Bible Reading Plan

Saturday, August 19


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Esther 4:1-7:10

Esther Learns of Haman’s Plot

1When Mordecai learned all that had been done, he tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and ashes, and went out into the midst of the city and wailed loudly and bitterly.2He went as far as the king’s gate, for no one was to enter the king’s gate clothed in sackcloth.3In each and every province where the command and decree of the king came, there was great mourning among the Jews, with fasting, weeping and wailing; and many lay on sackcloth and ashes.

4Then Esther’s maidens and her eunuchs came and told her, and the queen writhed in great anguish. And she sent garments to clothe Mordecai that he might remove his sackcloth from him, but he did not accept them.5Then Esther summoned Hathach from the king’s eunuchs, whom the king had appointed to attend her, and ordered him to go to Mordecai to learn what this was and why it was.6So Hathach went out to Mordecai to the city square in front of the king’s gate.7Mordecai told him all that had happened to him, and the exact amount of money that Haman had promised to pay to the king’s treasuries for the destruction of the Jews.8He also gave him a copy of the text of the edict which had been issued in Susa for their destruction, that he might show Esther and inform her, and to order her to go in to the king to implore his favor and to plead with him for her people.

9Hathach came back and related Mordecai’s words to Esther.10Then Esther spoke to Hathach and ordered him to reply to Mordecai:11“All the king’s servants and the people of the king’s provinces know that for any man or woman who comes to the king to the inner court who is not summoned, he has but one law, that he be put to death, unless the king holds out to him the golden scepter so that he may live. And I have not been summoned to come to the king for these thirty days.”12They related Esther’s words to Mordecai.

13Then Mordecai told them to reply to Esther, “Do not imagine that you in the king’s palace can escape any more than all the Jews.14“For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place and you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?”

Esther Plans to Intercede

15Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai,16“Go, assemble all the Jews who are found in Susa, and fast for me; do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maidens also will fast in the same way. And thus I will go in to the king, which is not according to the law; and if I perish, I perish.”17So Mordecai went away and did just as Esther had commanded him.

Esther Plans a Banquet

1Now it came about on the third day that Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the king’s palace in front of the king’s rooms, and the king was sitting on his royal throne in the throne room, opposite the entrance to the palace.2When the king saw Esther the queen standing in the court, she obtained favor in his sight; and the king extended to Esther the golden scepter which was in his hand. So Esther came near and touched the top of the scepter.3Then the king said to her, “What is troubling you, Queen Esther? And what is your request? Even to half of the kingdom it shall be given to you.”4Esther said, “If it pleases the king, may the king and Haman come this day to the banquet that I have prepared for him.”

5Then the king said, “Bring Haman quickly that we may do as Esther desires.” So the king and Haman came to the banquet which Esther had prepared.6As they drank their wine at the banquet, the king said to Esther, “What is your petition, for it shall be granted to you. And what is your request? Even to half of the kingdom it shall be done.”7So Esther replied, “My petition and my request is:8if I have found favor in the sight of the king, and if it pleases the king to grant my petition and do what I request, may the king and Haman come to the banquet which I will prepare for them, and tomorrow I will do as the king says.”

Haman’s Pride

9Then Haman went out that day glad and pleased of heart; but when Haman saw Mordecai in the king’s gate and that he did not stand up or tremble before him, Haman was filled with anger against Mordecai.10Haman controlled himself, however, went to his house and sent for his friends and his wife Zeresh.11Then Haman recounted to them the glory of his riches, and the number of his sons, and every instance where the king had magnified him and how he had promoted him above the princes and servants of the king.12Haman also said, “Even Esther the queen let no one but me come with the king to the banquet which she had prepared; and tomorrow also I am invited by her with the king.13“Yet all of this does not satisfy me every time I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king’s gate.”14Then Zeresh his wife and all his friends said to him, “Have a gallows fifty cubits high made and in the morning ask the king to have Mordecai hanged on it; then go joyfully with the king to the banquet.” And the advice pleased Haman, so he had the gallows made.

