Current happenings at Canopy Roads Baptist Church in Tallahassee, FL.
Thursday, December 21, 2017
Daily Bible Reading: Day 355
Esther 3-5English Standard Version (ESV)
Haman Plots Against the Jews
3 After these things King Ahasuerus promoted Haman the Agagite, the son of Hammedatha, and advanced him and set his throne above all the officials who were with him.2 And all the king's servants who were at the king's gate bowed down and paid homage to Haman, for the king had so commanded concerning him. But Mordecai did not bow down or pay homage.3 Then the king's servants who were at the king's gate said to Mordecai, “Why do you transgress the king's command?”4 And when they spoke to him day after day and he would not listen to them, they told Haman, in order to see whether Mordecai's words would stand, for he had told them that he was a Jew.5 And when Haman saw that Mordecai did not bow down or pay homage to him, Haman was filled with fury.6 But he disdained[a] to lay hands on Mordecai alone. So, as they had made known to him the people of Mordecai, Haman sought to destroy[b] all the Jews, the people of Mordecai, throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus.
7 In the first month, which is the month of Nisan, in the twelfth year of King Ahasuerus, they cast Pur (that is, they cast lots) before Haman day after day; and they cast it month after month till the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar.8 Then Haman said to King Ahasuerus, “There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom. Their laws are different from those of every other people, and they do not keep the king's laws, so that it is not to the king's profit to tolerate them.9 If it please the king, let it be decreed that they be destroyed, and I will pay 10,000 talents[c] of silver into the hands of those who have charge of the king's business, that they may put it into the king's treasuries.”10 So the king took his signet ring from his hand and gave it to Haman the Agagite, the son of Hammedatha, the enemy of the Jews.11 And the king said to Haman, “The money is given to you, the people also, to do with them as it seems good to you.”
12 Then the king's scribes were summoned on the thirteenth day of the first month, and an edict, according to all that Haman commanded, was written to the king's satraps and to the governors over all the provinces and to the officials of all the peoples, to every province in its own script and every people in its own language. It was written in the name of King Ahasuerus and sealed with the king's signet ring.13 Letters were sent by couriers to all the king's provinces with instruction to destroy, to kill, and to annihilate all Jews, young and old, women and children, in one day, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar, and to plunder their goods.14 A copy of the document was to be issued as a decree in every province by proclamation to all the peoples to be ready for that day.15 The couriers went out hurriedly by order of the king, and the decree was issued in Susa the citadel. And the king and Haman sat down to drink, but the city of Susa was thrown into confusion.
Esther Agrees to Help the Jews
4 When Mordecai learned all that had been done, Mordecai tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and ashes, and went out into the midst of the city, and he cried out with a loud and bitter cry.2 He went up to the entrance of the king's gate, for no one was allowed to enter the king's gate clothed in sackcloth.3 And in every province, wherever the king's command and his decree reached, there was great mourning among the Jews, with fasting and weeping and lamenting, and many of them lay in sackcloth and ashes.
4 When Esther's young women and her eunuchs came and told her, the queen was deeply distressed. She sent garments to clothe Mordecai, so that he might take off his sackcloth, but he would not accept them.5 Then Esther called for Hathach, one of the king's eunuchs, who had been appointed to attend her, and ordered him to go to Mordecai to learn what this was and why it was.6 Hathach went out to Mordecai in the open square of the city in front of the king's gate,7 and Mordecai told him all that had happened to him, and the exact sum of money that Haman had promised to pay into the king's treasuries for the destruction of the Jews.8 Mordecai also gave him a copy of the written decree issued in Susa for their destruction,[d] that he might show it to Esther and explain it to her and command her to go to the king to beg his favor and plead with him[e] on behalf of her people.9 And Hathach went and told Esther what Mordecai had said.10 Then Esther spoke to Hathach and commanded him to go to Mordecai and say,11 “All the king's servants and the people of the king's provinces know that if any man or woman goes to the king inside the inner court without being called, there is but one law—to be put to death, except the one to whom the king holds out the golden scepter so that he may live. But as for me, I have not been called to come in to the king these thirty days.”
