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Bible in one year


August 1


Esther 3:1-15
1. After those events, King Xerxes honored Haman. Haman was the son of Hammedatha. He was from the family line of Agag. The king gave Haman a higher position than he had before. He gave him a seat of honor. It was higher than the positions any of the other nobles had.
2. All of the royal officials at the palace gate got down on their knees. They gave honor to Haman. That's because the king had commanded them to do it. But Mordecai refused to get down on his knees. He wouldn't give Haman any honor at all.
3. The royal officials at the palace gate asked Mordecai a question. They said, "Why don't you obey the king's command?"
4. Day after day they spoke to him. But he still refused to obey. So they told Haman about it. They wanted to see whether he would let Mordecai get away with what he was doing. Mordecai had told them he was a Jew.
5. Haman noticed that Mordecai wouldn't get down on his knees. He wouldn't give Haman any honor. So Haman burned with anger.
6. But he had found out who Mordecai's people were. So he decided not to kill just Mordecai. He also looked for a way to destroy all of Mordecai's people. They were Jews. He wanted to kill all of them everywhere in the kingdom of Xerxes.
7. The lot was cast in front of Haman. That was done to choose a day and a month. It was the 12th year that Xerxes was king. It was in the first month. That was the month of Nisan. The lot chose the 12th month. That was the month of Adar. The lot was also called [pur.
8. Then Haman said to King Xerxes, "Certain people are scattered among the nations. They live in all of the territories in your kingdom. Their practices are different from the practices of all other people. They don't obey your laws. It really isn't good for you to put up with them.
9. "If it pleases you, give the order to destroy them. I'll even add 375 tons of silver to the royal treasures. You can use it to pay the men who take care of the matter."
10. So the king took his ring off his finger. The ring had his royal seal on it. He gave the ring to Haman. Haman was the son of Hammedatha, the Agagite. He was the enemy of the Jews.
11. "Keep the money," the king said to Haman. "Do what you want to with those people."
12. The king sent for the royal secretaries. It was the 13th day of the first month. The secretaries wrote down all of Haman's orders. They wrote them down in the writing of each territory in the kingdom. They also wrote them in the language of each nation. The orders were sent to the royal officials. They were also sent to the governors of the territories. And they went out to the nobles of the nations. The orders were written in the name of King Xerxes himself. And they were stamped with his own royal seal.
13. They were carried by messengers. They were sent to all of the king's territories. The orders commanded people to destroy, kill and wipe out all of the Jews. That included young people and old people alike. It included women and little children. All of the Jews were supposed to be killed on a single day. That day was the 13th day of the 12th month. It was the month of Adar. The orders also commanded people to take the goods that belonged to the Jews.
14. A copy of the order had to be sent out as law. It had to be sent to every territory in the kingdom. It had to be announced to the people of every nation. Then they would be ready for that day.
15. The king commanded the messengers to go out. So they did. The order was sent out from the safest place in Susa. Then the king and Haman sat down to drink wine. But the people in the city were bewildered.

Esther 4:1-17
1. Mordecai found out about everything that had been done. So he tore his clothes. He put on black clothes. He sat down in ashes. Then he went out into the city. He sobbed out loud. He cried bitter tears.
2. But he only went as far as the palace gate. That's because no one who was dressed in black clothes was allowed to go through it.
3. All of the Jews were very sad. They didn't eat anything. They sobbed and cried. Many of them put on black clothes. They were lying down in ashes. They did all of those things in every territory where the king's order and law had been sent.
4. Esther's eunuchs and female attendants came to her. They told her about Mordecai. So she became very troubled. She wanted him to take his black clothes off. So she sent him other clothes to wear. But he wouldn't accept them.
5. Then Esther sent for Hathach. He was one of the king's eunuchs. He had been appointed to take care of her. She ordered him to find out what was troubling Mordecai. She wanted to know why he was so upset.
6. So Hathach went out to see Mordecai. He was in the open area in front of the palace gate.
7. Mordecai told him everything that had happened to him. He told him about the exact amount of money Haman had promised to add to the royal treasures. He said Haman wanted it to be used to pay some men to destroy the Jews.
8. Mordecai also gave Hathach a copy of the order. It commanded people to wipe out the Jews. The order had been sent from Susa. Mordecai told Hathach to show the order to Esther. He wanted him to explain it to her. He told him to try and get her to go to the king. He wanted her to beg for mercy. He wanted her to make an appeal to the king for her people.
9. Hathach went back. He reported to Esther what Mordecai had said.
10. Then Esther directed him to give an answer to Mordecai. She told him to say,
11. "There is a certain law that everyone knows about. All of the king's officials know about it. The people in the royal territories know about it. It applies to any man or woman who approaches the king in the inner courtyard without being sent for. It says they must be put to death. But there is a way out. Suppose the king reaches out his gold rod toward them. Then their lives will be spared. But 30 days have gone by since the king sent for me."
12. Esther's words were reported to Mordecai.
13. Then he sent back an answer. He said, "You live in the king's palace. But don't think that just because you are there you will be the only Jew who will escape.
14. What if you don't say anything at this time? Then help for the Jews will come from another place. But you and your family will die. Who knows? It's possible that you became queen for a time just like this."
15. Then Esther sent a reply to Mordecai. She said,
16. "Go. Gather together all of the Jews who are in Susa. And fast for my benefit. Don't eat or drink anything for three days. Don't do it night or day. I and my attendants will fast just as you do. Then I'll go to the king. I'll do it even though it's against the law. And if I have to die, I'll die."
17. So Mordecai went away. He carried out all of Esther's directions.

