Bible in one year

August 4

Esther 9:1-32
1. The king's order had to be carried out on the 13th day of the 12th month. That was the month of Adar. On that day the enemies of the Jews had hoped to win the battle over them. But now everything had changed. The Jews had gained the advantage over those who hated them.
2. The Jews gathered together in their cities. They gathered in all of the territories King Xerxes ruled over. They came together to attack those who were trying to destroy them. No one could stand up against them. The people from all of the other nations were afraid of them.
3. All of the nobles in the territories helped the Jews. So did the royal officials, the governors and the king's officers. That's because they were so afraid of Mordecai.
4. He was well known in the palace. His fame spread all through the territories. So he became more and more important.
5. The Jews struck down all of their enemies with swords. They killed them and destroyed them. They did what they pleased to those who hated them.
6. The Jews killed 500 men. They destroyed them in the safest place in Susa.
7. They also killed Parshandatha, Dalphon, Aspatha,
8. Poratha, Adalia, Aridatha,
9. Parmashta, Arisai, Aridai and Vaizatha.
10. They were the ten sons of Haman. He was the son of Hammedatha. Haman had been the enemy of the Jews. They didn't take anything that belonged to their enemies.
11. A report was brought to the king that same day. He was told how many men had been killed in the safest place in Susa.
12. He said to Queen Esther, "The Jews have killed 500 men. They destroyed them in the safest place in Susa. They also killed the ten sons of Haman there. What have they done in the rest of my territories? Now what do you want? I'll give it to you. What do you want me to do for you? I'll do that too."
13. "If it pleases you," Esther answered, "let the Jews in Susa carry out today's order tomorrow also. Stick poles through the dead bodies of Haman's ten sons. Set them up where everyone can see them."
14. So the king commanded that it be done. An order was sent out in Susa. And the king's men did to the bodies of Haman's sons everything they were told to do.
15. The Jews in Susa came together on the 14th day of the month of Adar. They put 300 men to death in Susa. But they didn't take anything that belonged to those men.
16. During that time, the rest of the Jews also gathered together. They lived in the king's territories. They came together to fight for their lives. They didn't want their enemies to bother them anymore. They wanted to get some peace and rest. So they killed 75,000 of their enemies. But they didn't take anything that belonged to them.
17. It happened on the 13th of Adar. On the 14th day they rested. They made it a day to celebrate with great joy. And they enjoyed good food.
18. But the Jews in Susa had gathered together on the 13th and 14th. Then on the 15th they rested. They made it a day to celebrate with great joy. And they enjoyed good food.
19. That's why Jews who live out in the villages celebrate on the 14th of Adar. They celebrate that day with great joy. And they enjoy good food. They also give presents to each other on that day.
20. Mordecai wrote down those events. He sent letters to all of the Jews all through the territories of King Xerxes. It didn't matter whether the Jews lived nearby or far away.
21. Mordecai told them to celebrate the 14th and 15th days of the month of Adar. He wanted them to do it every year.
22. Mordecai told the Jews to celebrate the time when they got rest from their enemies. That was the month when their sadness was turned into joy. It was when their sobbing turned into a day for celebrating. He wrote the letters to celebrate those days as times of joy. He wanted the people to enjoy good food. He told them to give presents of food to one another. He also wanted them to give gifts to those who were poor.
23. So the Jews agreed to continue the celebrating they had started. They kept doing what Mordecai had written to them.
24. Haman was the son of Hammedatha, the Agagite. He had been the enemy of all of the Jews. He had planned to destroy them. He had cast the lot to destroy them completely. The lot was also called pur.
25. But the king had found out about Haman's evil plan. So the king had sent out written orders. He had ordered that the evil plan Haman had made against the Jews should come back on his own head. He had also commanded that Haman and his sons should be put to death. Poles should be stuck through their dead bodies. Then they should be set up where everyone could see them.
26. The days the Jews were celebrating were called Purim. Purim comes from the word pur. Pur means "lot." Now the Jews celebrate those two days every year. They do it because of everything that was written in Mordecai's letter. They also do it because of what they had seen and what had happened to them.
27. So they established it as a regular practice. They decided they would always observe those two days of the year. They would celebrate in the required way. And they would celebrate at the appointed time. They and their children after them and everyone who joined them would always observe those days.
28. The days should be remembered and celebrated. They should be remembered by every family for all time to come. They should be celebrated in every territory and in every city. The Jews should never stop celebrating the days of Purim. Their children after them should always remember those days.
29. So Queen Esther, the daughter of Abihail, wrote a second letter. She wrote it together with the Jew Mordecai. They wanted to give their full authority to this second letter about Purim.
30. Mordecai sent letters to all of the Jews in the 127 territories of the kingdom of Xerxes. The letters had messages of kindness and hope in them.
31. The letters established the days of Purim at their appointed times. They spoke about what the Jew Mordecai and Queen Esther had ordered the people to do. Everything should be done in keeping with the directions the Jews had set up for themselves and their children after them. The directions applied to their times of fasting and sadness.
32. Esther's order established the rules about Purim. It was written down in the records.

