day celebrated because the triumph occurred on a different day in the provinces than in Shushan. So two days are celebrated now as confirmed by queen Esther.

v22 "As the days wherein the Jews rested from their enemies, and the month which was turned unto them from sorrow to joy, and from mourning into a good day; that they should make them days of feasting and joy, and of sending portions one to another and gifts to the poor."

v32 "And the decree of Esther confirmed these matters of Purim, and it was written in the book."

Mordecai was surely correct when he told Esther that her purpose in coming to the king's house may have been to save her people. The whole series of events could not have happened other than by the guiding hand of God. Vashti's rebellion, Haman's rise to power, Esther's abduction, the conspiracy to kill the king, Mordecai's lingering at the gate, Esther's winning of the king's heart, Esther's wisdom in arranging the banquet to accuse Haman, the decree that reversed the decree that was not suppose to be changed, Mordecai's rise to power. It is all to fantastic except by the hand of God.

Psalm 33:18 "Behold the eye of the LORD is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy;"

The feasts of lots or Purim is confirmed.

Link to Turn-a-round post.

Monday, April 06, 2009


I seldom add personal comments but I just wanted to say I am thrilled with you for visiting the Bible study. The Bible story does encompass the world and especially tells the story of the older countries. Even if one did not enjoy the spiritual applications, the story itself is so interesting and the prophecies tell the happenings of the present and the future. One has only to look at the news and see the validity of the prophecies. Anyway thanks for stopping in on this journey through the Bible. I hope you will tell someone who may be in a country where the Bible is not readily available. These few daily scriptures may encourage them. Perhaps a child is serving in the military and needs to be reminded that God still lives. Perhaps a missionary would be interested in the study. I think of people in far flung places like Antarctica or those on lonely outpost. I know some studies get thousands of visitors a day but it lifts me up to see those who come to this site if but for a few minutes. So, thank you from my heart.

Turn-a-Round Esther 8

Esther 8:1 "On that day did the king Ahasuerus give the house of Haman the Jews' enemy unto Esther the queen. And Mordecai came before the king; for Esther had told what he was unto her."

In faraway places the Jews must have been huddled in their homes afraid for the decree Haman had sent out, that the Jews could be killed and their stuff taken.

Here is an example of how the Lord works. While those people in the far flung provinces did not know of the goings on in the palace, the Lord had turned a king's heart because of a little Jewish girl and hanged the enemy and promoted a man who hung around the gate to the highest position under the king.

The children of Israel, called Jews in this Book, are still under God's protection even though he has allowed them to be carried away into captivity for their disobedience. It is love beyond understanding.

v4 "Then the king held out the golden scepter toward Esther, So Esther arose, and stood before the king."

Esther now approaches the king again and request that the decree of Haman, to kill the Jews, be dealt with. The king gave Mordecai his ring and told him to handle it as he saw fit.

v8 "Write ye also for the Jews, as it liketh you, in the king's name, and seal it with the king's ring; for the writing which is written in the king's name, and sealed with the king's ring, may no man reverse."

Oh ye people, who are afraid in the kingdom, help is on the way.

v10 "And he wrote in the king Ahasuerus' name, and sealed it with the king's ring and sent letters by posts on horseback, and riders on mules, camels, and young dromedaries: v11 Wherein the king granted the Jews which were in every city to gather themselves together, and to stand for their life, to destroy, to slay, and to cause to perish, all the power of the people and province that would assault them, both little ones and women and to take the spoil of them for a prey."

The king gave them the right to defend themselves.

v16 "The Jews had light, and gladness and joy, and honor. v17 "...And many of the people of the land became Jews; for the fear of the Jews fell upon them."

These dishonored people who did not even have the right to fight for their families were now elevated in the kingdom to the point that people took on their nationality.

God is doing as any parent would do here. He may punish his child but he will not allow another to do so.

Nehemiah 9:31 "Nevertheless for thy great mercies' sake, thou didst not utterly consume them, nor forsake them; for thou art a gracious and merciful God."

Psalm 119:153 "Consider mine affliction, and deliver me; for I do not forget thy law."

Haman's decree is reversed.

Link to previous post.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Banquet for Three Esther 7

Esther 7:2 "And the king said again unto Esther on the second day at the banquet of wine, What is thy petition, queen Esther? and it shall be granted thee: and what is thy request? and it shall be performed, even to the half of the kingdom."

