Monday, December 17, 2012

Esther: Temporary and Eternal Glory


Esther: Temporary and Eternal Glory

 

So the king took off his signet ring, which he had taken from Haman, and gave it to Mordecai; and Esther appointed Mordecai over the house of Haman.” – Esther 8:2

With Haman now dead from the trespasses against the Jewish people, Esther revealed Mordecai’s relationship to her to the king.  The king, wanting to show his remorse for the pain that had been inflicted on Queen Esther by Haman’s decree, gave Haman’s house to Queen Esther.  He also considered Mordecai, having not forgotten how he saved his life.  King Ahasuerus gave Mordecai his signet ring, which was used to sign any documents as having come from the king.  This had been kept by Haman, which showed how much Haman had earned position and power with the king.  Then Esther appointed Mordecai over the house of Haman.
Esther cried to the King over the fate of her people.  Even with Haman dead, the law to kill all Jews and plunder their possessions still stood.  Persian laws were irrevocable.  And even though she asked King Ahasuerus to revoke the law he could not. 

The King, having allowed evil Haman to write the first decree, now did something very wise.  He allowed Mordecai to write a second decree to counteract it.  He said to Mordecai, You yourselves write a decree concerning the Jews, as you please, in the king’s name, and seal it with the king’s signet ring; for whatever is written in the king’s name and sealed with the king’s signet ring no one can revoke.”
Mordecai then drafted a law that on the same day as the first law allowed the mass murder of the Jews, that the Jews were permitted to kill all forces that came against them to assault them, and were allowed to plunder their possessions.  He wrote it in the languages of the Jewish people, and the languages of all the provinces, sealed it with the King’s signet ring, and sent it by couriers on fast horses to all the nations from India to Ethiopia.

The Jews were not only saved from annihilation, but many became Jews because they now feared the Jewish people.  Mordecai, being humble and wise, went through the city in royal apparel with a crown on his head, and the Shushan, which had been fearful and perplexed over Haman’s law,  was happy because good and triumphed evil. 
There is a contrast of Haman’s temporary possessions, and Mordecai’s eternal ones.  Haman worked to gain the glory of man, specifically the King.  His life was lived to gain position, power, and glory among men.  In the end, everything he had acquired through his life ended up in Mordecai, his enemy’s hands.  His life was lived in vain because it was lived for things that rust and decay and cannot be stored up for eternal wealth in Heaven.

But Mordecai, on the other hand, had acquired the favor of God.  Matthew 6:33 says “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”  God granted that Mordecai, because of his faithfulness, also gain favor with the king through revealing the plot of his officers to kill him.  He assured that it would be Mordecai who overheard the officer’s plans, giving him opportunity to do the right thing.  God also provided that his cousin who he had raised as a child would become Queen, giving him a way to get to the king and save the Jews.  Mordecai stood strong to his faith when Haman would have him killed for not worshipping him.  In the end, not only did he save his life and his peoples, but he attained the favor with the king that Haman had.  He inherited the riches of his enemy, and stored up his good deeds for eternal glory in Heaven.
In Matthew 6:19-21, Jesus says Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.  Each day we have a choice to make as we go about our work.  Will we simply go about earning a wage for our labors, earthly wealth and power, or will we choose to store up our wealth in Heaven?  Seek to find opportunities to glorify God, to do the right thing, to carry out His good will.  Then, all these things will be added to you.

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