Saturday, July 9, 2016

Esther- Surprise Party in Babylonia

By Mary Vee
Esther 8

From A Young Mother's Journal

Photo Courtesy
I am a young mother. My name is not important because my story is the same as all the Jewish mothers living in Babylonia.

Not long ago, a man rode through each town. He stood in the town square and called for all the people to gather around.

He read a decree stating all the Jewish people would be killed in the twelfth month. All men, women, and children. Not one would be spared.

We had been lamenting since we heard the news giving us only ten months to live. So many people, and why? What had we done to upset the king? None of us knew.

We'd worked hard to prepare our families.

I cried every morning then washed my face before my children saw my tears. They needed to enjoy what life they had left.

After the evening meal I cleaned the cooking area. My friends, Martha and Sarah, ran to my house. "Hurry, there is a man at the city square. He has a message for us."

"Should I bring the children? Maybe you should go and listen for me. Bring me a report back."

"I can't explain why," said Sarah. "But I have this feeling that the news will be good. Bring the children."

So I called little Aaron then Matthew my second oldest, and Jonathan my oldest. If only my husband, Simon were still alive, he'd know how to comfort me.

The four of us walked through the streets to the city square and stood at the back of the crowd. At least little Aaron could play that way.

The man unrolled a scroll and read:

By order of King Xerxes, king of Babylon, these words are hereby decreed as his order to all people. 

This edict grants the Jews in every city the right 
1. To gather together and protect themselves. 
2. To destroy and kill any armed force of any nationality or province that might attack them, their women, or children. 
3. To plunder the property of their enemies. 

The day appointed for the Jews to do this in all provinces of King Xerxes is the thirteen day of the twelfth month,

The man rolled the scroll and left.

Just like that. 

The silence showed no one believed the words to be true. But they had to be. The decree came from the king. 

We shouted Hallelujah, for the Lord our God, the Almighty reigns. I picked up little Aaron and squeezed him then hugged Matthew and Jonathan. The crowds cheered, sang, and hugged.

"What is making you so happy, Mother," said Jonathan.

"The Jewish people are allowed to defend ourselves against any person or soldier from the Babylonian empire who tries to harm us. God has saved us, Jonathan! God has saved us! 

The story has much more to tell...come back to read what happens next.

sources: New International Version, New King James Version  

1. Why was this mother sad?
2. What did her friends want her to do?
3  What news did the soldier bring?
4. What did the people do?
5. Why?

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