In our study of Esther chapter eight, we look at how God rescued His people from certain death and how it is a wonderful picture of our salvation through Jesus Christ. In chapter 7,we saw how God handled the enemy of the Jews and now we will see how He handled the law that was against them.
That same day King Xerxes gave Queen Esther the estate of Haman, the enemy of the Jews. And Mordecai came into the presence of the king, for Esther had told how he was related to her.
God does more for us than we can ever imagine or hope for. This is an example of that as, not only did God take care of their accuser (Haman), but He also gave Queen Esther Haman's possessions. She had went to the king just hoping that he would spare her life and the lives of her people but she probably never dreamed of being given Haman's estate. The favor that the king showed Esther is a picture of the grace that God wants to show us and is what Paul was talking about, in Ephesians 3:20, when he reminded the Ephesians that God can do more for us than we can imagine. When Jesus died on the cross and rose again, He not only saved us but He also has given us the power to reign over this estate called earth. Esther also explained to the king how Mordecai was related to her and so he was brought to the king.
The king took off his signet ring, which he had reclaimed from Haman, and presented it to Mordecai. And Esther appointed him over Haman's estate.
Mordecai was blessed by the king because of that relationship as the king gave him his ring which was the authority to act on behalf of the king. Mordecai was also put in charge of the estate of the man that had hated him so much. This is a picture of the authority and blessing that we have because of our relationship with Jesus Christ. As God's children, He gives us the authority to act on His behalf. He also gives us signs of this authority just like Mordecai received the ring. He also is going to reclaim the earth from the enemy which is the devil and put us in charge of it once again.
Esther again pleaded with the king, falling at his feet and weeping. She begged him to put an end to the evil plan of Haman the Agagite, which he had devised against the Jews.
The fact still remained that there was a law on the books that called for the destruction of the Jews and it could not be changed or cancelled. Because of that fact, Esther goes before the king once again on behalf of the people. This too is a picture of how we were under condemnation by the Law as sinners and the Law could not be changed. That is why Jesus said that He did not come to abolish the Law but to fulfill it (see Matthew 5:17).
Then the king extended the gold scepter to Esther and she arose and stood before him.
Once again, the king showed Esther mercy when she came into his presence. This is a beautiful picture of God's mercy for us. When we humble ourselves in the presence of God, we can be sure that He will extend His mercy to us once again.
'If it pleases the king,' she said, 'and if he regards me with favor and thinks it the right thing to do, and if he is pleased with me, let an order be written overruling the dispatches that Haman son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, devised and wrote to destroy the Jews in all the king's provinces.'
Esther asked the king to issue another order that would overrule the previous law. This is a picture of what Jesus Christ did for us in that He not only kept the law on our behalf but He also freed us from it. That is what Paul was talking about, in Colossians 2, when he spoke of Jesus canceling the code on our behalf.
'For how can I bear to see disaster fall on my people? How can I bear to see the destruction of my family?'
The queen made it personal by identifying herself with the rest of the Jews. That is a good lesson for us as Christians in that we need to continue to remember that we were once lost sinners just like those around us. As Esther said, how can we bear to see disaster fall on them?
King Xerxes replied to Queen Esther and to Mordecai the Jew, 'Because Haman attacked the Jews, I have given his estate to Esther, and they have hanged him on the gallows. Now write another decree in the king's name in behalf of the Jews as seems best to you, and seal it with the king's signet ring - for no document written in the king's name and sealed with his ring can be revoked.'
The king could not cancel the law that had been issued but he authorized a new law on behalf of the Jews. This is a picture of the coming grace of God through Jesus Christ. The Law was given to make us aware of sin and the fact that we were destined for death. That Law was not cancelled but God issued a new law which said that those who believe in Jesus Christ would be saved from death.
At once the royal secretaries were summoned - on the twenty-third day of the third month, the month of Sivan. They wrote out all Mordecai's orders to the Jews, and to the satraps, governors and nobles of the 127 provinces stretching from India to Cush. These orders were written in the script of each province and the language of each people and also to the Jews in their own script and language.
