Esther 4:1-7:10, 1 Corinthians 12:1-26, Psalms 36:1-12, Proverbs 21:21-22
Today is the 19th day of August welcome to the Daily Audio Bible I’m Brian it is a joy to be here with you today as we move through the center of the week together glad we can be on this journey and reach the middle of the week together. So, let’s dive in. We’re reading from the Expanded Bible this week and we’re working our way through the book of Esther today. Esther chapters 4, 5, 6 and 7.
Okay. A couple of…a couple of things to just take note of as we continue our journey through the Bible. So, first in the book of Esther, obviously this is a very dramatic story and this evil Haman who had plotted to annihilate, like exterminate the Jews…well…he comes to his own end, an end similar to the kind of and he was planning for the Jews and the Jews are spared and we’ll conclude the story tomorrow. One kind of interesting biblical thing about Esther is that when this…when the Hebrew Bible, Hebrew Scriptures, written in Hebrew were translated into Greek because the Greek Empire or Hellenization had come to the land of the Bible and Greek became the common tongue then the Scriptures were translated into Greek and that is called the Septuagint. And, I mean its ancient. It would’ve been, say for example, the…the Old Testament or Tora the apostle Paul would’ve studied and read in his scholarship. It was found there were…there were six additional chapters to the book of Esther, and we don’t find them now in most of our Bibles. Those words, those chapters are called the additions to Esther. Because although they’re very, very ancient their origin is uncertain. So, it’s like a scholarly debate. And this material that we’re talking about is…is…is mostly…is mostly centered around one thing. So, when Mordechai puts on sackcloth and ashes and he’s morning because of the decree that was issued by Xerxes or Ahasuerus to destroy the Jews he gets word the Queen, Queen Esther, who asks then and sends words back to Mordechai saying, “gather the Jews that are in Susa here in the Citadel and fast and pray for me and me and my attendants we’re gonna do the same thing and fast and pray for three days before I go before the king. And if I live, I live and if I die, I die.” And, so, these additions to Esther are largely the prayers of Mordechai interceding about the situation. So, if that’s interesting to you, you can certainly read the additions to Esther in the Daily Audio Bible Shop. I’ve read the entire book of Esther with the additions to Esther and you can find that in the books and audiobooks section of the Daily Audio Bible Shop if you’re…if you’re curious because that’s the portion of the story that…that we read today.
And then in the book of first Corinthians Paul is answering some questions about spiritual gifts but kind of ultimately Paul is answering questions about unity. Like he’s calling the church higher and we’ve looked at that a number of times as we’ve gone through this book, how he’s like…you can have one party on this side and one party on this side of…of an issue and he’s trying to elevate everybody, like lift…like raise the bar…everybody raise the bar here and see what’s really going on. And we find most of the things that we…that are divisive among us are things that are non-essential things. Let’s see where were going together. Let’s lift our vision. And, so, we see that today in the area of spiritual gifts because it’s really easy to get enamored by somebody’s gifting, right? And, so, certain gifts are really visible, are like supernatural or whatever. You start paying attention to that person as if somehow that person is closer to God or how that person is elevated, something very easy, you could start almost worshiping the person or following the person when the person has only been given a gift that is being used by God. This is God’s power and it has been gifted. And, so, there are different kinds gifts like the gift of wisdom or the gift of…like a word of knowledge or faith or the ability to heal or the ability to prophesy or to have the…the gift of discernment or glossolalia, which is like speaking in an unknown language, speaking in tongues or the gift of being able to interpret that. Different people have different gifts and it’s not the person or the gift that needs to cause divisiveness or needs to rally people to them so that they have undue attention paid to them. The gift is from God. The gift is to serve the whole community, the whole body. And then Paul breaks it down by talking about something we understand. We all have a body. It is one body. It’s our body but it’s made up of different parts. The different parts make up the one body. So, the five fingers make up the hand. So, for Paul to kind of like raise the bar here, he’s saying like, “we’re all part of one body, the body of Christ. Like we’re all in this together - seen or unseen. Every part of the body is necessary. Every part of the body makes up