Esther 10:1-3
1. King Xerxes required people all through his kingdom to bring him gifts. He required gifts from its farthest shores.
2. All of his powerful and mighty acts are written down. That includes the whole story of how important Mordecai was. The king had given him a position of great honor. All of those things are written in the official records of the kings of Media and Persia.
3. The Jew Mordecai's position was second only to the position of King Xerxes. Mordecai was the most important Jew. All of the other Jews had the highest respect for him. That's because he worked for the good of his people. And he spoke up for the benefit of all of the Jews.

Psalms 91:1-6
1. The person who rests in the shadow of the Most High God will be kept safe by the Mighty One.
2. I will say about the Lord, "He is my place of safety. He is like a fort to me. He is my God. I trust in him."
3. He will certainly save you from hidden traps and from deadly sickness.
4. He will cover you with his wings. Under the feathers of his wings you will find safety. He is faithful. He will keep you safe like a shield or a tower.
5. You won't have to be afraid of the terrors that come during the night. You won't have to fear the arrows that come at you during the day.
6. You won't have to be afraid of the sickness that attacks in the darkness. You won't have to fear the plague that destroys at noon.

Proverbs 22:12-12
12. The eyes of the Lord keep watch over knowledge. But he does away with the words of those who aren't faithful.

Romans 6:1-23
1. What should we say then? Should we keep on sinning so that God's grace can increase?
2. Not at all! As far as sin is concerned, we are dead. So how can we keep on sinning?
3. All of us were baptized into Christ Jesus. Don't you know that we were baptized into his death?
4. By being baptized, we were buried with Christ into his death. Christ has been raised from the dead by the Father's glory. And like Christ we also can live a new life.
5. By being baptized, we have been joined with him in his death. We will certainly also be joined with him in his resurrection.
6. We know that what we used to be was nailed to the cross with him. That happened so our sinful bodies would lose their power. We are no longer slaves of sin.
7. Those who have died have been set free from sin.
8. We died with Christ. So we believe that we will also live with him.
9. We know that Christ was raised from the dead and will never die again. Death doesn't control him anymore.
10. When he died, he died once and for all time as far as sin is concerned. Now that he lives, he lives as far as God is concerned.
11. In the same way, consider yourselves to be dead as far as sin is concerned. Now that you believe in Christ Jesus, consider yourselves to be alive as far as God is concerned.
12. So don't let sin rule your body, which is going to die. Don't obey its evil longings.
13. Don't give the parts of your body to serve sin. Don't let them be used to do evil. Instead, give yourselves to God. You have been brought from death to life. Give the parts of your body to him to do what is right.
14. Sin will not be your master. Law does not rule you. God's grace has set you free.
15. What should we say then? Should we sin because we are not ruled by law but by God's grace? Not at all!
16. Don't you know that when you give yourselves to obey someone you become that person's slave? You can be slaves of sin. Then you will die. Or you can be slaves who obey God. Then you will live a godly life.
17. You used to be slaves of sin. But thank God that with your whole heart you obeyed the teachings you were given!
18. You have been set free from sin. You have become slaves to right living.
19. Because you are human, you find this hard to understand. So I have said it in a way that will help you understand it. You used to give the parts of your body to be slaves to unclean living. You were becoming more and more evil. Now give your bodies to be slaves to right living. Then you will become holy.
20. Once you were slaves of sin. At that time right living did not control you.
21. What benefit did you gain from doing the things you are now ashamed of? Those things lead to death!
22. You have been set free from sin. God has made you his slaves. The benefit you gain leads to holy living. And the end result is eternal life.
23. When you sin, the pay you get is death. But God gives you the gift of eternal life because of what Christ Jesus our Lord has done.