We’ve all read fairy tales at one time in our life I’m sure. What do they all have in common? Here are some examples: “Once upon a time” and “happily every after,” as well as heroes and bad guys. The Esther story is a real life fairy tale don’t you think? It even has a king and a queen in the story! How about the happily ever after?
Mordecai was honored for saving the king’s life and became powerful in his own right. He was a Jew, and most of the subjects in this kingdom were not. He “continued to work for the good of his people and to speak up for the welfare of all their descendants.” He had the respect of all the people, and that is a happy ending. Isn’t having attention and respect in life something we all search for?
One consistent purpose for the Book of Esther is to reveal and explain the traditional Jewish festival of Purim. The day we have been waiting for has arrived in today’s reading. Both decrees were called into play. You will recall Haman’s plot to kill the Jews, and then Esther’s plea to be saved from death. Both decrees were set to happen the same day, the 13th day of the 12th month, or March 7.
Was there anything that surprised you when both decrees happened simultaneously? I was surprised that Esther wanted another day for the Jews to have free reign over their enemies. And, I was surprised there were that many enemies killed since we also read about how many people were now fearing the Jews and their power. This was thanks, in part, to Mordecai. The other interesting things was that no plunder was taken, despite the decree allowing it. And one last observation is that there is no record of how many Jews were killed. I get the impression that no Jews were killed.
What a day for the God’s people! A miracle from God to be sure. Esther and Mordecai’s prayers have been answered in a mighty way. God’s justice was evident. Evil was conquered.
Did you understand what happened here? It took me a couple times reading through the passage. Haman’s evil plan to kill the Jews had been endorsed by the king. Apparently, an order of the king could not be revoked according to their law. So, another order had to be crafted to offset the first. Both laws were to come due, so to speak, on the same day.
The time for the second banquet has arrived. Since Queen Esther had such success with the first one, she now had a little more boldness. Yet, her ask was still with the utmost respect. Again, the king says, “I will give it to you, even if it is half the kingdom!”
What was Queen Esther’s request? That her people’s lives be spared from annihilation. The king didn’t seem to skip a beat wondering who “her people” were. His mind went right to the place of someone harming her, his beloved wife. The king demanded to know who would do such a thing.
A sleepless night. Can you relate. The king was tossing and turning and unable to sleep. What did he do? Asked for a book of his history. Normally, people would be looking for something to lull them to sleep. Reading these pages of his successes and led to him remembering Mordecai’s rescue. Was it any coincidence that he just happened to want his book and realize that Mordecai had never been rewarded for his actions?
You can bet Haman didn’t have any problem sleeping since his wife and friends had given him the great idea the day before to impale Mordecai once and for all on the pole he had prepared. He was ready to see the king first thing, and the king was eager now to talk with him. Little did Haman know both men had Mordecai on their minds!