Haman, an enemy of the Jews, had devised a plot to exterminate them. He had even built a tall pole to impale Mordecai. In the story of Esther, we see that he himself was impaled upon his is pole. His plot backfired.
Vengence belongs to God. Our attempts will backfire and bring suffering upon us.
PRAYER: Lord, You know all things. We trust our well being to You alone.
READ: Esther 6-10
This is a line from Esther’s story pointing to the concept that her main role in life was to intercede for the Jewish people when they were about to be annihilated through Haman’s deceptive ploy. Her courage and commitment to the task are commendable.
I remember asking God to have raised up a more faithful witness than me when I botched an opportunity to share the Gospel with a superior. Tragically, he passed from a heart attack about a week after I met with him. I had been prompted by the Holy Spirit to witness to him, but was disobedient.
Yes, we fail the Lord. He mercifully gives us more chances.
Advice: when you sense His promptings in these moments, ask for grace and courage to be obedient. Live with no regrets.
PRAYER: Lord, we want to be faithful to You in those moments You give us opportunity to be a voice or witness for You. You have always been faithful to us.
READ: Esther 2-5
Nehemiah was incensed when he returned to Jerusalem to find the Jews living with flagrant violations of the Law of Moses. Realizing that their disobedience would prevent God’s blessings, he zealously enacted a cleanse of the temple and clamp-down on heathen practices.
Without becoming self-righteously legalistic, we are wise to guard against the wholesale adoption of carnal trends that cut against the grain of Biblical living and Christian faith-oriented standards of conduct.
“Guard your heart above all else, for it is the source of life.” [Pr. 4:23]
PRAYER: Lord, Your ways bring life, health, and blessing to Your people. Stir us to be vigilant to keep Your Commandments.
READ: Neh. 13; Esther 1
Nehemiah records an extensive list of Jews who vowed that they would not neglect God’s house. During the exile, great neglect had obviously occured.
Today, a similar commitment to God’s House is to be considered. This is best taught in the home. Parents establish good habits in their children, and these habits of faithful church attendance and service can live through generations.
“How lovely is Thy Dwelling Place, O Lord of Hosts.” [Ps. 84:1]
PRAYER: Father, we want to dwell in Your House all the days of our lives. Whom have we in heaven but You, and there is none upon earth we desire besides You.
READ: Neh. 10-12
Ezra stood on a platform above all the people and read the law from daybreak until noon. He was elevated so all could hear.
In most cathedrals, there is a high, wooden pulpit where the minister stands above the congregation and declares God’s Word.
These are examples of how men intentionally elevate God’s Word to a place of authority and ascendancy over the lives of worshipers.
It’s a healthy practice for us to give similar importance and devotion to God’s Word. It’s also wise to teach our children to honor God’s Word and elevate its importance above all other life influences.
PRAYER: Lord, Your Word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. Without the guidance of Your Word, we would fail at life.
READ: Nehemiah 7-9
Nehemiah and the Jews began rebuilding the wall. However, they had significant opposition. It seemed that the energy they expended to build was matched by those who tried to stop the rebuilding. They didn’t give up. Some watched and guarded while some built.
Today it’s no different. Some people seem to always be stirring up trouble with their negativity. We must keep working, but keep the protective spiritual covering of prayer going while we keep our eyes on God’s appointed projects.
PRAYER: Lord, it seems that many try to tear down while others are doing their best to build Your Kingdom. Protect us and grace us to keep at our task.
READ: Neh. 4-6
The wall and gates of Jerusalem were laying in ruins when Nehemiah asked about his home city. He wept. God put it in his heart to go back and rebuild the broken down wall sections and restore the gates.
A wall was a method to keep the enemy out. Obviously, their enemies were against the rebuilding of the wall. They provided resistance.
But, it was God’s will that the wall be restored to secure the city.
We need strong walls in our personal lives to keep our enemy, the devil, out. As we pray and obey, we allow God’s Spirit (like Nehemiah) to strengthen us to be resistant to the enemies of our soul.
PRAYER: Lord, we are desperate for you to fortify our defenses against the enemy of our soul. In the name of Jesus, rebuild the walls in our lives.
READ: Ezra 10; Nehemiah 1-3