July 19, 2012
It’s been a little while since I wrote on my Bible reading in the morning; here’s the conclusion of Esther. Having just flipped through “One Night with the King,” I’m having flashbacks of comparing the movie with the written Scripture. Fun times ☺
Following the execution of Haman, Mordecai is promoted to take his place. Having finally revealed her true identity, Esther no doubt had many things to explain to her husband. While it might seem like a big career jump, I’d say Mordecai earned it; having proven his humility and loyalty to the king time and again (first by saving his life, again by continuing his labor without demanding a due reward), not to mention being related to the queen and not using that connection to advance himself, one has to admire Mordecai for his character.
The trouble is, it’s not happy ending time; Haman is gone, but the edict he set in motion against the Jews still stands, and there is no way to reverse it. Fortunately, Mordecai and Esther gain permission from the king to write another edict to counter Haman’s; the Jews are now free to defend themselves against what would have been the unopposed attack of their enemies, and many who might have taken part in the attack are now afraid due to the Jews having found favor so high up in the kingdom.
When the appointed day comes, the tables are turned, and rather than being destroyed, the Jews instead conquer those who would destroy them. Among the fallen are Haman’s ten sons; with Haman having had quite a bone to pick with the Jews, his sons would only have tried to avenge their father’s death, and therefore are killed so that Haman’s hatred has no legacy. I can’t help but be reminded of Saul’s failure to obey back in 1st Samuel; his lack of obedience cost Israel so much in the centuries to come. In a similar way, I admire Esther’s courage, slow as it was to come; if she had not done so, she never would have come to such a place of honor among her people and Scripture itself.
Looking back through the whole Exilic period, it seems to me that the Jews have repeated history and yet done so in reverse as well. In the narrative from Genesis to Exodus, the Jews go from being in the favor of an empire to being its conquered servants; in Esther, Ezra, and Nehemiah, we see just the opposite occur. Mordecai’s position of power appears to recall Joseph’s prestige in Egypt; he is second only to the sovereign of the land, and he has arisen to such heights because of the will of GOD, to help save his people from disaster. It is truly amazing how GOD works in different situations with different people/generations and yet remains true to the same Truth and theme through it all.