Hope for Freedom


The story of the Jews’ freedom under Esther’s decree provides hope. Even when they had no rights as citizens, God granted them rights under his own authority.  God is able to work in your circumstance to change it and provide you with freedom today!

1 That same day King Xerxes gave Queen Esther the estate of Haman, the enemy of the Jews. And Mordecai came into the presence of the king, for Esther had told how he was related to her. 2 The king took off his signet ring, which he had reclaimed from Haman, and presented it to Mordecai. And Esther appointed him over Haman’s estate.

3 Esther again pleaded with the king, falling at his feet and weeping. She begged him to put an end to the evil plan of Haman the Agagite, which he had devised against the Jews. 4 Then the king extended the gold scepter to Esther and she arose and stood before him.

5 “If it pleases the king,” she said, “and if he regards me with favor and thinks it the right thing to do, and if he is pleased with me, let an order be written overruling the dispatches that Haman son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, devised and wrote to destroy the Jews in all the king’s provinces. 6 For how can I bear to see disaster fall on my people? How can I bear to see the destruction of my family?”

7 King Xerxes replied to Queen Esther and to Mordecai the Jew, “Because Haman attacked the Jews, I have given his estate to Esther, and they have impaled him on the pole he set up. 8 Now write another decree in the king’s name in behalf of the Jews as seems best to you, and seal it with the king’s signet ring—for no document written in the king’s name and sealed with his ring can be revoked.”

11 The king’s edict granted the Jews in every city the right to assemble and protect themselves; to destroy, kill and annihilate the armed men of any nationality or province who might attack them and their women and children, and to plunder the property of their enemies. 12 The day appointed for the Jews to do this in all the provinces of King Xerxes was the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month of Adar. 13 A copy of the text of the edict was to be issued as law in every province and made known to the people of every nationality so that the Jews would be ready on that day to avenge themselves on their enemies.

16 For the Jews it was a time of happiness and joy, gladness and honor. 17 In every province and in every city to which the edict of the king came, there was joy and gladness among the Jews, with feasting and celebrating.
Esther 8:1-8, 11-13, 16-17

This is a story of hope.  Particularly in a time in which there are refugees across the globe who do not feel a sense of home, welcome, or personal power to live in freedom, the story of the Jews’ freedom under Esther’s decree provides hope.

The edict granted Jews the right to assemble and to protect themselves. Isn’t that what every person should have?  Are these not basic freedoms of life across our world?  Their freedom turns into conflict in the coming chapters, because those who hated them wish to overthrow them still.

This was a time of happiness and joy, gladness and honour. The Jews were protected and freed by the hand of God in a land of their exile and oppression.  Even in a place in which they had no rights as citizens, God granted them rights through his plan and the work of Esther and Mordecai.

God, grant these freedoms to the refugees who are without home or rights at this moment in our world.  Grant children who have grown up in refugee camps and never seen their homeland a sense of home and of hope.

God, intervene in the hearts and minds of ruling authorities – even those who are opposed to you – to create favour for those who are underprivileged and struggling.

We know you are able to help, God, and so we lay this at your feet.  We beg you, even as Esther begged Xerxes.  Even though we may not share nationality or even religion with these people, bring them into safety that we may welcome them as you welcomed us from all nations and religion into your care as the Almighty God over all peoples everywhere.

Gather us under your wings together as Jesus desired to do looking over the city of Jerusalem.  Fashion willing hearts within us.

Amen.

Marc Kinna

 

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