The Apocrypha of the Jews
And the king said unto Esther the queen, The Jews have slain and destroyed five hundred men in Shushan the palace, and the ten sons of Haman; what have they done in the rest of the king's provinces? now what is thy petition? and it shall be granted thee: or what is thy request further? and it shall be done.
If one knows the Bible the books which the Catholics claim as part of the Bible like Maccabees I and II, Tobit, Judith, Wisdom of Solomon, Sirach etc. these were never considered as canon (scripture), by early Church father or even by the Catholic Church right up to 1400AD. It was after people started studying scriptures and started questioning the traditions of the Catholic Church that the Catholic Church started claiming these books to be part of the books that are considered as scriptures. No doubt these books were read as references by early Church fathers but never given the status of canon. It was the Catholic Church that canonized these books in 1400AD just to justify their manmade traditions and beliefs.
People are not aware even the Jews did the same thing.
The Old Testament we have has 39 books but during the time of Jesus there were only 38 books in them. In 1947 one of the greatest Biblical discoveries were made, they found what is today called the Dead Sea Scrolls. These are a collection of books from 150BC to 70AD which were sealed in various caves on the banks of the Dead Sea. This collection of manuscripts included the whole of the Old Testament translated in Aramaic. In this collection the book of Esther was missing.
Theologians have tried to justify the 66 books in the Bible based on the book of Isaiah. The book of Isaiah has 66 verses but if one looks carefully one will see the 65th and the 66th chapters give the same prophecy / contents about New Heavens / New Nation (translated as earth) being the Throne of God (New Jerusalem) and rebuking of the hypocrites (rebellious people).
People may now think should we remove the book of Esther? If we see Esther is not a book of faith for no Christian belief has any root in the book of Esther. The Jews have some traditions rooted in this book therefore gave it importance. For us Christians it is more a historical book that includes the testimony of a woman called Esther and how by her faith, determination and dedication towards God and His people saved the lives of the Jewish nation. These people later rejected Christ and although saved from earthly destruction would not be spared for eternal destruction. The Bible does say at the end some of the Jews will turn to the Lord Jesus Christ and accept Him as their Lord and Saviour, but that would be the state of people of every religion, for it is written in the end days the grace of the Lord will be abundant and His Spirit will be poured on many such that many will come to the knowledge of Him and His glory will increase throughout this world before the false prophet comes.
Today's message the Lord tells us to look back and take example from the life of this simple woman named Esther and how He worked wonders through this simple woman and did what was impossible to even thousands of men. What God wants from us today is total faith in Him. He wants us to be part of His vision and it is only when we are part of His vision will we have determination and dedication to hold on to His Word for His Word is the footprint for the salvation of mankind.
[ Prayer Starter ]
Lord, You do not desire great things from us but have just simple expectations of holding on to You and your instructions, and it is You Lord who will do great things from those who do so. Lord, we pray that your Word be always before our eyes and we have a heart for your people and You seated on the throne of your heart and You be glorified through us...
This prayer we make in Jesus' Name, Amen.
[ Reference ]
1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
|The Word of God was given free to us, therefore we should also share it freely with others.
(All rights are with God)