Week 51 God Will See His Plans Fulfilled

By Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell (Guest Blogger)

Week 51

Scripture Readings: Esther 1-5

Key Scripture Verses: 3:5-6 (NIV, Life Application Bible)

“When Haman saw that Mordecai would not kneel down or pay him honor, he was enraged. Yet having learned who Mordecai’s people were, he scorned the idea of killing only Mordecai. Instead Haman looked for a way to destroy all Mordecai’s people, the Jews, throughout the whole kingdom of Xerxes.”

Xerxes, the King of Persia, had dismissed his queen for disobedience and decided to take another queen in her place. He chose Esther among the virgins brought to him. Esther, who was a Jew, did not disclose her nationality to him, as advised by her cousin Mordecai who had looked after her as a daughter when her parents had become deceased years before.

Mordecai worked in the court of Xerxes and when Xerxes named Haman as second in command, Mordecai would not bow down to him because he was a descendant of the Amalekites who were ancient enemies of the Jews. Haman was infuriated and, as a result, conspired to kill Mordecai and all of his people–the entire Jewish race. Haman was clever and figured out a way to convince the king to put his seal on orders to have all of the Jews annihilated on a certain day.

It was Esther who would later save the day by risking her life, boldly going before the king without his prior consent—it was a death sentence for anyone, including the queen, to initiate a meeting with the king without his first initiating it. The king listened to her instead of having her killed and she was able to save her people from destruction.

God is not specifically mentioned in the book of Esther, but it is clear that God was in control. If the Jews had all been destroyed, the Messiah could not come from the Jewish race as God had planned it.

God has a way of making things happen. We don’t always know how God will act, but he uses humans to do his will. Preserving his chosen people and their lineage was all important and he used the circumstances of this situation to save Esther, Mordecai, and the Jews from destruction by having Esther intervene.

A member of our church explains it this way: “God is God! He can do whatever he wants to do—he’s God!”

May we always remember that God is in control, that nothing is impossible with God. God loves us and wants what is best for us, but we need to fear God and realize that he will do what is necessary to see that his purposes are fulfilled. May we always honor him with praise and follow his commands.

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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