12 And they told Mordecai what Esther had said.13 Then Mordecai told them to reply to Esther, “Do not think to yourself that in the king's palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews.14 For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father's house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”15 Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai,16 “Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.”[f]17 Mordecai then went away and did everything as Esther had ordered him.
Esther Prepares a Banquet
5 On the third day Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the king's palace, in front of the king's quarters, while the king was sitting on his royal throne inside the throne room opposite the entrance to the palace.2 And when the king saw Queen Esther standing in the court, she won favor in his sight, and he held out to Esther the golden scepter that was in his hand. Then Esther approached and touched the tip of the scepter.3 And the king said to her, “What is it, Queen Esther? What is your request? It shall be given you, even to the half of my kingdom.”4 And Esther said, “If it please the king,[g] let the king and Haman come today to a feast that I have prepared for the king.”5 Then the king said, “Bring Haman quickly, so that we may do as Esther has asked.” So the king and Haman came to the feast that Esther had prepared.6 And as they were drinking wine after the feast, the king said to Esther, “What is your wish? It shall be granted you. And what is your request? Even to the half of my kingdom, it shall be fulfilled.”[h]7 Then Esther answered, “My wish and my request is:8 If I have found favor in the sight of the king, and if it please the king[i] to grant my wish and fulfill my request, let the king and Haman come to the feast that I will prepare for them, and tomorrow I will do as the king has said.”
Haman Plans to Hang Mordecai
9 And Haman went out that day joyful and glad of heart. But when Haman saw Mordecai in the king's gate, that he neither rose nor trembled before him, he was filled with wrath against Mordecai.10 Nevertheless, Haman restrained himself and went home, and he sent and brought his friends and his wife Zeresh.11 And Haman recounted to them the splendor of his riches, the number of his sons, all the promotions with which the king had honored him, and how he had advanced him above the officials and the servants of the king.12 Then Haman said, “Even Queen Esther let no one but me come with the king to the feast she prepared. And tomorrow also I am invited by her together with the king.13 Yet all this is worth nothing to me, so long as I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king's gate.”14 Then his wife Zeresh and all his friends said to him, “Let a gallows[j] fifty cubits[k] high be made, and in the morning tell the king to have Mordecai hanged upon it. Then go joyfully with the king to the feast.” This idea pleased Haman, and he had the gallows made.
Revelation 13English Standard Version (ESV)
The First Beast
13 And I saw a beast rising out of the sea, with ten horns and seven heads, with ten diadems on its horns and blasphemous names on its heads.2 And the beast that I saw was like a leopard; its feet were like a bear's, and its mouth was like a lion's mouth. And to it the dragon gave his power and his throne and great authority.3 One of its heads seemed to have a mortal wound, but its mortal wound was healed, and the whole earth marveled as they followed the beast.4 And they worshiped the dragon, for he had given his authority to the beast, and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who can fight against it?”
5 And the beast was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words, and it was allowed to exercise authority for forty-two months.6 It opened its mouth to utter blasphemies against God, blaspheming his name and his dwelling,[a] that is, those who dwell in heaven.7 Also it was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them.[b] And authority was given it over every tribe and people and language and nation,8 and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain.9 If anyone has an ear, let him hear:
10 If anyone is to be taken captive, to captivity he goes; if anyone is to be slain with the sword, with the sword must he be slain.
Here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints.
The Second Beast
11 Then I saw another beast rising out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb and it spoke like a dragon.12 It exercises all the authority of the first beast in its presence,[c] and makes the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose mortal wound was healed.13 It performs great signs, even making fire come down from heaven to earth in front of people,14 and by the signs that it is allowed to work in the presence of[d] the beast it deceives those who dwell on earth, telling them to make an image for the beast that was wounded by the sword and yet lived.15 And it was allowed to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast might even speak and might cause those who would not worship the image of the beast to be slain.16 Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave,[e] to be marked on the right hand or the forehead,17 so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name.18 This calls for wisdom: let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666.[f]