August 15

August 15

Esther — The King’s decree, the Jews saved, & the Feast of Purim.

Today’s Readings:

Reading 1: Esther 8

Reading 2: Esther 9

Reading 3: Esther 10

What do you do when an all-powerful ruler has issued a decree which will destroy your people, but the decree cannot be reversed?

That is the seemingly intractable situation that Esther and Mordecai face today. Their enemy Haman has been destroyed, but his sons and his allies still have a decree permitting them to wipe out the Jews on March 7th.

Mordecai has been made prime minister, but the king still has all the authority. Esther goes to the king again and is granted permission to send any message throughout the land, provided it does not contradict the decree to wipe out the Jews.

(Sideline – weak leadership that is too easily influenced by malicious advisors is a terrible affliction for any nation. And subordinate leadership that rebelliously seeks to usurp control is a reflection of satan’s original sin)

Mordecai proves himself to be the leader of God’s choosing alongside Esther – the new decree does not change the original one, but orders the Jews to gather together to defend themselves and attack anyone who seeks to harm them, on the same day as the first decree was to be implemented.

This reversal causes almost everyone to side with the Jews, and allows the Jews to wipe out their enemies, including Haman’s ten sons, on one day (two days in Susa, the capital). This day of victory becomes the Feast of Purim (casting lots) which Jews still celebrate today. The name comes from the lots cast to decide the day the original decree would take effect.

For us, we may face seemingly insurmountable threats, whether today or in the future. But Jesus has already overcome those threats. He has implemented God’s decree, that death will be no more, and sin will be washed away. We can celebrate a great victory!

Have a great day!

Mark.

 

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