Queen Vashti dismissed and her "royal estate" given to Esther (Esth. 1:19; 2:17). A decree to save the Jews is issued (chap. 8) and God brings victory to His people (9:1-19). The Festival of Purim was established annually (9:19-32). King Ahasuerus proclaims Mordecai prime minister, second only to the king (chap. 10).
At this time in history, Haman had a high position with the king and, appealing to his ego, he manipulated him to declare a sentence of death upon anyone who refused to bow before the king as if he were God. Mordecai, a devout worshiper of the One True God, refused to bow down to the king; and Haman then declared that all Jews should be executed.
Haman's "wise counselors" had cast Pur (lot) to determine the most favorable time to execute all Jews. Haman's "lucky day" fell on the 13th day of the 12th month (Esth. 3:7-13; 9:1,24). Undoubtedly Haman felt fortunate that the lot had fallen on the last month of the year so that he would have plenty of time to prepare his evil plans to "execute" all Jews in the kingdom.
The fixed day of execution, which came to be known as Purim (Lots), was turned from death to deliverance. Haman did not realize that Mordecai's God is always in control of all the affairs of earth. Even though the lot is cast into the lap . . . the whole disposing thereof is of the LORD (Prov. 16:33).
Following Haman's execution on the gallows he had prepared for Mordecai, the king allowed Mordecai to write a new decree giving the Jews the right to defend themselves. In the day that the enemies of the Jews hoped to have power over them, (though it was turned to the contrary, that the Jews had rule over them that hated them;) . . . the fear of them fell upon all people (Esth. 9:1-2). The Book of Esther illustrates how God uses faithful servants to change world affairs in order to fulfill His Word. When our situation seems hopeless, we need to seek the will of God and praise Him for his merciful protection and provision when He wonderfully intervenes.
Esther is a testimony to the fact that, even in a secular society dominated by a heathen power, our God can protect His people. But, He expects us, like Esther, to respond courageously in faith to the threats of the Hamans of this world.
Even though God is not seen, His insignificant followers are never out of His sight. He is infallible and guides and provides for His faithful servants.
The peace and security enjoyed by Mordecai and Esther can be experienced by those who let the world know that Jesus said: No man cometh unto the Father, but by Me (John 14:6).
Thought for Today:
Ye shall be witnesses unto Me (Acts 1:8).
By Mordecai, who was exalted from servanthood to a position of honor and glory next unto (the) king (Esth. 8:2,15; 10:3). His life illustrated Christian conduct. Christ came to earth as a servant and was exalted to the right hand of God (Phil. 2:5-11; Mark 16:19).
8:3 put away the mischief =avert the evil; device =scheme; 8:10 posts =couriers; 9:4 waxed greater and greater =became increasingly popular and powerful.
Pray for Government Officials: Rep. Steny Hoyer (MD) and Rep. James Sensenbrenner, Jr. (WI) • Country: Mozambique (19 million) on the eastern coast of Africa • Major language: Portuguese • Religious freedom • 40% worship of false gods, ancestral spirits, and some witchcraft; 23% Roman Catholic; 14% Protestant; 13% Muslim • Prayer Suggestion: Confess and repent of any known sin (I John 1:9).
Optional Reading: Galatians 3
Memory Verse for the Week: 2 Corinthians 1:9