Reading Through the Bible, Thursday, May 12. Esther 4-6

    You will remember that during the reign of Xerxes, reports came to the king from residents in the trans-Euphrates area about the Jews.  They were considered a rebellious and treasonous people (Ezra 4).  Daniel, which is also written from the perspective of the captivity, also underscores anti-jewish prejudice.  You see it again here in Esther.  Note that Xerxes cares so little for the Jews that he can order their wholesale slaughter.  Note also that he knows so little about them that he doesn’t even know Mordecai is a Jew, nor does he know his wife’s heritage.

    You couldn’t tell by looking.

    The book of Esther provides insight to prejudice.  One person speaks ill of something, and because another regards him highly, accepts what he says as true.  Others follow suit and before you know it, a whole group of people are being condemned because of the often self-centered thoughts of a few.

    We cannot paint people with broad strokes.  Everyone is different.  Nationality and race are no basis for prejudice and thinking people – that is to say, God’s people – will look at the story of Esther and beware.