Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Queen Esther prays for help


Bible 1
King Xerxes was an immensely wealthy and powerful king.
Bible 2
He ruled over one hundred and twenty lands, stretching from India to Ethiopia.
Bible 3
In the third year of the king’s reign, he decided to hold a seven-day banquet.


Bible 4
As the men got drunk, the king summoned his wife to appear in her royal dress.
Bible 5
The king wanted to show off her beauty, but the queen refused to attend.
Bible 6
The humiliated king was furious. ‘The queen must go!’ he demanded.


Bible 7
Living in the land was a Jewish man named Mordecai, who was looking after his beautiful young cousin Esther.
Bible 8
Everybody thought that Mordecai had adopted Esther and they didn’t know she was a Jewess.
Bible 9
When the king was choosing a new wife, Esther was included, and it was love at first sight for the king.


Bible 10
But still no one knew that Esther was Jewish, not even the king.
Bible 11
Esther was chosen to be Queen and went to live in the King’s palace.
Bible 12
Mordecai would visit the Queen daily.


Bible 13
One day Mordecai overheard two of the king’s servants, plotting to assassinate the king.
Bible 14
Mordecai went to Queen Esther, and told her to warn the king.
Bible 15
The plot was discovered and the two men were arrested.


Bible 16
And Mordecai’s action was recorded in the palace records.
Bible 17
Sometime later the king appointed a new prime minister, a man called Haman.
Bible 18
Haman ordered everybody to bow before him, which they all did, except Mordecai. He would not bow to anyone but God.


Bible 19
‘I’ll speak to the king about this,’ said an angry Haman who hated the Jews.
Bible 20
‘Your majesty, there are people in the land that do not recognise or obey your laws,’ Haman complained.
Bible 21
‘You must issue a royal decree to destroy them all - men, women and children.’


Bible 22
The king told Haman, ‘These people, the Jews, are given to you, do with them whatever seems fit.’
Bible 23
And later the king and Haman sat down to drink.
Bible 24
The Jews in the land were weeping and wearing clothes of sack.


Bible 25
Queen Esther was deeply distressed to hear the news, She too was Jewish although no-one but her Uncle Mordecai knew this.
Bible 26
The Queen sent a servant to find Mordecai.
Bible 27
Mordecai had this message for Esther, ’Haman is going to kill all of the Jews, please use the position God has given you to plead our case before the king.’


Bible 28
Queen Esther and the Jews prayed to God to deliver them. Then Esther put on her royal robes to see the King. To enter the King’s presence without being asked was punishable with death.
Bible 29
Queen Esther approached the King who raised his sceptre to show his approval. ‘What do you want Queen Esther? I have said that I will give you up to half of my kingdom.’
Bible 30
So Esther asked, ‘Could the king and Haman have dinner with me tonight?’


Bible 31
In the meantime, Haman was building gallows for Mordecai’s execution.
Bible 32
At dinner, Esther’s only request was that the king and Haman would have dinner with her again the following evening.
Bible 33
That night the king couldn’t sleep, so he ordered his servant, ‘Send someone in to read me the palace records.


Bible 34
They read to the king the account of how Mordecai saved the king’s life.
Bible 35
The next morning the king sent for Haman and asked, ‘What should I do to the man whom I want to honour and exalt?’
Bible 36
Haman thought that the king was referring to him and imagined how he would like to be honoured.


Bible 37
‘The man should wear your royal robes and crown and be put on the King’s horse,’ he proudly replied. ‘Then the most important man in the kings palace should lead him through the city square, proclaiming him as honoured before the people.’
Bible 38
‘Go and do all this for Mordecai the Jew,’ the King ordered.
Bible 39
So Haman had to dress Mordecai in the king’s clothes, and publically proclaim him specially honoured by the king.


Bible 40
Later, at dinner, Esther told the king that she was a Jewess, and begged him to save her people.
Bible 41
Then she explained in detail the plan to kill the Jews.
Bible 42
So the king demanded, ‘Who would dare to do such a thing to the queen?’


Bible 43
‘It’s him!’ Esther replied, pointing to Haman. ‘The enemy is sitting at the table with us.’
Bible 44
The king was furious.’For this Haman, you will hang.’
Bible 45
And so it was, that Haman was hung from the gallows that he prepared for Mordecai.


Bible 46
Then the king wrote a new royal order, to favour and protect the Jews, and signed it with his own royal seal.
Bible 47
Mordecai went out dressed in the royal robes, and the whole city came alive with rejoicing and celebration.


Queen Esther prays for help
Queen Esther prays to God to help to save her people from an enemy plotting to annihilate them.
Esther

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