Thursday, November 14, 2013

The tables are turned!

(written by Vickie)
The Word for Today: Esther 9, 10
Mark this verse: Esther 9:1 --
"... On this day the enemies of the Jews had hoped to overpower them, but now the tables were turned and the Jews got the upper hand over those who hated them."
Most re-tellings of Esther's story conclude with the execution of Haman. Haman swinging on the end of the very rope he had hoped would have held Mordecai's neck, but the story doesn't end there. The remaining chapters of Esther go on to give us the rest of the story. The resolution is not complete without the full execution of justice and the call to remembrance described in chapters 9 and 10. As we read on, we take in the cost of justice, the enormity of the crime that demands such hard justice and the intentional call to remembrance that helps keep the reward of peace, in perspective. It also snaps us back to a bigger picture- this is the revelation of God's faithfulness to provide mankind with a Savior, it's not just a fascinating tale about a beautiful woman, a hero and vile villain. It's about Jesus Christ and His salvation.
The King's Edict on behalf of the Jews resulted in reports of casualties in both the city of Susa and in the provinces. Once again, Esther found herself in a role she could never have imagined. King Xerxes grants Esther another petition(v.13). Esther asks for more, more time to fully put down all the enemies that would have annihilated the Jews. Even in the 20th century, we have evidence that the elimination of one enemy of the Jews did not provide a full justice, a justice that would precipitate a lasting peace. Haman wasn't the only hater. His hating heart reflected tens of thousands of other hearts that delighted in the plot to wipe the earth clean of the Jews. There had to be more killing, justice required it, so much was at stake. God would not allow Satan to destroy the genetic heritage of Jesus Christ.
Mordecai stepped seamlessly into a role that times made necessary, "Mordecai was prominent in the palace; his reputation spread throughout the provinces, and he became more and more powerful (v. 4)." He became the feared executioner of justice "for such a time as this." He also stepped into into his place next to Esther as champion for the Jews. The second half of chapter 9 outlines the decree set down by our new champions. Remembering is good for us. Without taking time to remember we live our lives out of sync with reality. We can come to think that the things we have are deserved or that we acquired them on our own. Mordecai and Esther create a mandate to remember and to celebrate. The feast days of Purim are still celebrated today.
One of the most noble pursuits in this world is justice. Many world organizations seek to do good works to accomplish peace through justice. This is no surprise, we are created in God's image. He loves justice (Psa.11:7). In it's silence, the book of Esther reveals to us the God of the Jews, lover of justice. Although the peace granted to the Jews at this time did not last forever, there is a day coming when it will be accomplished eternally for those who love His Son. The bloody battle for our peace has been completed at the cross, it is finished. Let's keep our minds in memory of that battle, living our lives in the reality that we are a rescued people with a champion for all eternity.

No comments:

Post a Comment