Victorious Joy

God's deliverance of the Jews is such an important event that it is commemorated each year. The description of the festival emphasises the reversal: from fasting, mourning, and sadness to feasting, relief, and gladness (Esther 9:22).

ODB: Quarantined by Fear

In 2020, an outbreak of the coronavirus left the world in fear. People were quarantined, countries were put under lockdown, flights and large events were canceled. Those living in areas with no known cases still feared they might get the virus. Graham Davey, an expert in anxiety, believes that negative news broadcasts are “likely to make you sadder and more anxious.” A meme that circul

ODB: Hard Ground and Tender Mercy

When James was just six years old, his older brother David died tragically in an ice-skating accident. It was the day before David’s fourteenth birthday. In the years that followed, James tried his best to console his mother, Margaret, who in her deep grief sometimes reminded herself that her elder son would never have to face the challenges of growing up. In James Barrie’s fertile ima

ODB: Windows

Near the foothills of the Himalayas, a visitor noticed a row of houses without windows. His guide explained that some of the villagers feared that demons might sneak into their homes while they slept, so they built impermeable walls. You could tell when a homeowner began to follow Jesus because he put in windows to let in the light.A similar dynamic may take place in us, though we might not see it

Delivered From The Enemy

In the citadel of Susa, the Jews kill 500 men, along with the sons of Haman (Esther 9:6-10). The king then asks Esther what she would like to do next (vv. 11-12). She asks for permission for the Jews to defend themselves the next day in the rest of Susa (v. 13). She also asks for the bodies of Haman's sons to be impaled and displayed as a deterrent (v. 13).

ODB: Extending Mercy

Reflecting on how she forgave Manasseh, the man who killed her husband and some of her children in the Rwandan genocide, Beata said, “My forgiving is based on what Jesus did. He took the punishment for every evil act throughout all time. His cross is the place we find victory—the only place!” Manasseh had written to Beata from prison more than once, begging her—an

The Great Reversal

And so, the day arrives for the two decrees to be put into effect (Esther 9:1). The Jews gather together in all the cities to defend themselves against those who hate them. They overpower their enemies, those throughout the Persian Empire who try to harm them (v. 2).

ODB: The Baggage Activity

Karen, a middle school teacher, created an activity to teach her students how to better understand one another. In “The Baggage Activity” students wrote down some of the emotional weights they were carrying. The notes were shared anonymously, giving the students insight into each other’s hardships, often with a tearful response from their peers. The classroom has since been fille

On Your Side

Mordecai writes an edict to counteract the first one. If you read it carefully, you'll notice that it counters Haman's edict (see Esther 3) almost word-for-word.