Wednesday, April 5, 2017

A Study of the Book of Esther: Week Two, Day Three

Day Three: Bigthana and Teresh

     Oh what a happy coincidence! How often do we hear that- or something similar- declared in the secular world? So often things happen in just the right way as to work out in our favor and it's often declared only a coincidence. A child gets the very teacher they were hoping for in school- coincidence. A man gets the very last donut at the gas station after a rough morning- lucky duck. A family gets the last tickets to the movie they wanted to see- oh happy day! A woman running late for an important hospital visit gets all the green lights on her way there- what are the odds?
     Too often we attribute those lucky moments to coincidence or good luck. We forget to give credit where credit is due. And that brings us right to our verses for today.
     Read Esther 2:21-23. Who was on duty at the king's gate (2:21)?

Who else is mentioned (2:21)?

Where do they work (2:21)?

How are they feeling (2:21)?

What do they decide to do as a result of that feeling (2:21)?

What series of events occurs to stop their plan (2:22)?




To whom did Esther give credit for the report (2:22)?

     This may not seem like a big moment in this story, but it's actually a huge one. This is what is known as foreshadowing in the literary world. It's hinting at things to come. We have no idea why Bigthana and Teresh were so upset. We can only make guesses as the author of this book doesn't tell us. And it's safe to assume they aren't the only ones that are angry with him considering the king has guards posted in so many places.
     From a secular perspective, it might seem like Mordecai was just lucky to be in the right time and place. But he wasn't. God knows the whole story here, though you may have noticed he isn't mentioned by name at all. In fact, you won't see God mentioned at all throughout the entire book. But keep reading and you'll see him between the lines, just as you can see him at work even now as he allowed Mordecai to overhear the plot on the king's life. Going back further, he placed Esther as queen so that Mordecai had someone he trusted with this information in a position to pass it to the king. It leaves you wondering as you watch it all unfold- what else will Mordecai uncover now that he works in the palace and Esther is queen?

What happened after Esther told the king about the plot against him (2:23a)?

What punishment did the two men receive (2:23b)?

Where was this story recorded (2:23)?

Reflection: Why do you suppose the writer of this story included that last line?

     Like I said earlier, I think that last line is there to tell us there's more to come. That bit of information will be very valuable and important to the story later.
     A few months ago, I was in just the right place at just the right time. I was taking a walk on our street and bumped into a neighbor who was just coming outside. She was on her way to a Bible Study in our neighborhood and asked me to come. I hedged a bit, nervous about meeting new people but wanting to go all at the same time. I agreed to meet her at our other neighbor's house for the study the following week, but as I walked away in the opposite direction of her, I felt Jesus saying, "why wait?" And so I went home, changed my clothes, grabbed my Bible, and walked back down to join them. If I hadn't been going by at just that moment, I wouldn't be in my current Bible Study. I wouldn't be learning more about Jesus or getting to know these awesome women. God knew what he was doing that day just as I'm sure he knows what he's doing in Mordecai's and Esther's lives in our story.

Personal Reflection: Think about a time that you were in just the right place at just the right time. How has God used that moment for good since then?

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