Day 141: Nehemiah 13:23-31; Esther 1-4
Note1. Nehemiah 13:31; Nehemiah doesn’t want fame among people. He just wants God to remember him.
Note2. The book of Esther revolves around the Jews that have been exiled to Persia.
Q1. How was Mordecai related to Esther?
Q2. Why did Haman want to destroy the Jews?
A1. Esther 2:7; Esther was the daughter of Mordecai’s uncle, so they were probably cousins. However, Mordecai took her as his daughter.
A2. Haman probably already hated the Jews because of his ancestry. Haman was descended from Agag, who was king of the Amalekites (Exodus 17:8-16, 1 Samuel 15:1-33). Mordecai’s lack of respect probably just gave Haman an excuse to act on his hatred.
Day 142: Esther 5-10
Q1. Esther 5:1; what would have happened to Esther if the king had not held out his scepter?
Q2. Did the king revoke Haman’s edict to save the Jews?
Note1. The feast of Purim is still celebrated on the Jewish calendar, even today!
A1. Esther 4:11; she would have been put to death.
A2. No, he couldn’t but he could make an edict declaring that the Jews could gather and defend themselves from their enemies (Esther 8:11).
Day 143: Job 1:1-5:16
Q1. What were the 4 disasters that Job received word about all at the same time? Have you ever had a time in your life when horrible news just kept coming your way?
Note1. Job 1:22; Job must have had great faith to resist such a strong temptation to curse God.
Q2. How did Job’s friends begin comforting him?
Q3. After Job begins to speak again, how do his friends respond?
A1. First, his oxen and donkeys were stolen and his servants murdered. Second, his sheep and more servants are killed. Third, his camels were stolen and still more servants killed. Lastly, all of his children were killed.
A2. They begin with just sitting with him for a week, without a word. Sometimes it is obvious that there are no words for a situation. Unfortunately, we sometimes feel that we must say something and usually end up hurting more than helping, as we will see later from Job’s friends.
A3. Job’s friends tell him that he must have deserved this tragedy for some reason. This is a false concept that is taught even in churches today; that if everything is going good in your life, God must be pleased with you. Conversely, if bad things happen to you, God must be punishing you. I believe God does reward and discipline us sometimes, but we are never promised an easy life if we just obey all of God’s commandments (there are many verses I could reference here, but the one that comes to mind is James 1:2-4).
Day 144: Job 5:17-8:22
Note1. Job’s friend, Eliphaz, is convinced that Job has done something wrong to deserve this affliction. Eliphaz is right about God being faithful to forgive, but he makes the assumption that God must be angry at Job to bring all of this disaster.
Note2. Job 7:13-15; Job thinks death is better than living because even when he tries to sleep, he is tormented by nightmares. He feels that he can’t get any kind of relief. Have you ever felt this overwhelmed?
Note3. Job7:21; don’t ever let Satan convince you that God will not forgive your sin through His Son, Jesus.
Day 145: Job 9:1-12:12
Note1. Job 9:27-28; Job seems like he wants to make sure he processes everything that has happened to him. Forgetting it and slapping on a happy face is not an option because he wants to learn from all of this. Do you expect people to tell you everything is fine when it isn’t?
Q1. What are Zophar’s “words of comfort”?
Note2. Job is obviously feeling that his friends are talking down to him in Job 12:3.
A1. You deserve worse (Job 11:6)! With friends like these, who needs enemies!
Day 146: Job 12:13-16:10
Q1. How does Job wish his friends would have comforted him? Hint: Job 13:5.
Note1. Job 13:7 is a warning for us. If you are going to speak for God, you better know His Word and His character.
Note2. Even though Job thinks he can argue with God, he still accepts the fact that God will refute all of his arguments. I get the feeling that Job just wants to hear from God, good or bad, just to know that God is still there and that He still loves him. We all feel that way sometimes.
A1. Job thinks they would have shown great wisdom is just keeping silent like they did the first week they arrived.
Day 147: Job 16:11-20:11
Note1. I like to think of these passages as an example of how NOT to counsel someone who is hurting. It’s hard to trust the counsel of someone who has never been broken. Do you agree?
Note2. What do you think the answer is to Bildad’s question in Job 18:3?