Relief from Enemies
Scripture reading for May 18th: Esther 8-10
Don’t you just love a happy ending to a sad story? The story of Esther and her uncle, Mordecai, has a good ending for the people of God as well as for the principle characters. The ones that were designated for death and destruction got to take revenge on their enemies. The ones on the bottom got to be at the top. There was joy and rejoicing in the camp of the Jews wherever they were scattered throughout the land.
Haman had cast a lot, probably by throwing dice or some similar gambling device. He trusted in luck and the help of gods to choose a date to wipe out the Jews. He was overruled by God and was hanged on the gallows he constructed to kill Mordecai. Mordecai was given his place of rulership and Queen Esther petitioned the King to change the edict. What she did not realize was that a command of the King could not be rescinded. (Esther 8:3-8) The King was sympathetic, granted her Haman’s estate, and allowed another edict to be drawn up. This edict granted the Jews the right to gather and protect themselves and even to get relief from their enemies! (Esther 8:11-14)
When the appointed day arrived, the Jews quickly acted against their enemies. They killed the ten sons of Haman and 500 others in Susa alone. Queen Esther petitioned to have a second day to finish the work and the King granted it. In all of the country 75,000 were killed by the Jews. (Esther 9:16-17) The Jews then officially set apart the fourteenth and fifteenth days of the 12th month as a day of celebration and joy because of what God had done. They give presents to one another and gifts to the poor. The name of this feast is “Purim”. It is named after the Hebrew word for “lot” which is “pur” (Esther 9:26-27)
This story is a picture of the great reversal that belongs to each child of God. We can look forward to the punishment of those who have mistreated us. God knows how to keep the wicked for the day of punishment and how to preserve and reward those who are faithful to Him! The day is coming when we will dance on the ashes of the wicked! (Malachi 3:2-3)