Esther 4:1-7:10, 1 Corinthians 12:1-26, Psalm 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 wonderful to be here with you around the Global Campfire today, together, as we settle in and move forward together. We began the book of Esther yesterday, very dramatic book but a beautiful story that we are in, and we will continue that journey through the book of Esther today and then conclude Esther tomorrow, it’s not that long of the book. But if we remember from yesterday, we met Hadassa, we met Esther, we saw how she became the queen of Persia. We also met a man named Haman, who hated the Jews because of Esther’s uncle Mordecai wanted to exterminate the Jews. And the king, not understanding that his queen is a Jewiss, has gone along with it. And given the people, the Hebrew people, into Haman’s hand. And in the king’s name, he has sent out orders, throughout the entire empire. And on a specific day, in the 12 month of the year, everyone was to be prepared to kill all of the Jews that are within their vicinity and to plunder them. So, as we pick up the story today, that news is just arriving to Haman actually, that news is just landing everywhere. So, let’s pick up the story. Today, we will read Esther chapters 4, 5, 6 and 7.
Okay, we’re not finished with the book of Esther yet, but we can certainly see that the arc of the narrative, we have reached a point where Haman the enemy of the Jews, is no longer an enemy of the Jews because he’s no longer on the earth. He had planned to hang the queen’s uncle Mordecai, Esther’s uncle. But instead, Haman was humiliated, needing to actually honor Mordecai and then when payment finally does get to the banquet with Queen Esther and the king, Esther outs him and it’s pretty clear that his intention was to destroy her people, and that doesn’t go so well. And so, we can clearly see that Esther was born for such a time as this and we will conclude the book of Esther tomorrow.
And then, as we’re reading from Paul’s letter to the Corinthians today, Paul’s talking about spiritual gifts, what their purpose is, and how it’s all connected. And one thing that we should have gotten from our reading in first Corinthians today is that, we all have a place, we all belong and it’s more than just having a place or belonging, it’s that we’re all irreplaceable in this story. And so, Paul is answering another question that was sent to him by the Corinthians and he describes these spiritual gifts that people do and are granted spiritual gifts from God. Everybody is given a gift from God. But it is all from the same Spirit of God. So, there not a bunch of Spirits, offering competing gifting, it is all from the same Spirit of God. The Spirit of God is the source of all the gifting’s and the gifting’s are all bestowed upon people to serve the greater whole, otherwise known as the body. And so, we should stop there for a second and just understand that the gifting’s that we may have been given, are not to set us apart over other people, they are given so that we might serve other people. Our gifting’s are not to bring us worship, that would be idolatry. Our gifting’s are to be used to serve the whole body. And Paul talks about different gifts that are given from God, like the gift of wisdom or special knowledge or great faith or the ability for healing to take place, or the miraculous to take place or prophecy to take place, or the gift of discernment, or the gift of speaking in unknown languages and the gift of interpreting those unknown languages. Paul is saying that the Spirit of God, the same Spirit that gives all the gifts, gives gifts as he desires. But the reason for the gifts are, to serve the whole body. Or to just put it right back in the Paul’s own words, “just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit, we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free people, and we were all cause to drink one Spirits Furthermore, the body is not one member but many.” And this is a concept that we should be able to understand enough right, if we’re a human being. We have a beating heart. We have a brain, we have eyes, we have a nose, we have mouth, we have senses, we have fingers, we have toes, we have knees, we have all of the different parts of our body, and they are individual parts. Like, I can point my finger and say my finger is pointing, but my figure is connected to my hand, which is connected to my arm, right. The body is all interconnected. It’s one body. Paul is saying, that is how it is spiritually, we are all part of the same body, many members, doing many functions, same body and all of the functions are bestowed upon us by the same Spirit of God. Paul goes on to say like, look, the foot can’t say I’m not a hand, and so, I’m not a part of the body. It doesn’t work that way. The ear can’t say because I’m not and eye, I’m not really part of the body, that’s not how it works. Paul says, if the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be. If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be. But now God has arranged the members in the body, each and every one of them as he desired. If they were all one member, where would the body be? But as it is, there are many members, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, I have no need for you or again the head to the feet, I have no need for you. This isn’t true. And this isn’t how it works. And so, we should get an immediate sense of being a part, an irreplaceable part. We belong and no other member of the body can look at us and say, I don’t need you, or can look at our gifting and say I wish I was you or I wish I had what you have. That would also be misguided. We all belong, and we are here to serve one another, in the same way a body does right, your finger doesn’t just rebel. Your foot doesn’t just rebel and send a note up to your brain saying I’m not going to be a part of the body anymore. All of the parts of our body serve a function that sustains life, we are all part of the body of Christ. We do the same thing in service to one another. So, let’s remember this as we move through this day. We belong, we’re irreplaceable. No one can say to us, they don’t need to us, that’s not true. We all function together as a body, we all need one another. And the gifts that God bestows upon the members of his body, are to serve the body.
And so, Father, we thank You for this picture, one that we can truly understand. We thank You for this example, that tells us that we do have purpose and place, we belong. Thank You, we know that we don’t deserve to belong, we don’t deserve to be grafted into Your family and yet we are. And so, with humble gratitude, we thank You for your kindness towards us and ask forgiveness for the ways that we’ve been unwilling to be a part, while criticizing other parts of the body or lusting after other gifting’s. Come, Holy Spirit, calm us down, we belong, we’re where we need to be. Lead us into all truth, we pray, in the name of Jesus, we ask. Amen.
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And that’s it for today, I’m Brian, I love you, and I’ll be waiting for you here, tomorrow.