There is nothing like a healthy dose of conviction on a Saturday morning! I have been holding a grudge. I am not proud of the fact that I had to say that, but there it is. Tomorrow (God willing) is going to afford me the opportunity to right a wrong, and the Lord is urging me to take it. Most of the time the people we are holding the grudge against don't even know or care that we are resenting them. The only person it hurts is ourselves. Doesn't matter who is right or who is wrong, we are all human and therefore fallible. It is our job as Christians to show grace as He has shown grace to us. I already feel some better! Thanks for listening!
Our study in Esther is all about grace and the provision of God. Today in our text we will read about God's provision to protect His people.
Esther 8:1 On that day did the king Ahasuerus give the house of Haman the Jews' enemy unto Esther the queen. And Mordecai came before the king; for Esther had told what he was unto her. 2 And the king took off his ring, which he had taken from Haman, and gave it unto Mordecai. And Esther set Mordecai over the house of Haman. "On that day" of Esther's second banquet and Haman's undoing, "the house of Haman" or all that he had possessed was given to Esther. All of his wealth was now hers. She was now free to tell the king about her relationship to Mordecai. Mordecai had already proven himself to the king as an honest loyal man, so now Esther gives him control over Haman's estate. He was not only her cousin, but a trusted guardian to her. The king gives the signet ring and all the authority it carries to Mordecai.
3 And Esther spake yet again before the king, and fell down at his feet, and besought him with tears to put away the mischief of Haman the Agagite, and his device that he had devised against the Jews. 4 Then the king held out the golden sceptre toward Esther. So Esther arose, and stood before the king, 5 And said, If it please the king, and if I have found favour in his sight, and the thing seem right before the king, and I be pleasing in his eyes, let it be written to reverse the letters devised by Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, which he wrote to destroy the Jews which are in all the king's provinces: 6 For how can I endure to see the evil that shall come unto my people? or how can I endure to see the destruction of my kindred? Even though Haman was dead and gone there was still a problem that must be dealt with quickly. The decree made by Haman to exterminate the Jews was still an enforceable law. Even the king could not reverse the order. Esther begs the king for his help: "If it please the king, and if I have found favor" please help us to stop this evil from coming to her and her "kindred" people.
7 Then the king Ahasuerus said unto Esther the queen and to Mordecai the Jew, Behold, I have given Esther the house of Haman, and him they have hanged upon the gallows, because he laid his hand upon the Jews. 8 Write ye also for the Jews, as it liketh you, in the king's name, and seal it with the king's ring: for the writing which is written in the king's name, and sealed with the king's ring, may no man reverse. The king gives Mordecai the authority to write a new decree "as it liketh you". The wording of the decree was crucial. The original could not be reversed but a new one could give them more power.
9 Then were the king's scribes called at that time in the third month, that is, the month Sivan, on the three and twentieth day thereof; and it was written according to all that Mordecai commanded unto the Jews, and to the lieutenants, and the deputies and rulers of the provinces which are from India unto Ethiopia, an hundred twenty and seven provinces, unto every province according to the writing thereof, and unto every people after their language, and to the Jews according to their writing, and according to their language. You have just read the longest verse in the Bible; it contains 78 words. Mordecai wastes no time in calling the scribes to come and pen the new decree. It is now June of 474 B.C. and a copy of the new decree is sent to all 127 provinces of the Persian empire. The decree had to be written in several different languages.
10 And he wrote in the king Ahasuerus' name, and sealed it with the king's ring, and sent letters by posts on horseback, and riders on mules, camels, and young dromedaries: Every animal capable of being ridden was put into service to carry the new decree throughout the land. Interesting side note: I thought dromedaries and camels were the same thing, but no they are not! Dromedaries are single humped and have long legs. Camels have shorter legs and two humps. And now we know!
11 Wherein the king granted the Jews which were in every city to gather themselves together, and to stand for their life, to destroy, to slay, and to cause to perish, all the power of the people and province that would assault them, both little ones and women, and to take the spoil of them for a prey, 12 Upon one day in all the provinces of king Ahasuerus, namely, upon the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month Adar. 13 The copy of the writing for a commandment to be given in every province was published unto all people, and that the Jews should be ready against that day to avenge themselves on their enemies. 14 So the posts that rode upon mules and camels went out, being hastened and pressed on by the king's commandment. And the decree was given at Shushan the palace. The new decree did not negate the old but gave the Jewish people power to "stand for their life" against any enemy that may mean them harm. They now had the protection of the king.
15 And Mordecai went out from the presence of the king in royal apparel of blue and white, and with a great crown of gold, and with a garment of fine linen and purple: and the city of Shushan rejoiced and was glad. 16 The Jews had light, and gladness, and joy, and honour. 17 And in every province, and in every city, whithersoever the king's commandment and his decree came, the Jews had joy and gladness, a feast and a good day. And many of the people of the land became Jews; for the fear of the Jews fell upon them. What a change! Mordecai who had sat at the king's gates in sackcloth and ashes just a few day before, was now arrayed in the finest apparel. The Jews rejoiced to see him honored. A great feast was given and a "good day" or holiday was pronounced. Verse 17 is the only verse in the Bible where it speaks of people of other races adopting the Jewish faith. As the people began to see the hand of God working for the Jewish people, they too wanted to know the God of Israel. A great revival was happening in the land again.
It is easy to compare the decree of Haman to the Law of Moses, and the decree of Mordecai with the New Covenant. Haman's decree would have brought death to the people; just as the Law brought man the knowledge of sin unto death. Mordecai's decree gave the people power and life; just as the New Covenant does for the church today. Mordecai's decree however, could not give eternal life. Nothing but the shed blood of Jesus can make us clean in the sight of God, but God always make provision for His people.
An alphabetical list of the names given to our Savior in Scripture: #29 The Holy One of God
Mark 1:23 And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out, 24 Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God. No one knows who the Holy One of God is better than the demons. They know who He is, why He came, and that all power belongs to Him. His power is not diminished today. He is still the Holy One of God! Praise all His wonderful Names!
Take my word for nothing; go to the Source and read it for yourself. And as always to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ be all the Glory forever.
FAITH: Forsaking All, I Trust Him.