the whole. If there’s a part missing, then the body isn’t whole. If one part of the body is damaged or injured in some way and it’s painful than the whole body hurts.” Or just to be more concise with what Paul is saying he’s like, “there’s not…basically, there’s no one part of the body that can say to any other part, “I don’t need you” because that’s not true. The body needs all the parts to be a whole body and it’s beyond visibility or notoriety”, right” So, Paul’s like, “some of the most hidden parts are the most important parts.” So, what he’s fundamentally saying is like, “you can’t just run around worshiping gifting. That…that's…that’s not how this works. All of the gifts of the Spirit that are bestowed upon humankind in community are there to serve the community and to serve the body and edify the body and to build up the body. Like everything is necessary - seen or unseen. It’s all necessary to create a whole”, which would’ve given them perspective, but should also give us perspective. We don’t have to compare who we are to somebody else or their life. Who we are, what our gifting’s are in the body are irreplaceable, like everybody else. And, so, you can’t be over here going like, “well…I’m just…I’m just a lowly ear, but what I really, really wish I was was the bellybutton and I just look at the bellybutton over there and think, ‘awe…look, if I could just be a bellybutton like that instead of this year over here.” It’s all necessary. In fact, it’s required that we be who we are and that we walk in the gifting that we have. It’s necessary because it helps make up the whole body. When we’re only trying to be a different part than we are then division and brokenness is the result. We’re supposed to be ourselves. We’re supposed to be who we were created to be. And, so, let’s go into this day with that in mind instead of just looking at how everybody else seems to be killing it at life and how we’re not. Maybe that’s because we’re spending so much time trying to be something that we’re not instead of living into the fact that we are irreplaceable in this body. We matter as much as anybody else in this body. We all make up the whole.
And, so, Father, we invite You into that. It’s definitely a struggle and we see because we are reading an ancient letter that this has been a struggle all along for a very very long time. And, so, here we are often dealing with the same kinds of things on a daily basis. So, often we’re focused on our own flaws and just kind of buying into that somebody else is more perfect than we are when every gift has its own set of struggles, every story has its own plot. We all come to this body broken and become whole because we are grafted in. None of us deserve to be here. None of us are better than anybody else. We’re here because You loved us first. While we were still Your enemies You loved us and came for us and rescued us and gave us a place in this body. And, so, may we be grateful today and may we learn to not only be grateful for who we are, but to be able to celebrate everyone else knowing that together…together we make up a whole, together what is broken can be mended. So, come Jesus we pray. In ytour mighty name we ask. Amen.
dailyaudiobible.com is home base, it is the website, it’s where you find out what’s going on around here. So, like I say most every day, stay connected in any way that you can.
Check out the resources that are available in the Shop, some fantastic…well…comprehensive tools for the journey that we’re on together. So…so, check that out.
Check out the Community section of the website which is where the Prayer Wall is and is something we should all be connected to, always able to reach out with…for prayer or with prayer any time of day or night no matter where we are in the world. So, that is a resource to know about.
If you want to partner with the Daily Audio Bible as we continue to navigate the summer months, thank you. Thank you, thank you humbly and in awe like I often say because who would've…who would’ve known…would’ve known we would’ve grown up in a time that this could even happen at all. And here we are, day by day in community all over the world working our way through the Bible together. So, if that brings life into your life than thank you for your partnership. So, there’s a link on the homepage of dailyaudiobible.com. If you’re using the app you can press the Give button in the upper right-hand corner of the app or the mailing address is PO Box 1996 Spring Hill Tennessee 37174.
And, as always, if you have a prayer request or encouragement, you can hit the Hotline button in the app, which is the red button at the top or there are numbers you can dial depending on where you are in the world. In the Americas 877-942-4253. In the UK or Europe 44-20-3608-8078 or if you are in Australia or that part of the world 61-3-8820-5459 is the number to call.
And that’s it for today. I’m Brian I love you and I’ll be waiting for you here tomorrow.