The King Plans to Honor Mordecai

1During that night the king could not sleep so he gave an order to bring the book of records, the chronicles, and they were read before the king.2It was found written what Mordecai had reported concerning Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king’s eunuchs who were doorkeepers, that they had sought to lay hands on King Ahasuerus.3The king said, “What honor or dignity has been bestowed on Mordecai for this?” Then the king’s servants who attended him said, “Nothing has been done for him.”4So the king said, “Who is in the court?” Now Haman had just entered the outer court of the king’s palace in order to speak to the king about hanging Mordecai on the gallows which he had prepared for him.5The king’s servants said to him, “Behold, Haman is standing in the court.” And the king said, “Let him come in.”6So Haman came in and the king said to him, “What is to be done for the man whom the king desires to honor?” And Haman said to himself, “Whom would the king desire to honor more than me?”7Then Haman said to the king, “For the man whom the king desires to honor,8let them bring a royal robe which the king has worn, and the horse on which the king has ridden, and on whose head a royal crown has been placed;9and let the robe and the horse be handed over to one of the king’s most noble princes and let them array the man whom the king desires to honor and lead him on horseback through the city square, and proclaim before him, ‘Thus it shall be done to the man whom the king desires to honor.’”

Haman Must Honor Mordecai

10Then the king said to Haman, “Take quickly the robes and the horse as you have said, and do so for Mordecai the Jew, who is sitting at the king’s gate; do not fall short in anything of all that you have said.”11So Haman took the robe and the horse, and arrayed Mordecai, and led him on horseback through the city square, and proclaimed before him, “Thus it shall be done to the man whom the king desires to honor.”

12Then Mordecai returned to the king’s gate. But Haman hurried home, mourning, with his head covered.13Haman recounted to Zeresh his wife and all his friends everything that had happened to him. Then his wise men and Zeresh his wife said to him, “If Mordecai, before whom you have begun to fall, is of Jewish origin, you will not overcome him, but will surely fall before him.”

14While they were still talking with him, the king’s eunuchs arrived and hastily brought Haman to the banquet which Esther had prepared.

Esther’s Plea

1Now the king and Haman came to drink wine with Esther the queen.2And the king said to Esther on the second day also as they drank their wine at the banquet, “What is your petition, Queen Esther? It shall be granted you. And what is your request? Even to half of the kingdom it shall be done.”3Then Queen Esther replied, “If I have found favor in your sight, O king, and if it pleases the king, let my life be given me as my petition, and my people as my request;4for we have been sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be killed and to be annihilated. Now if we had only been sold as slaves, men and women, I would have remained silent, for the trouble would not be commensurate with the annoyance to the king.”5Then King Ahasuerus asked Queen Esther, “Who is he, and where is he, who would presume to do thus?”6Esther said, “A foe and an enemy is this wicked Haman!” Then Haman became terrified before the king and queen.

Haman Is Hanged

7The king arose in his anger from drinking wine and went into the palace garden; but Haman stayed to beg for his life from Queen Esther, for he saw that harm had been determined against him by the king.8Now when the king returned from the palace garden into the place where they were drinking wine, Haman was falling on the couch where Esther was. Then the king said, “Will he even assault the queen with me in the house?” As the word went out of the king’s mouth, they covered Haman’s face.9Then Harbonah, one of the eunuchs who were before the king said, “Behold indeed, the gallows standing at Haman’s house fifty cubits high, which Haman made for Mordecai who spoke good on behalf of the king!” And the king said, “Hang him on it.”10So they hanged Haman on the gallows which he had prepared for Mordecai, and the king’s anger subsided.

1 Corinthians 12:1-26

The Use of Spiritual Gifts

1Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware.2You know that when you were pagans, you were led astray to the mute idols, however you were led.3Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus is accursed”; and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.

4Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit.5And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord.6There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons.7But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.8For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit;9to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit,10and to another the effecting of miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues.11But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills.

12For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ.13For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.

14For the body is not one member, but many.15If the foot says, “Because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the body,” it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body.16And if the ear says, “Because I am not an eye, I am not a part of the body,” it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body.17If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were hearing, where would the sense of smell be?18But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired.19If they were all one member, where would the body be?20But now there are many members, but one body.21And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; or again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.”22On the contrary, it is much truer that the members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary;23and those members of the body which we deem less honorable, on these we bestow more abundant honor, and our less presentable members become much more presentable,24whereas our more presentable members have no need of it. But God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked,25so that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another.26And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.

Proverbs 21:21-22

21He who pursues righteousness and loyalty

Finds life, righteousness and honor.

22A wise man scales the city of the mighty

And brings down the stronghold in which they trust.