Esther 8

Wicked Haman, the hater of God’s people, was dead. His estate was given to Queen Esther and his job was given to Mordecai. Haman was gone, but his evil influence lived on in the law he had duped the king into signing. Haman’s law put the Jews of the Persian Empire in grave danger — it called for the execution of every Jew, young and old, in each of the 127 provinces of Persia on a certain day, Adar the 13th (see 3:13).

Something had to be done. Esther again went to King Ahasuerus, pleading with him to revoke the law of Haman. While the king wanted to help, Esther was asking for the impossible. According to the code known as “The Law of the Medes and the Persians”, once the king made a decree and sealed it with his royal signet ring it could not be repealed — not even by the king himself. His hands were tied, but he gave permission to Esther and Mordecai to come up with a law that would counteract the first law with actually canceling it. It was a tall order, but God was on their side. He had led Esther and Mordecai this far, and He would not let them down now.

In a brilliant legal maneuver, Mordecai wrote a new law that would allow the Jews to defend themselves on the day Haman’s law went into effect (v.11-12). In a single day those who hated God’s people would be exposed by Haman’s law and eliminated by Mordecai’s law. When news of the new law reached the Jews of Susa and beyond, they rejoiced and celebrated, knowing they had averted danger and (I think) acknowledging that God had worked through His servants to protect His chosen people.

This is interesting history, but it is more than that to me. In this account I find assurance that God is sovereign. God’s Providence (His supervision over all things, ensuring that His will is done) is unstoppable. He is omniscient (all-knowing), omnipotent (all-powerful), and omnipresent (everywhere at once) — even when life seems out of control, God is powerfully, consistently in control. Even when I am unaware of His plan and I can’t sense His presence, He is working all things together for my good (see Romans 8:28). The book of Esther is a testimony to that. Did you know that this is the only book in the Bible that does not mention the name of the Lord or even the word “God”? But He is there, arranging situations, empowering His people, and determining — with perfect timing — the details of His will.

That same God is working in your life, too. Like Esther and Mordecai, you can trust Him and join Him in His great plan of redemption.

(Note to First Baptist Church readers: don’t forget that we kick off our Fall activities today…new choirs and mission programs for the kids and new discipleship classes for adults. Also, in Prayer Meeting this evening at 6:00 p.m. I will be leading a 9/11 remembrance service with prayer for our nation and the nations of the world. For more information on our schedule please visit our website.)