3366.) Esther 8

Queen Esther from the movie "One Night with the King."

Queen Esther from the movie “One Night with the King,” released in 2006.

Esther 8   (NRSV)

Esther Saves the Jews

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Music:

HERE  is “Our God Saves”  by Paul Baloche. Think about it, for you personally and for our world — our God saves!

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On that day King Ahasuerus gave to Queen Esther the house of Haman, the enemy of the Jews; and Mordecai came before the king, for Esther had told what he was to her. 2Then the king took off his signet ring, which he had taken from Haman, and gave it to Mordecai. So Esther set Mordecai over the house of Haman.

Haman’s estate goes to Esther. Haman’s job goes to Mordecai.  

Psalm 94:20-23 (NLT)

Can unjust leaders claim that God is on their side—
leaders whose decrees permit injustice?
They gang up against the righteous
and condemn the innocent to death.
But the Lord is my fortress;
my God is the mighty rock where I hide.
God will turn the sins of evil people back on them.
He will destroy them for their sins.
The Lord our God will destroy them.

3Then Esther spoke again to the king; she fell at his feet, weeping and pleading with him to avert the evil design of Haman the Agagite and the plot that he had devised against the Jews. 4The king held out the golden scepter to Esther, 5and Esther rose and stood before the king. She said, “If it pleases the king, and if I have won his favor, and if the thing seems right before the king, and I have his approval, let an order be written to revoke the letters devised by Haman son of Hammedatha the Agagite, which he wrote giving orders to destroy the Jews who are in all the provinces of the king. 6For how can I bear to see the calamity that is coming on my people? Or how can I bear to see the destruction of my kindred?”

Even though Haman was defeated, the decree of the king still stood against the Jews. How could God’s people be preserved when a decree of the king cannot be revoked (according to Esther 1:19)?

7Then King Ahasuerus said to Queen Esther and to the Jew Mordecai, “See, I have given Esther the house of Haman, and they have hanged him on the gallows, because he plotted to lay hands on the Jews. 8You may write as you please with regard to the Jews, in the name of the king, and seal it with the king’s ring; for an edict written in the name of the king and sealed with the king’s ring cannot be revoked.”

One cannot help but be incredulous about how free the king is with his signet ring! And further — who enacted such a silly law, in which the ring is more powerful than the person wielding it? This is not Middle Earth!

9The king’s secretaries were summoned at that time, in the third month, which is the month of Sivan, on the twenty-third day; and an edict was written, according to all that Mordecai commanded, to the Jews and to the satraps and the governors and the officials of the provinces from India to Ethiopia, one hundred twenty-seven provinces, to every province in its own script and to every people in its own language, and also to the Jews in their script and their language.

Just FYI — At 43 words in Hebrew, verse 9 is the longest verse in the Hebrew Bible.

10He wrote letters in the name of King Ahasuerus, sealed them with the king’s ring, and sent them by mounted couriers riding on fast steeds bred from the royal herd.

11By these letters the king allowed the Jews who were in every city to assemble and defend their lives, to destroy, to kill, and to annihilate any armed force of any people or province that might attack them, with their children and women, and to plunder their goods 12on a single day throughout all the provinces of King Ahasuerus, on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar.

The king could not revoke the previous decree, so he simply made another decree giving support to the Jews against their attackers.

We might think of Haman as in the place of our enemy, Satan, and joyfully await the day God puts him away. But we still must deal with the righteous decree of God that demands our death: The soul who sins shall die (Ezekiel 18:4). In our sins, we not only have an enemy (Satan), but we also have a legal decree from a righteous God against us.

God solves the problem, not by compromising His decree for eternal justice, but by fulfilling justice in taking the punishment we deserved – His counter-decree saves us; that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus (Romans 3:26).

–David Guzik

13A copy of the writ was to be issued as a decree in every province and published to all peoples, and the Jews were to be ready on that day to take revenge on their enemies.

Esther 8 Adar

the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar — the very day Haman had chosen to be the day of their mass murder  — but now the Jews can defend themselves.

1 Corinthians 10:13 (ESV)

God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

14So the couriers, mounted on their swift royal steeds, hurried out, urged by the king’s command. The decree was issued in the citadel of Susa.

"So the posts that rode upon mules and camels went out." by James Shaw Crompton

“So the posts that rode upon mules and camels went out.” by James Shaw Crompton

15Then Mordecai went out from the presence of the king, wearing royal robes of blue and white, with a great golden crown and a mantle of fine linen and purple, while the city of Susa shouted and rejoiced. 16For the Jews there was light and gladness, joy and honor.

Psalm 97:10-12 (NIV)

Let those who love the LORD hate evil,
for he guards the lives of his faithful ones
and delivers them from the hand of the wicked.

Light is shed upon the righteous
and joy on the upright in heart.

Rejoice in the LORD, you who are righteous,
and praise his holy name.

17In every province and in every city, wherever the king’s command and his edict came, there was gladness and joy among the Jews, a festival and a holiday.

PARTY!

They can breathe again! They can think of the future again! Joy replaces sorrow, confidence replaces fear, life replaces death. What a wonder!

Furthermore, many of the peoples of the country professed to be Jews, because the fear of the Jews had fallen upon them.

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The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:
Queen Esther.  https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/esther.jpg
How the mighty have fallen.     https://kingsenglish.info/2011/01/23/how-the-mighty-are-fallen/
Lord of the Rings.    https://www.flashbackcinema.net/new-blog/2019/8/6/the-lord-of-the-rings-trilogy-bh4ed
Adar.     http://hint-magazine.com/as-soon-as-adar-begins-joy-increases/
Crompton.  https://bibledrivethru.blogspot.com/2017/08/from-sadness-to-celebration.html

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