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'Every Day Light' with Selwyn Hughes

Devotional for July 17

"The girl pleased him and won his favor." (v. 9)

For reading & meditation:
Esther 2:8-9

One of the most fascinating things about Old Testament history is the way in which God used those who did not believe in Him to further His purposes. Cyrus, the creator of the Persian Empire, is one such example. Yet Isaiah shows us how, behind all his conquests, a divine purpose was at work: "I will strengthen you, though you have not acknowledged me" (Isaiah 45:5). We see a similar pattern in the passage before us today. Esther, having been brought to the palace as one of the finalists, finds herself before Hegai, the contest coordinator. Our text tells us: "The girl pleased him and won his favor." This was not the first time God had given one of His ambassadors favor with a king's representative. It happened also to Joseph (Genesis 41:9-14). And just as Joseph was a divine instrument to the people of his day, so was Esther to her people. Unknown to anyone in the royal palace, God was setting the stage for the deliverance of His people. We begin to see now even more clearly why Mordecai and Esther were in the royal city of Susa, and not in Jerusalem, the capital of their own land, where the walls still lay in ruins and the comparatively small numbers of Jews who had returned from exile in Babylon were dispirited. There they could have served a useful purpose, but they became part of a greater and wiser plan - to save the Jews from extinction in Persia. Remember, the next time your personal plans are overturned - God allows our own plans to be broken so that we, with Him, can build bigger and better ones.

Gracious and loving heavenly Father, may I ever be open to the possibility that in the thwarting of my plans, greater and wiser purposes are being worked out. And help me receive the thwarting of my plans not with resignation but with rejoicing. Amen.

Copyright Statement
'Every Day Light' Copyright 2005 © Selwyn Hughes.

Taken from 'Every Day Light' devotional, by Selwyn Hughes. © 1999 and is used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, September 20th, 2017
the Week of Proper 19 / Ordinary 24
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