Mordecai wasted no time in writing the order that would save the Jews from death and destruction. This happened in the same month that God had given the Jews the Law at Mt. Sinai. Once again, it was written in all the different languages so that everyone would understand it.
Mordecai wrote in the name of King Xerxes, sealed the dispatches with the king's signet ring, and sent them by mounted couriers, who rode fast horses especially bred for the king.
The message was carried to the ends of the kingdom as fast as possible. There was not much time and so it was all done with that in mind. It reminds me of the job that we have been given to tell the world about Jesus and how they can be saved from the coming destruction. We need to carry the message with haste just as the riders on these horses did because we do not know when it will be too late. It could be today that Jesus comes back!
The king's edict granted the Jews in every city the right to assemble and protect themselves; to destroy, kill and annihilate any armed force that might attack them and their women and children; and to plunder the property of their enemies.
There were three parts to the order that Mordecai wrote on behalf of the king. The Jews were given the right to gather together, defend themselves, and gain the victory of their enemies. We remember that the number three is associated with the display of God's will and here His will has consistently been to take care of His children. That same promise goes for us today and we can walk in victory because, through Jesus Christ, this same type of order has been issued on our behalf. As His children, God wants us to gather together to help each other defend against the attacks of the enemy which is the devil. He has also given us the victory and the spoils from the battle both today and in the future as we are joint heirs with Jesus of this earth and everything in it. It is time for us to lift up our heads and to walk in that victory as the royal family that we are in Jesus Christ.
The day appointed for the Jews to do this in all the provinces of King Xerxes was the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month of Adar. A copy of the text of the edict was to be issued as law in every province and made known to the people of every nationality so that the Jews would be ready on that day to avenge themselves on their enemies.
God's timing is always perfect and we see that in these events. Adar is always the last (twelfth) month of the Jewish year and here we see that the Jews could defend themselves in this month. In the following month (the first month of the year) the passover is celebrated and during this time the people remember that God delivered them. We all should ask ourselves a question: What month are we in spiritually? Are we in the last month (our old lives) where we are doing things in our own strength or are we in the first month (new life) where we trust in God?
The couriers, riding the royal horses, raced out, spurred on by the king's command. And the edict was also issued in the citadel of Susa.
The king issued the command but it would not have done any good if the men on the horses had not done their part in taking it to the people. This is the same with us today in that God has issued the command that everyone who believes in His Son Jesus Christ shall be saved. But, it is up to us as the saints to tell the people about it. We also notice that they went on the royal horses and not by walking or their own transportation. This is a reminder that, as we go out proclaiming the gospel of Jesus, we must go in His power through the Holy Spirit. The third point we see in this verse is that the command was also posted in the citadel of Susa. This reminds us that our part in sharing the good news begins at home. There are many people that say they would go to some other land and boldly share the gospel but, if you are not doing it in your hometown, you are not prepared to go and speak anywhere else.
Mordecai left the king's presence wearing royal garments of blue and white, a large crown of gold and a purple robe of fine linen. And the city of Susa held a joyous celebration. For the Jews it was a time of happiness and joy, gladness and honor.
This humble servant, who had faced certain death at the hand of his enemy, is now raised up and honored. This is a picture of how it will be for those that follow Jesus Christ. Even though there may be many that persecute you for your faith, rest assured that on the last day you will walk out dressed in royal robes just like Mordecai did. The city was also filled with joy and celebration and that is a picture of how it is going to be on that final day. If you are in Christ, you too can celebrate and have that joy today and every day because you are no longer facing the threat of death. Sin and death were defeated by Jesus on the cross and the fact that He rose again. We rise in victory with Him and that, my friends, is worth celebrating every day!
In every province and in every city, wherever the edict of the king went, there was joy and gladness among the Jews, with feasting and celebrating. And many people of other nationalities became Jews because fear of the Jews had seized them.
The celebration happened everywhere that the proclamation of salvation was shared. The people celebrated their new life and we should too. The people around them saw that God was at work on the side of the Jews and they were afraid so they became Jews too. It is not popular now to tell people about the coming wrath of God but, as we see here, a healthy dose of the fear of God can bring people to repentance and salvation.