Day 346 December 12
To people belong the plans of the heart,
but the answer of the tongue comes from the Lord.
2 All the ways of people
are pure in their eyes,
but the Lord tests the motives.
3 Commit your work to the Lord,
and your plans will succeed.
4 The Lord made everything for a purpose,
even the wicked for an evil day.
5 The Lord detests all who are arrogant;
they surely won’t go unpunished.
6 Love and faithfulness reconcile guilt;
the fear of the Lord turns away evil.
7 When people draw favor from the Lord,
even their enemies are at peace with them.
8 Better a little with righteousness
than great profits without justice.
9 People plan their path,
but the Lord secures their steps.
12 The turn came for each girl to go in to King Ahasuerus, after being twelve months under the regulations for the women, since this was the regular period of their cosmetic treatment, six months with oil of myrrh and six months with perfumes and cosmetics for women. 13 When the girl went in to the king she was given whatever she asked for to take with her from the harem to the king’s palace. 14 In the evening she went in; then in the morning she came back to the second harem in custody of Shaashgaz, the king’s eunuch, who was in charge of the concubines; she did not go in to the king again, unless the king delighted in her and she was summoned by name.
15 When the turn came for Esther daughter of Abihail the uncle of Mordecai, who had adopted her as his own daughter, to go in to the king, she asked for nothing except what Hegai the king’s eunuch, who had charge of the women, advised. Now Esther was admired by all who saw her. 16 When Esther was taken to King Ahasuerus in his royal palace in the tenth month, which is the month of Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign, 17 the king loved Esther more than all the other women; of all the virgins she won his favor and devotion, so that he set the royal crown on her head and made her queen instead of Vashti. 18 Then the king gave a great banquet to all his officials and ministers—“Esther’s banquet.” He also granted a holiday to the provinces, and gave gifts with royal liberality.
9 He broke open the fifth seal. I saw souls under the altar. They were the souls of people who were killed because of God’s word and their faithful witness. 10 They called out in a loud voice. “How long, Lord and King, holy and true?” they asked. “How long will you wait to judge those who live on the earth? How long will it be until you pay them back for killing us?”
11 Then each of them was given a white robe. “Wait a little longer,” they were told. “There are still more of your believing brothers and sisters who must be killed.”
12 I watched as he broke open the sixth seal. There was a powerful earthquake. The sun turned black like black clothes that were made from the hair of a goat. The whole moon turned as red as blood. 13 The stars in the sky fell to earth. They dropped like ripe figs from a tree shaken by a strong wind. 14 The sky rolled back like a scroll. Every mountain and island was moved out of its place.
15 Everyone hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. This included the kings of the earth, the princes and the generals, rich people and powerful people. It also included every slave and everyone who was free. 16 They called out to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us! Hide us from the face of the One who sits on the throne! Hide us from the anger of the Lamb! 17 The great day of their anger has come. Who can live through it?”
Prayer: Oh that today we may hear your voice, O Lord, for we are the sheep of your pasture. Amen.