The Tables Are Turned.
“Haman son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the enemy of the Jews, had plotted to crush and destroy them on the date determined by casting lots (the lots were called purim). But when Esther came before the king, he issued a decree causing Haman’s evil plot to backfire, and Haman and his sons were impaled on a sharpened pole. That is why this celebration is called Purim, because it is the ancient word for casting lots.” – Esther 9:24-26 NLT
Haman, the enemy of the Jews was dead. But the royal decree he had convinced King Xerxes to implement was irreversible. So on March 7, the edict became official.That was the day that Haman had set aside for every Jew in the land of Persia to be killed. But because of the efforts of Mordecai and Esther, another royal decree had been issued, giving the Jews permission to defend themselves against any and all who would try to harm them. So when March 7 came, the Jews went on the offensive. They “struck down their enemies with the sword. They killed and annihilated their enemies and did as they pleased with those who hated them” (Esther 9:5 NLT). Across the country of Persia, they killed hundreds of their enemies, including the ten sons of Haman. No one could stand against them because they were afraid of them. And as a result of this unlikely victory, the Jews instituted an annual festival called the Feast of Purim This day was set aside each year as a memorial and a celebration of God’s deliverance of them from their enemies.
God had used two unknown individuals, Mordecai and his adopted niece, Esther, to help save an entire race of people from complete annihilation. He had orchestrated the whole affair long before either Mordecai or Esther were even deported to Babylon. God knew what was going to happen and who He would use to bring about His divine plan for protecting His people. These two individuals were instruments in His hands, faithfully answering His call when He needed them. Both did their part. They stepped up and risked their own well-being and comfort in order to be used by God to accomplish His will for His people. They could have easily come up with excuses or hidden their heads in the sand, ignoring what was going on around them. But instead, they recognized that they were uniquely positioned by God to make a difference. They understood that the events surrounding their lives were not just happenstance or luck, but were part of a divine appointment scheduled from the very throne room of God.
Even after these events passed, Mordecai and Esther continued to use their positions for the good of the people. We’re told that Mordecai became the second-highest ranking official in the kingdom. “Mordecai the Jew become the prime minister, with authority next to that of King Xerxes himself. He was very great among the Jews, who held him in high esteem, because he continued to work for the good of his people and to speak up for the welfare of all their descendants” (Esther 10:3 NLT). This man rose from obscurity to power, but never seemed to lose sight of the fact that his position was God-ordained, not earned. He was where he was by the sovereign will of God, not because he was special. Rather than use his position for his own benefit and to see it as an excuse for self-centeredness, he chose to use it as a platform for good. What if each of us saw our role here on this planet from the same perspective? What if we understood that we are here for a reason greater than our own good or our own personal profit? Paul reminds us, “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago” (Ephesians 2:10 NLT). We have been placed on this planet for a reason. We have been redeemed by the blood of Christ for a reason. We remain on this earth after salvation for a reason. God has a job for each of us to do and He has uniquely positioned us to make a difference for His kingdom. May we have the same attitude that Mordecai, Esther, Paul, Joseph, Daniel and so many other saints of the past had. We were born for just such a time as this!
Father, as believers we should never wonder what our purpose in life is all about. We have so much to do for You. We have so many opportunities every day to accomplish great things for You as You reveal situations and circumstances in which we can step in and make a difference. Open our eyes and help us see Your agenda instead of ours. Forgive us for our self-focus and self-centeredness. Let us see what You are doing behind the scenes and step alongside Your work. Give us an eternal perspective that is bigger than us. Thank You for the story of Mordecai and Esther, but also for the reminder that it is always You who are working behind the scenes to accomplish the impossible in the lives of men. Amen
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men