Check out all the previous Esther readings here.
Esther Reading Plan | Week 8 | Day 5
As you come to spend time with Jesus, calm your mind and body until you feel fully present. Thank God that as we draw close to HIm, He draws close to us. Ask Him to be close to you today.
Bible Reading: Daniel 4:28-37
Read these verses three times slowly.
All this happened to King Nebuchadnezzar. Twelve months later, as the king was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, he said, “Is not this the great Babylon I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?”
Even as the words were on his lips, a voice came from heaven, “This is what is decreed for you, King Nebuchadnezzar: Your royal authority has been taken from you. You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like the ox. Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone he wishes.”
Immediately what had been said about Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled. He was driven away from people and ate grass like the ox. His body was drenched with the dew of heaven until his hair grew like the feathers of an eagle and his nails like the claws of a bird.
At the end of that time, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my sanity was restored. Then I praised the Most High; I honored and glorified him who lives forever.
His dominion is an eternal dominion;
his kingdom endures from generation to generation.
All the peoples of the earth
are regarded as nothing.
He does as he pleases
with the powers of heaven
and the peoples of the earth.
No one can hold back his hand
or say to him: “What have you done?”
At the same time that my sanity was restored, my honor and splendor were returned to me for the glory of my kingdom. My advisers and nobles sought me out, and I was restored to my throne and became even greater than before. Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble.
Reflection & Questions
In our final reading on pride and humility, we read of a person who struggled with pride to his core. King Nebuchadnezzar was the powerful king of the Babylonian empire. What is amazing, is that this gentile, proud and ruthless king becomes a follower of God. God goes to work on him and brings Nebuchadnezzar to see who He is.
There’s no doubt that the king is proud. Look at his thoughts: “I have built the royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty.” There’s two problems here. He thinks he does things with his power. And he does them for his own glory. Both of those are symptoms of a heart full of pride.
As we come to Jesus, we realize there is nothing we can do without Him. As Jesus said in John 15:5, “apart from me you can do nothing.” The very breath in our lungs is his, and our hearts only keep beating because of Jesus’ hold the universe together. So there is no saying “I did this…” or “by my strength I did that….”. God gets the credit. In Christ we also realize that we exist for Him. As it says Romans 11:36, “For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.“ That is the humble and correct way of seeing the universe.
What’s the hope though for us who struggle with pride? Who find it lurking just below the surface in our hearts? We might not have a kingdom like Neb, but we still see in our hearts the same sentiments of “I did that” or “I want recognition.” Nebuchanezzar gives the hope: “Those who walk in pride he is able to humble.” No one is too far gone – God is able to humble those who are proud. Praise God! Want to get rid of your pride? Go to God and repent, and ask Him to humble you. He will answer that prayer.
- Do you find yourself thinking lie Nebuchadnezzar?
- As you reflect on the reading of pride and humility this week, what is a next step you need to take?
Pray in response to today’s reading.
You might use this song today to worship Jesus today:
Prepare to Meet with Jesus
Go to your quiet place. When there are no devices around that will distract you, take a deep breath. Blow it out slowly. Do that again. And do it one last time. Ask God for His help to read and understand.
Bible Reading: Esther 6:12-13
Read these verses three times slowly.
After that, Mordecai returned to the palace gate. But Haman rushed home. He covered his head because he was very sad. He told his wife, Zeresh, everything that had happened to him. He also told all his friends.
His advisers and his wife Zeresh spoke to him. They said, “Your fall from power started with Mordecai. He’s a Jew. So now you can’t stand up against him. You are going to be destroyed!”
Reflection & Questions
Talk about embarrassing! We knew this was coming, but Haman didn’t. He was expecting to be the one on the horse and wearing the robes, but instead he was leading around Mordecai, the guy he wanted dead. Now Haman has to deal with embarrassment and not knowing what will happen to him in the future.
Have you ever done something and then realized that the outcome could be disastrous? And now you have to wait to see what’s going to happen to you. For example, you decided to try a science experiment in the bathroom and now there is soap and baking soda and food coloring covering the sink and counter. You didn’t ask permission first so now you’ll have to wait until your mom or dad sees it to find out what your punishment is going to be. That is not a fun feeling, is it?
When we struggle to do the right thing and make bad choices, we have a wonderful gift from God: grace. When we fail, even though we are trying so hard to do the right thing, we just have to talk to God and ask him to forgive us for the things we have done wrong. We don’t have to worry about our future with God when we know that He has grace as a gift for us.
- Have you ever done something and then worried that you might get punished for it?
- Have you ever felt fear for your future?
Talk to God about some of the bad decisions you have made. Ask him to forgive you for them and to help you in the future as you try hard not to make the same choices. Thank him for giving you grace.
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