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Mid-Week with Christ
December 11, 2019

Power Behind the Throne

Esther 8:1-17

3 Then Esther spoke again to the king. She fell at his feet and wept and pleaded with him to avert the evil plan of Haman the Agagite and the plot that he had devised against the Jews. 4 When the king held out the golden scepter to Esther, Esther rose and stood before the king. 5 And she said, “If it please the king, and if I have found favor in his sight, and if the thing seems right before the king, and I am pleasing in his eyes, let an order be written to revoke the letters devised by Haman the Agagite, the son of Hammedatha, which he wrote to destroy the Jews who are in all the provinces of the king. 6 For how can I bear to see the calamity that is coming to my people? Or how can I bear to see the destruction of my kindred?” 7 Then King Ahasuerus said to Queen Esther and to Mordecai the Jew, “Behold, I have given Esther the house of Haman, and they have hanged him on the gallows, because he intended to lay hands on the Jews. 8 But you may write as you please with regard to the Jews, in the name of the king, and seal it with the king’s ring, for an edict written in the name of the king and sealed with the king’s ring cannot be revoked.” … 17 And in every province and in every city, wherever the king’s command and his edict reached, there was gladness and joy among the Jews, a feast and a holiday. And many from the peoples of the country declared themselves Jews, for fear of the Jews had fallen on them.

Prayer for the Day

Father, may we always trust Jesus to defeat our enemies, and so never become despondent that their power is too great. Amen.

Sometimes it’s all about the power around the throne, and not the throne itself. Such is the story of Queen Esther and her relationship with King Ahasuerus of Persia. Being from ancient Iran, Ahasuerus – either the Xerxes or Artaxerxes of secular history – was not Jewish. He was likely a follower of the Zoroastrian faith. He was not even the “king of the Jews”, but ruled over a swath of territory that covered parts of modern Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Israel. But none of that is terribly significant, because in the book of Esther he is not the main character. Esther, her father Mordecai, and Haman are the leads in this story.
Kings like Ahasuerus hold tremendous power. It might seem like they hold so much power that our very fates rest in their hands and not our own. But the story of Esther demonstrates that even mighty kings play their part in history. They may appear to exercise raw power unrestrained by justice and reason. Such is not the case; in the end, God’s good will does triumph over injustice and oppression even in the hands of a foreign king.
Most of us live in a world without actual kings like Ahasuerus. Yet it can still seem like great powers like the Devil, the world and even our own sin are outside our control. The Hamans around us seem to have it in for us, and who are we to challenge their power? Esther shines as an example of trust and faith that God – and good – will still prevail. We who serve under the care of Jesus the True and Eternal King need not fear the tyrants around us. By his crucifixion and death, Jesus has prevailed, and our enemies will be defeated once and for all on the Last Day.
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