FAITH FOR TODAYRead: Esther 9:20-10:3

“And Mordecai recorded these things and sent letters to all the Jews who were in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus, both near and far, obliging them to keep the fourteenth day of the month Adar and also the fifteenth day of the same, year by year, as the days on which the Jews got relief from their enemies…..” {Esther 9:20-22, ESV}

Relief. Just the word conjures up powerful memories for many of us where God has come to our rescue as we thought we could not make it one more day, one more moment. “Relief” usually coincides with a tidal wave of emotion.

Journeying with Queen Esther and Mordecai through the ups and downs of their life in exile, it is easy to feel the intensity of their emotions. It is as if we are “walking a mile in their shoes”. We can sympathize with the feelings brought at the hands of conspiring enemies.

Circumstances can leave us acutely aware of our insufficiencies to meet our greatest need.

Reading this passage can bring back emotions of desperation that are readily felt when we find ourselves facing impossibilities. The level of relief is usually equal to the level of panic and helplessness felt previously. Only someone who knows the futility of their options can adequately value the feeling of relief from an unexpected rescue.

The need for a miracle brings out a level of desperation like little else.

It reminds us of the relief that is found at the foot of the cross. Just as we are helpless to satisfy the deserving wrath of God over our sin, Jesus comes just in the nick of time to redeem our futures by His sacrifice. {John 3:16-18 ESV} The gospel rescues us out of our impending destruction just like the edict issued on behalf of the Jews in Esther’s day.

Therefore, it is no wonder that Mordecai recorded these events and wanted them celebrated.

“…as the month that had been turned for them from sorrow into gladness and from mourning into a holiday; that they should make them days of feasting and gladness, days for sending gifts of food to one another and gifts to the poor.” {Esther 9:22 ESV}

Have you ever wondered the relevance of feasts or celebrations in the Bible? Why does God plan for and purpose such events for His people?

As I read the thrilling account of Esther, Mordecai, and the other exiled Jews in the provinces of King Ahasuerus, it keeps me on the edge of my seat. There was great mourning, weeping and fasting as the Jews sought relief from their certain demise. They knew the helplessness of their circumstance apart from God.

So when He rescues them in a miraculous way (yet again in the nation’s history), it provides specific opportunities. God means for these times to be purposeful for those living through it and for future generations.

“Therefore, because of all that was written in this letter, and of what they had faced in this matter, and of what had happened to them, the Jews firmly obligated themselves and their offspring and all who joined them, that without fail they would keep these two days according to what was written and at the time appointed every year, that these days should be remembered and kept throughout every generation, in every clan, province, and city, and that these days of Purim should never fall into disuse among the Jews, nor should the commemoration of these days cease among their descendants.”{ Esther 9:26-28 ESV}

Mordecai understood the importance of remembering and celebrating those moments in time where God so personally intervenes. Moments such as these provide tangible stones in the wall of faith God constructs in lives of His people.

Faith for today is the relief remembered from all our yesterdays. Click To Tweet

How often do we as God’s people seem to forget the relief that we were so desperate for? Why do we cease to celebrate what God has miraculously done? Or at the very least, why do we celebrate to a lesser degree than we plead?

Generations earlier, King David offered an example {I Chronicles 16:8-12 ESV} for celebrating. He demonstrated a key practice which in turn encourages steadfast faith and a devoted heart in the lives of God’s people.

David celebrated what the Lord had done as passionately as he had sought His relief!

When we remember the “relief” and celebrate with the intensity that we plead, we bring glory to God and strength to our faith.

Believe it! Trust it! Live it!REFLECT:
  • What is a recent “relief” you have experienced from God?
  • Did you celebrate? How did you celebrate God?
  • What can you implement in your life of faith that can help you celebrate as much as you plead?

Dear Lord, may Your Holy Spirit guide us to “remember” as much as we “ask”. Help us to add a regular time in our devotions where we celebrate what You have already done on our behalf before we begin pleading for more.

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Gretchen Fleming
Gretchen Fleming
Gretchen's passion is to follow hard after Jesus, knowing He is the treasure of a lifetime and worth every minute she commits to Him. God’s Word has been life-giving to her through the most trying times—a great source of strength, wisdom, and truth. She is a Bible teacher, speaker, and writer, who loves to see Jesus change lives as He’s changed hers. Gretchen is a wife of 28 years and mother of 3 young adult children.

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