2:1 When these things had been accomplished and the rage of King Ahasuerus had diminished, he remembered Vashti and what she had done and what had been decided against her. 2The king’s servants who attended him said, “Let a search be conducted on the king’s behalf for attractive young women. 3And let the king appoint officers throughout all the provinces of his kingdom to gather all the attractive young women to Susa the citadel, to the harem under the authority of Hegai, the king’s eunuch who oversees the women, and let him provide whatever cosmetics they desire. 4Let the young woman whom the king finds most attractive become queen in place of Vashti.” This seemed like a good idea to the king, so he acted accordingly.
5Now there happened to be a Jewish man in Susa the citadel whose name was Mordecai. He was the son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, a Benjaminite, 6who had been taken into exile from Jerusalem with the captives who had been carried into exile with Jeconiah king of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had taken into exile. 7Now he was acting as the guardian of Hadassah (that is, Esther), the daughter of his uncle, for neither her father nor her mother was alive. This young woman was very attractive and had a beautiful figure. When her father and mother died, Mordecai had raised her as if she were his own daughter.
8It so happened that when the king’s edict and his law became known many young women were taken to Susa the citadel to be placed under the authority of Hegai. Esther also was taken to the royal palace to be under the authority of Hegai, who was overseeing the women. 9This young woman pleased him, and she found favor with him. He quickly provided her with her cosmetics and her rations; he also provided her with the seven specially chosen young women who were from the palace. He then transferred her and her young women to the best quarters in the harem.
10Now Esther had not disclosed her people or her lineage, for Mordecai had instructed her not to do so. 11And day after day Mordecai used to walk back and forth in front of the court of the harem in order to learn how Esther was doing and what might happen to her.
12At the end of the twelve months that were required for the women, when the turn of each young woman arrived to go to King Ahasuerus—for in this way they had to fulfill their time of cosmetic treatment: six months with oil of myrrh, and six months with perfume and various ointments used by women— 13the woman would go to the king in the following way: Whatever she asked for would be provided for her to take with her from the harem to the royal palace. 14In the evening she went, and in the morning she returned to a separate part of the harem, to the authority of Shaashgaz, the king’s eunuch who was overseeing the concubines. She would not go back to the king unless the king was pleased with her and she was requested by name.
15When it became the turn of Esther, daughter of Abihail, the uncle of Mordecai (who had raised her as if she were his own daughter), to go to the king, she did not request anything except what Hegai the king’s eunuch, who was overseer of the women, had recommended. Yet Esther met with the approval of all who saw her. 16Then Esther was taken to King Ahasuerus at his royal residence in the tenth month (that is, the month of Tebeth) in the seventh year of his reign. 17And the king loved Esther more than all the other women, and she met with his loving approval more than all the other young women. So he placed the royal high turban on her head and appointed her queen in place of Vashti. 18Then the king prepared a large banquet for all his officials and his servants—it was actually Esther’s banquet. He also set aside a holiday for the provinces, and he provided for offerings at the king’s expense.
19Now when the young women were being gathered again, Mordecai was sitting at the king’s gate. 20Esther was still not divulging her lineage or her people, just as Mordecai had instructed her. Esther continued to do whatever Mordecai said, just as she had done when he was raising her.
21In those days while Mordecai was sitting at the king’s gate, Bigthan and Teresh, two of the king’s eunuchs who protected the entrance, became angry and plotted to assassinate King Ahasuerus. 22When Mordecai learned of the conspiracy, he informed Queen Esther, and Esther told the king in Mordecai’s name. 23The king then had the matter investigated and, finding it to be so, had the two conspirators hanged on a gallows. It was then recorded in the daily chronicles in the king’s presence.(NET Bible)
54:1 For the music director, to be accompanied by stringed instruments; a well-written song by David. It was written when the Ziphites came and informed Saul: “David is hiding with us.”
O God, deliver me by your name.
Vindicate me by your power.
2O God, listen to my prayer.
Pay attention to what I say.
3For foreigners attack me;
ruthless men, who do not respect God, seek my life. (Selah)
4Look, God is my deliverer.
The Lord is among those who support me.
5May those who wait to ambush me be repaid for their evil.
As a demonstration of your faithfulness, destroy them.
6With a freewill offering I will sacrifice to you.
I will give thanks to your name, O Lord, for it is good.
7Surely he rescues me from all trouble,
and I triumph over my enemies.(NET Bible)
3:18 Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. 19Husbands, love your wives and do not be embittered against them. 20Children, obey your parents in everything, for this is pleasing in the Lord. 21Fathers, do not provoke your children, so they will not become disheartened. 22Slaves, obey your earthly masters in every respect, not only when they are watching—like those who are strictly people-pleasers—but with a sincere heart, fearing the Lord. 23Whatever you are doing, work at it with enthusiasm, as to the Lord and not for people, 24because you know that you will receive your inheritance from the Lord as the reward. Serve the Lord Christ. 25For the one who does wrong will be repaid for his wrong, and there are no exceptions. 4:1 Masters, treat your slaves with justice and fairness, because you know that you also have a master in heaven.
2Be devoted to prayer, keeping alert in it with thanksgiving. 3At the same time pray for us too, that God may open a door for the message so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. 4Pray that I may make it known as I should. 5Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunities. 6Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you should answer everyone.(NET Bible)
In his Enarratio Capitis Noni Esaiae, of 1543-44 (printed 1546), [Luther] confesses: “ I am much displeased with myself and I hate myself because I know that all that Scripture says concerning Christ is true, that there is nothing besides it that can be greater, more important, sweeter or joyful, and that it should intoxicate me with the highest joy because I see that Scripture is consonant in all and through all and agrees with itself in such a measure that it is impossible to doubt the truth and certainty of such a weighty matter in any detail—and yet I am hindered by the malice of my esh and I am ‘bound by the law of sin’ that I cannot let this favor permeate into all my limbs and bones and even into my marrow as I should like.”
On January 17, 1546, Luther preached his last sermon in Wittenberg. It is necessary to read that sermon, in which he speaks more disparagingly of reason than ever before, to see how at the very end of his life he clung to the literalness of Scripture as the only authority in matters of faith. (37)
–Johann Michael Reu, Luther on the Scriptures
This daily Bible reading guide, Reading the Word of God, was conceived and prepared as a result of the ongoing discussions between representatives of three church bodies: Lutheran Church—Canada (LCC), The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) and the North American Lutheran Church (NALC). The following individuals have represented their church bodies and approved this introduction and the reading guide: LCC: President Robert Bugbee; NALC: Bishop John Bradosky, Revs. Mark Chavez, James Nestingen, and David Wendel; LCMS: Revs. Albert Collver, Joel Lehenbauer, John Pless, and Larry Vogel.