The plot thickens
Learning about God's Plan for Salvation at South Shore Trinity Lutheran Church
Esther finds out about the plan and agrees to help
Haman plans to destroy the Jews
The book of Esther is a marvelous game of Chess between Haman and Esther. Haman uses the game to try to build himself up and punish or kill those he doesn’t like. You can translate “those he doesn’t like” to mean the Lord’s people. God however, uses Esther to play the game in a way that saves God’s people and builds up Esther and all those around her.
Esther becomes queen
Queen Vashti disobeys king Ahasuerus
Today we take a break from the story of Ezra and the first return of the Jews to Jerusalem. That break enables us to take a look at how God kept His people and His plan of salvation safe in exile. We are going to jump to the book of Esther and watch as God uses a smart and shrewd woman named, (surprise) Esther, to foil a plot to destroy God’s people. Chronologically the book takes place in the time between chapters 6 and 7 of Ezra. This account occurs during the reign of King Ahasuerus, who is better known as King Xerxes. King Xerxes is the king who invaded Greece and fought King Leonidas and the 300 Spartans at Thermopylae.
"Stuff They Didn't Teach Me in Sunday School"
Darius responds to the rebuilding and the temple is dedicated
Rebuilding of the temple begins again
The enemies of Judah try to stop the rebuilding of the temple
The returning exiles begin to rebuild the temple
God’s faithfulness to His people and His promised plan of salvation is beyond comprehension. First the nation of Israel split into two different kingdoms, but the Lord was faithful. Then both the northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah began worshiping other God’s, but the Lord was true and continued to call them back to him. Both kingdoms continued in their idolatry, so the Lord, after a great deal of patience and trying to bring them back, used foreign nations to punish them and take them into exile. Even then the Lord was faithful and promised in Jeremiah 25:1-14 (our March 23rdreading), that in 70 years He would bring His people back and punish Babylon. Last week God punished Babylon by destroying the nation by using the Persians. Babylon has fallen, but God’s people still haven’t been allowed to go home… until now.
God answer Daniel with a promise of the Messiah
Daniel prays that God’s people might return to Jerusalem
Daniel and the lion’s den
“Um, you really don’t want to know what that means”
The writing is on the wall (Literally)
¨ Today begins with a jump in time of over two decades. King Nebuchadnezzar is dead and his son, Belshazzar, now rules the nation. At this time Babylon is under siege by the Persian Empire. To help raise people’s spirits and take their mind off of the siege, Belshazzar throws a lavish party in which they use the vessels that had been taken from the temple in Jerusalem. The Babylonians are using their hands to raise God’s vessels is a way that dishonors God and proclaims their superiority over him. In answer to their challenge God’s hand replies in way that shows who truly has the power.
Daniels interpretation of the dream comes true.
Daniel interprets the kings dream
This week we continue to follow Daniel as he serves as a high ranking administrator in the Babylonian empire. Our first two readings this week focus on God showing King Nebuchadnezzar who truly is the King of Kings. Showing both King Nebuchadnezzar and us that all we have is a gift from Him. It’s a constant reminder that there is a God and we aren’t Him.