Thursday 15 November, 2018

Esther 8:9-17

9 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.[a] 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. 10 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. 11 The king’s edict granted the Jews in every city the right to assemble and protect themselves; to destroy, kill and annihilate the armed men of any nationality or province who might attack them and their women and children,[b] and to plunder the property of their enemies. 12 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. 13 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. 14 The couriers, riding the royal horses, went out, spurred on by the king’s command, and the edict was issued in the citadel of Susa. 15 When Mordecai left the king’s presence, he was 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. 16 For the Jews it was a time of happiness and joy, gladness and honor. 17 In every province and in every city to which the edict of the king came, 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.

What a terrific account of God’s faithfulness and faithful people seizing opportunity!

There have been events in my life when God’s hand was the powerful force of change. Change of circumstances and situations, where everything was beyond my control. These are exciting times, seeing God act, but also challenging, waiting for God’s timing. Just as I’m sure the waiting did for Esther and Mordechai, it builds my faith and patience.

As the king honours Mordechai, this opens the way for him to influence the plight of God’s people. Xerxes agreed and the edict travels out across the lands. What an incredible change of circumstances, that a Persian king would entrust a Jewish elder with this authority (this reminds me somewhat of Pharaoh and Joseph!) Our faithful God saved his people and remained true to his covenant promises.

I remember that God is the same in my life. He does not leave anything to chance when he acts. He transforms situations in response to my faith.

Esther and Mordechai show me something else – that I need to be open to opportunities to be used by God. God was at work through Esther and Mordechai, especially bringing them favour with the king. However they needed to act. Situations for me to do the same could mean confronting fear of the consequences, and uncertainty of what to say. However there is no uncertainty that God is with me through it all.

Lord Jesus, the incredible elevation of foreigners in King Xerxes court demonstrates your amazing power to transform situations beyond our wildest dreams. Position me Lord to be a change conductor as you give me opportunities.

Amen

Written by Claire Moore

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