Day 348 December 14
Unfriendly people look out for themselves;
they bicker with sensible people.
2 Fools find no pleasure in understanding,
but only in expressing their opinion.
3 When the wicked arrive, so does contempt;
with shame comes insult.
4 The words of a person’s mouth are deep waters,
a bubbling stream, a fountain of wisdom.
5 Favoring the wicked isn’t good;
it denies justice to the righteous.
6 The lips of fools make accusations;
their mouths elicit beatings.
7 The mouth of fools is their ruin;
their lips are a trap for their lives.
8 The words of gossips are like choice snacks;
they go down to the inmost parts.
9 Those who are lazy in their work
are brothers to thugs.
10 The Lord’s name is a strong tower;
the righteous run to it and find refuge.
Sometime later, King Ahasuerus promoted Haman, Hammedatha the Agagite’s son, by promoting him above all the officials who worked with him. 2 All the royal workers at the King’s Gate would kneel and bow facedown to Haman because the king had so ordered. But Mordecai didn’t kneel or bow down. 3 So the royal workers at the King’s Gate said to Mordecai, “Why don’t you obey the king’s order?” 4 Day after day they questioned him, but he paid no attention to them. So they let Haman know about it just to see whether or not Mordecai’s words would hold true. (He had told them that he was a Jew.) 5 When Haman himself saw that Mordecai didn’t kneel or bow down to him, he became very angry. 6 But he decided not to kill only Mordecai, for people had told him Mordecai’s race. Instead, he planned to wipe out all the Jews, Mordecai’s people, throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus. 7 In the first month (that is, the month of Nisan)[c] in the twelfth year of the rule of King Ahasuerus, servants threw pur, namely, dice, in front of Haman to find the best day for his plan. They tried every day and every month, and the dice chose the thirteenth day of the twelfth month (that is, the month of Adar).
8 Then Haman said to King Ahasuerus, “A certain group of people exist in pockets among the other peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom. Their laws are different from those of everyone else, and they refuse to obey the king’s laws. There’s no good reason for the king to put up with them any longer. 9 If the king wishes, let a written order be sent out to destroy them, and I will hand over ten thousand kikkars of silver[e] to those in charge of the king’s business. The silver can go into the king’s treasuries.”
9 After this I looked, and there in front of me was a huge crowd of people. They stood in front of the throne and in front of the Lamb. There were so many that no one could count them. They came from every nation, tribe, people and language. They were wearing white robes. In their hands they were holding palm branches. 10 They cried out in a loud voice,
“Salvation belongs to our God,
who sits on the throne.
Salvation also belongs to the Lamb.”
11 All the angels were standing around the throne. They were standing around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces in front of the throne and worshiped God. 12 They said,
May praise and glory
and wisdom be given to our God for ever and ever.
Give him thanks and honor and power and strength.
13 Then one of the elders spoke to me. “Who are these people dressed in white robes?” he asked. “Where did they come from?” 14 I answered, “Sir, you know.”
He said, “They are the ones who have come out of the time of terrible suffering. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15 So
“they are in front of the throne of God.
They serve him day and night in his temple.
The One who sits on the throne will spread his tent over them.
16 Never again will they be hungry.
Never again will they be thirsty.
The sun will not beat down on them.
The heat of the desert will not harm them.
17 The Lamb, who is at the center of the area around the throne, will be their shepherd.
He will lead them to springs of living water.
And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”
Comment: what a contrast of kingdoms!!
Prayer: Lord we lift you name on high. How great you are, beautifully and gloriously robed in splendor! Amen.