The three: King Ahasuerus, Queen Esther, Haman.

Haman has just led Mordecai through the street on the kings horse and went home in shame. Then the kings men came to get him for the banquet that Esther has set up. The king has asked Esther what she wanted.

v4 "For we are sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be slain, and to perish. ..."

v5 "Then the king Ahasuerus answered and said unto Esther the queen, Who is he, and where is he, that durst presume in his heart to do so?"

v6 "And Esther said, The adversary and enemy is this wicked Haman. Then Haman was afraid before the king and the queen."

The king rose and went to the garden. He must have been a good king, of sorts, to take time to think even now and to give his rage time to settle down. While he was in the garden Haman began pleading with Esther. It must have been custom to lie on a bed at these occasions for Esther was laying on one. Haman in his pleading fell upon her bed and the king came in at this time to find Haman on his queen's bed.

v8 "Then the king returned out of the palace garden into the place of the banquet of wind; and Haman was fallen upon the bed whereon Esther was. Then said the king, Will he force the queen also before me in the house? As the word went out of the king's mouth, they covered Haman's face."

It is a bad sign when the king stops talking directly to Haman and speaks about him as if he could not hear. He never got a chance to plead further. Esther told the king of the gallows Haman had prepared for Mordecai. Haman was hanged there forthwith.

v10 "So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then was the king's wrath pacified."

Remember how Haman was promoted to the top position in the kingdom under the king. The people of 127 provinces bowed to him except one man, Mordecai. Haman could have ignored Mordecai as a nut case but instead he aspired to take vengeance on all the Jews instead. His ego would not let him ignore Mordecai and it cost him his life. Although, he had the ring to represent the king, he was not the king and should have remembered.

In all this, we can see the LORD's hand. Esther was placed in the palace and given favor with the king. Mordecai was there to remind Esther that the issue was larger than just one person. They were there to rescue their people. The issue was a national issue. The decree went to all the provinces to kill the Jews. But the solution was narrowed to four people: King Ahasuerus, Queen Esther, Haman and Mordecai.

Esther was obedient to Mordecai. Esther won the king's heart.

Proverbs 11:5 "The righteous of the perfect shall direct his way: but the wicked shall fall by his own wickedness."

A banquet for three. Esther points out the enemy.

Link to previous post.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Haman Shamed, Mordecai Honored Esther 6

Esther 6:1 "On that night could not the king sleep, and he commanded to bring the book of records of the chronicles; and they were read before the king."

Remember chapter 2 verse 23? There was a plot against the king and Mordecai discovered it and reported it to Esther who told the king. The plotters were hanged and an entry was made in the book of chronicles under Mordecai's name but Mordecai was never recognized for saving the life of the king.

Now is where the praying and fasting pays off. The king cannot sleep and so the chronicles are read to him. He hears the story of the plot and of the one who reported it.

v3 "And the king said, What honor and dignity hath been done to Mordecai for this? Then said the king's servants that ministered unto him, There is nothing done for him."

Haman was in the outward court waiting to see the king. The king asked his servants who was there and was told. he invited Haman in. Haman was there to get the king to hang Mordecai.

v6 "So Haman came in And the king said unto him, what shall be done unto the man whom the king delighteth to honor? Now Haman thought in h is heart, To whom would the king delight to do honor more than to myself? v7 And Haman answered the king, For the man whom the king delighteth to honor, v8 Let the royal apparel be brought which the king useth to wear, and the horse that the king rideth upon, and the crown royal which is set upon his head; v9 And let this apparel and horse be delivered to the hand of one of the king's most noble princes, that they may array the man withal whom the king delighteth, to honor, and bring him on horseback through the street of the city and proclaim before him, Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delighteth to honor."

Immediately, the king told Haman to do so to Mordecai. Haman followed the king's orders and led Mordecai through the streets as described by his own mouth. He then went home with his head covered and in shame. He consulted with his wife and friends and his wife told him he was doomed. Then a knock at the door and he was taken to the banquet where Esther had her day.

The king asked Esther what she desired and her plot reached its conclusion.

Psalm 18: "It is God that avengeth me, and subdueth the people under me. v48 He delivereth me from mine enemies: yea, thou liftest me up above those that rise up against me: thou hast delivered me from the violent man."

Haman Shamed, Mordecai Honored.

Link to Esther's trap for Haman.