Psalms 89:46-52
46. Lord, how long will you hide yourself? Will it be forever? How long will your anger burn like fire?
47. Remember how short my life is. You have created all people for such a useless purpose!
48. What man can live and not die? Who can escape the power of the grave? Selah
49. Lord, where is the great love you used to have? You faithfully promised it to David.
50. Lord, remember how my enemies have made fun of me. I've had to put up with mean words from all of the nations.
51. Lord, your enemies have said mean things. They have laughed at everything your anointed king has done.
52. Give praise to the Lord forever! Amen and Amen.

Proverbs 22:7-8
7. Rich people rule over those who are poor. Borrowers are slaves to lenders.
8. Anyone who plants evil gathers a harvest of trouble. His power to beat others down will be destroyed.

Romans 3:1-31
1. Is there any advantage in being a Jew? Is there any value in being circumcised?
2. There is great value in every way! First of all, the Jews have been given the very words of God.
3. What if some Jews did not believe? Will the fact that they don't have faith keep God from being faithful?
4. Not at all! God is true, even though every human being is a liar. It is written, "You are right when you sentence me. You are fair when you judge me." --(Psalm 51:4)
5. Doesn't the fact that we are wrong prove more clearly that God is right? Then what can we say? Can we say that God is not fair when he brings his anger down on us? As you can tell, I am just using human ways of thinking.
6. God is certainly fair! If he weren't, how could he judge the world?
7. Someone might argue, "When I lie, it becomes clearer that God is truthful. It makes his glory shine more brightly. Why then does he find me guilty of sin?"
8. Why not say, "Let's do evil things so that good things will happen"? Some people actually lie by reporting that this is what we say. They are the ones who should be found guilty.
9. What should we say then? Are we Jews any better? Not at all! We have already claimed that Jews are sinners. The same is true of those who aren't Jews.
10. It is written, "No one is right with God, no one at all.
11. No one understands. No one trusts in God.
12. All of them have turned away. They have all become worthless. No one does anything good, no one at all." --(Psalms 14:1-3; 53:1-3; Ecclesiastes 7:20)
13. "Their throats are like open graves. With their tongues they tell lies." --(Psalm 5:9) "The words from their lips are like the poison of a snake." --(Psalm 140:3)
14. "Their mouths are full of curses and bitterness." --(Psalm 10:7)
15. "They run quickly to commit murder.
16. They leave a trail of failure and pain.
17. They do not know the way of peace." --(Isaiah 59:7,8)
18. "They don't have any respect for God." --(Psalm 36:1)
19. What the law says, it says to those who are ruled by the law. Its purpose is to shut every mouth and make the whole world accountable to God.
20. So it can't be said that anyone will be made right with God by obeying the law. Not at all! The law makes us more aware of our sin.
21. But now God has shown us how to become right with him. The Law and the Prophets give witness to this. It has nothing to do with obeying the law.
22. We are made right with God by putting our faith in Jesus Christ. That happens to all who believe. It is no different for the Jews than for anyone else.
23. Everyone has sinned. No one measures up to God's glory.
24. The free gift of God's grace makes all of us right with him. Christ Jesus paid the price to set us free.
25. God gave him as a sacrifice to pay for sins. So he forgives the sins of those who have faith in his blood. God did all of that to prove that he is fair. Because of his mercy he did not punish people for the sins they had committed before Jesus died for them.
26. God did that to prove in our own time that he is fair. He proved that he is right. He also made right with himself those who believe in Jesus.
27. So who can brag? No one! Are people saved by obeying the law? Not at all! They are saved because of their faith.
28. We firmly believe that people are made right with God because of their faith. They are not saved by obeying the law.
29. Is God the God of Jews only? Isn't he also the God of those who aren't Jews? Yes, he is their God too.
30. There is only one God. When those who are circumcised believe in him, he makes them right with himself. When those who are not circumcised believe in him, he also makes them right with himself.
31. Does faith make the law useless? Not at all! We agree with the law.