Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Bible Challenge: Day 176

The scriptures read are Esther 4-6, Psalm 143 and 2 Corinthians 2.

Esther 4. Mordecai (yay!) learns of the proposed slaughter of the Jews. He puts on sackcloth and ashes and openly laments. Esther gets word of this and communicates with her uncle through one of the eunuchs. Mordecai (yay!) passes on the decree to slaughter the Jews and urges Esther to intervene with the king. But no-one can enter the king's presence unsummoned. It means death, unless he extends the golden scepter toward them. Esther asks Mordecai (yay!) to have the Jews in the city fast for 3 days for her. She will speak to the king, though it may mean her death.

Esther 5. Esther lets the king see her and he extends the gold scepter. She approaches and invites him and Haman (boo! hiss!) to dine with her that night. The king, deep in his cups, asks what she desires and she invites him and Haman (boo! hiss!) to dinner again tomorrow.

Haman (boo! hiss!) is full of himself, getting to dine with the king and queen. But Mordecai (yay!) still isn't showing him respect. Zeresh, Haman's (boo! hiss!) wife, suggests he have a 75 foot high stake put up and in the morning ask the king to have Mordecai (yay!) impaled on it. The stake is installed.

Esther 6. This is such a wonderful reversal I'm not going to spoil it. Read it.

Psalm 143. Urgently asking for God to come through for someone whose spirit can endure no more.

2 Corinthians 2. Paul refers to a harsh letter he wrote and sent before this one. It's not 1 Corinthians so scholars posit another letter than came between these 2 letters. Paul was anxious about it but it has done its job. And since the excommunication of the man sleeping with his mother-in-law has worked and Paul tells the Corinthian church to now forgive the man and welcome him back. Pour on the love, as Peterson puts it.  

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