Esther 8:1-17 – Rejoicing With Gratitude

Read Esther 8:1-17

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.

Haman’s law would say all Jews were to be killed and their possessions plundered on that one day. The law written now by Mordecai would say that on that “one day” the Jews could rise up and fight and plunder the property of their enemies. In essence, the laws cancelled each other.

You can imagine there was much rejoicing and celebration among the Jews all over the land. Their future had changed from death to life, from dread to hope. There were even converts from other nationalities to become Jews out of fear, and possibly reverence. It was a mighty triumph for God’s people that day.

Esther and Mordecai had to be beside themselves with joy and awe at God’s deliverance. These events are what have led to the Jewish festival of Purim. It’s always good to understand the origin of celebrations. It’s like when we celebrate Thanksgiving or Independence Day in the United States (or other countries). There is a reason we are celebrating. We should never forget. For the Jews, this Purim is another fantastic example of how God intervenes and cares for his people.

When have you seen God intervene in your life? Take some time today to think through the events of your life. How are you different today than you were 5, 10, 25, or even 50 years ago? Sometimes we forget about the trials we’ve been through. Sometimes we forget about the victories, small or large, we’ve celebrated. Can you see God’s fingerprints on your life?

Too many people try and take credit for what is happening in their life. They might say it was their education, their good deeds, their monetary gifts, their hard work, etc. Was it really? Who gave you the wisdom, the wealth, the ambition?

As I write this and reflect, we are heading into the week of Thanksgiving in the United States. We don’t live there anymore, but there are plenty of expats like us that still want to celebrate here in Mexico. The Mexicans are more than happy to oblige and make us feel “at home” with delicious turkey and fixings.

Why do we need a “day” set aside for thanks. Shouldn’t everyday be a day of thanks to God? If you haven’t already started a “Gratefulness Journal,” I would encourage you to start today. Make a list (or add to the one you already have) of all the things you are thankful for. Get specific. This is your list. Use this list everyday in your prayer time to give God thanks.

I saw a meme on social media that has really stuck with me. “What if you woke up TOMORROW with ONLY the things you thanked God for TODAY? Powerful. God appreciates our gratitude. May your heart overflow today and everyday.

Let’s pray. Lord, I come to you today with thankful praise. Your mighty deeds amaze me and astound me. How you can love me so much even when I fail. When I fall down, you pick me up. When I stray, you get my attention. Thank you, Lord, for all the provisions you give me on a daily basis. Without you, I am nothing. My heart is overflowing with gratitude. I love how you are working in my life. Help me to set aside my doubts and embrace the abilities you have given me. May I be a blessing to all I encounter today, and may they see you living inside me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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