Monday, August 5, 2019


Today’s Reading: Esther 3-4

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).


Herodium is next door to Bethlehem, and is just south of Jerusalem. Its summit is 2,460 feet above sea level. Herod built or re-built eleven fortresses. This one he constructed on the location of his victory over Antigonus in 40 BC. Constructed over a pre-existing hill, the Herodium was a fortress to which Herod could quickly flee from Jerusalem. He chose to be buried here and the mountain is in the shape of a tumulus (a burial mound). Herod’s tomb was discovered by archaeologist Ehud Netzer in 2007. This illustrates the immense ego of the ancient monarchs such as Ahasuerus of Persia featured in today’s reading.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.


Key Verses: Esther 3:2b

But Mordecai would not bow or pay homage.


Mordecai, a Jew who did not return with Ezra to Jerusalem, was a man with steel down his backbone. He would not bow or pay homage to the second in command of the Persian Empire, Haman. Homage is a form of worship, and to give this to anyone other than God would have been a form of idolatry. Because of this one man, Mordecai, and one woman, Esther, one of the greatest turn-arounds in Israel’s history took place.

We are not suggesting that every act of civil disobedience is blessed of God, nor are we suggesting that we should make a great show of our dedication to the will and purposes of God, but we do suggest that everyone of us should learn to personally relate to God in such obedience and dedication that we care little about the consequences which may follow. The often-quoted words of Mordecai to Esther, “Who knows but that you were brought to the kingdom for such a time as this,” could apply to each one of us.


Lord God, I bow before You! I pay homage to You! You alone are worthy of my worship! I pray that I will find and fulfill Your purpose for me, the very reason that I was born and placed in Your Kingdom at this particular time. I ask this in the Name of the One Whom You sent to this earth and Who fulfilled His purpose, bringing salvation, not just to His own people, the Jews, but also to the whole world, Jesus, the Messiah. Amen!!!


In the mid 1950’s I had the privilege to teach in an Ontario public school. One Jewish girl in my class was named Sandra Levine. I’ve often wondered where she is today and what has become of her. Sandra was a beautiful child of about eleven years old. Her Dad and Mom owned and operated a local grocery store. I spent hours with her father playing chess and often talking about the Scriptures. The reason I’m telling this story is because in those days public school teachers were required by the Provincial Department of Education to teach a weekly Bible lesson. On one occasion I dramatized the story of Esther and featured Sandra as the Jewish Queen of Persia. I think she felt honoured by my efforts. I loved telling Bible stories and still do, as is shown in this daily blog.

May I ask a favour of every reader? Please send my blog on to someone else and ask that we all work together to build the readership to greater numbers. I was told the other day that over 5,000 people have signed up for daily e-mails, besides those who simply go into the website. Let’s go for 50,000 signed up for the daily e-mails. Let’s see… that would mean that each reader would try to find 10 new readers. The reason I ask this is not because of me, but because of the benefits, now and throughout eternity, that will accrue to every faithful reader of God’s Word.

Yours for recognizing that we are here “for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14b),


P.S. I know I’m terribly biased, but I think Norma-Jean is beautiful like Queen Esther. A few years ago we were leading a tour group on a Nile River cruise, and one evening Norma-Jean dressed up in an Egyptian outfit. In my eyes, Cleopatra could not have been more beautiful (see photo below). In the city of Sudbury, in northern Ontario, some people in our congregation called Norma-Jean, the Queen of the Parsonage!

3 thoughts on “Monday, August 5, 2019

  1. Love the picture When one of my sons graduated from U of Toronto years ago, it was the custom for the grads to kneel before an official (can’t remember his title) but my son would not. He gave a nod & a handshake & that was accepted. I didn’t realize that kneeling was the usual way of showing gratitude @ that time. Very happy that my son knew his rightful response.

  2. Lord help us to understand Your Word as The Word that Saves All Mankind;
    Lord forgive us when we sin; help us not to withhold forgiveness to others;
    Lord help us to be thankful for the country of Canada;
    Lord help us to pray for our leaders in Canada and the leaders in other countries;
    Lord please remove all negative thoughts that people have against each other;
    Lord help us to pray for our families; our neighbours;
    Thank You Lord for this day and all the blessings that You have given us, in Jesus Name we Pray amen

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