Friday, May 20, 2011

The Book of Esther #16

The Book of Esther
Esther 8:9-17

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. 

 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: 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, Upon one day in all the provinces of king Ahasuerus, namely, upon the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month Adar. 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. 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.

 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. The Jews had light, and gladness, and joy, and honour. 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.


The Tables are Turned
It has been two months and 10 days since Haman’s decree was sent out, which means; eight months and 20 days were left for the Jews to defend themselves. Mordecai took the responsibility for drawing up the counter decree himself and the king’s secretaries were instructed to copy the edict into many different languages of the empire including Hebrew for the Jewish population. Mordecai wrote the letters in the king’s name sealing the writings with the king’s ring. Everything had to be done aggressively and the Jews had to be given plenty of advance notice to avenge themselves against their enemies. Couriers were called to ride swiftly to all the providences of the kingdom to ensure the express delivery of the new edict and the posting of this second decree in a public place. The letters granted the Jews permission to gather together as an assembly and that they could protect and defend themselves against the deadly decree given by Haman.
 Turning From Sorrow to Gladness and Joy
The second decree was given out at Shushan the palace where gladness and joy were expressed in honor toward Mordecai as he entered the city dressed in his blue and white royal apparel and a distinguishing head dress upon his head. The joy of this occasion was in great contrast to the sorrow of the first decree given only a few months prior. The Jewish people were now experiencing one of the greatest deliverances of God from the doom of destruction since the time of their exodus from Egypt. “And many of the people of the land became Jews; for the fear of the Jews fell upon them.” The population realized that the God of the Jews had significantly exceeded anything that they had ever experienced with the false gods of Persia; especially during this celebrated liberation from death and total annihilation. (Annihilation is defined as "total destruction" or "complete obliteration" of an object; having its root in the Latin nihil (nothing). A literal translation is "to make into nothing".)
Thought: Only those who have wept in the night of despair can fully comprehend the joy that comes when their weeping has ended and with the morning comes new hope.  Psalm 30:5, “For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life( His favor is for a life-time): weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”  We may weep through the night but one day the Bible assures us that all tears will be wiped away and we will rejoice forevermore, “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”  (Rev. 21:4)

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