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Celebrate (Esther 9 & 10)



Esther 9 and 10 concludes the Book of Esther. In Esther 9, the highly anticipated day had finally come. It was the thirteenth day in the month of Adar— both the day of legal execution of the Jews and the day the Jews were legally allowed to protect themselves. Chapter 9 states the enemies of the Jews assembled themselves against the Jews in hopes of defeating them. The Jews also assembled themselves and stood firmly against anyone who desired to destroy them.


It is written that by this time, Mordecai had grown in power and influence. He was prominent in the king’s palace and had won the respect of those in high offices. In fact, they respected him so much that Esther 9:3 states that all the nobles, governors, and administrators sided with the Jews because they feared Mordecai. 


And so, the battle began. The Bible states the Jews struck down all their enemies. Five hundred people died at the hands of the Jews in the citadel of Susa along with ten of Haman’s sons. This was reported to King Xerxes the following day. He replied, “The Jews have killed and destroyed five hundred men and the ten sons of Haman in the citadel of Susa. What have they done in the rest of the provinces?”


The king wondered how much more victorious the Jews were in the other provinces if they were so wonderfully triumphant in Susa. We ought to have this line of thinking when it comes to God’s victories. If God showed himself strong in one area of our lives, how much more victorious will he be in other areas?


Recall what James 5:17 states, “Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years.” The text says he was human just like you and me. Therefore, our prayers can be just as victorious as Elijah’s prayer if we believe. We can triumph just like the Jews in this text if we seek God’s face as they did in the previous chapters.


After King Xerxes questioned how victorious the Jews were in the other provinces, he said to Esther, “What is your petition? What is your request? It will be granted.” Esther requested that the same decree—the decree granting the Jews permission to war against their enemies—be extended to the following day. She also requested the impaling of Haman’s ten sons.


And so, Esther’s request was granted. Haman’s sons were impaled, and the Jews destroyed 75,000 of their enemies across King Xerxes 127 provinces. After the battle was won, Mordecai recorded the events and sent letters to all the Jews from India to Ethiopia obliging them to celebrate the victory annually on the fourteenth and fifteenth of the month of Adar. It was to be celebrated by joyfully feasting, exchanging presents, and giving gifts to the poor.


The days were called Purim and the Jews all agreed to celebrate and remember these two days every year without fail. They also ensured that every family and every generation to come would continue the custom of celebrating the Jews’ victory. Mordecai and Esther’s decree to celebrate their triumph was recorded and written in the records.


The Book of Esther closes with a nod to Mordecai in Chapter 10. It is written that Mordecai was second in rank to King Xerxes. He was highly esteemed, and his greatness was recorded in the book of annuals. Mordecai was honored and admired amongst his fellow Jews because of how he worked for the good of his people and because of how he spoke up for the welfare of the Jews.


Both Mordecai and Queen Esther’s actions in this book are examples of how we should be today. They were not only concerned about their own lives, but they cared about the lives of their fellow Jews. We should also fight for the welfare of our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ by offering prayer, edification, and encouragement to one another. God has granted us all a gift to be like Mordecai, and to ultimately be like Christ, by seeing to the needs of others.


And when we see to the needs of others, God will see to our needs. The favor of God rested so heavily on Mordecai that the higher officials became the Jews’ allies. Because Mordecai remained faithful to God, God sent people to be faithful to him. Like Mordecai, when we hold fast to our faith and when we help others, we will receive favor from both God and man.


Finally, as the Jews celebrated all the good that the Lord had done for them, so should we. Make it a custom, make a personal decree, to remember God and how he has made you victorious. Sometimes life and our emotions can take away the joy that we ought to have in Christ. At times, we may have negative perspectives because we have problems that appear unresolved.


But the fact that we have access to God through Jesus Christ is enough to celebrate by itself. We may never have access to the elites of this world, but we do have access to the Creator of it. We may never have the opportunity to petition an earthly king, but at any given second of the day, we can petition the King of kings.


This opportunity to talk to God whenever we want is an opportunity that is not taken for granted as often as it should be. Some of us would be happy just to be in the presence of our favorite celebrity. Even if we weren’t allowed to speak to them, we’d be glad just to be around them. And if we were allowed to speak to them and ask that celebrity for an autograph and they declined our request, we’d still likely celebrate the fact that we were in their presence. 


If we can celebrate being in the presence of a celebrity, certainly we can celebrate being in the presence of God. But God not only gives us access to him through Christ, but he also graciously allows us to talk to him for as long as we need to or as often as we need to. The opportunity to speak to the infinite all-knowing, all-powerful God who can do exceedingly more than anything we can ask or think is a reason to celebrate. Even if the answer to the prayer is no, our access to God alone is enough to celebrate.


So, celebrate! Celebrate the fact that you have this access. Celebrate having God as our Father and Jesus Christ as our Lord. Celebrate that over these past few weeks, we have had this beautiful opportunity to read God’s word and that through our studying of the Book of Esther it is confirmed that no weapon formed against God’s people will ever prosper.


So, again, I encourage you to celebrate. For God is truly worthy to be praised.


 

Quin Arrington is a Christian wife, mother, and author with fiction and nonfiction books available for purchase at www.amazon.com/author/quinarrington

Thank you for your time. God Bless!

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