Esther 8:9 – 17 At once the royal secretaries were summoned—on the twenty-third day of the third month, the month of Sivan. They wrote out all Mordecai’s orders to the Jews, and to the satraps, governors and nobles of the 127 provinces stretching from India to Cush. These orders were written in the script of each province and the language of each people and also to the Jews in their own script and language. Mordecai wrote in the name of King Xerxes, sealed the dispatches with the king’s signet ring, and sent them by mounted couriers, who rode fast horses especially bred for the king.
The king’s edict granted the Jews in every city the right to assemble and protect themselves; to destroy, kill and annihilate any armed force of any nationality or province that might attack them and their women and children; and to plunder the property of their enemies. 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. 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.
The couriers, riding the royal horses, raced out, spurred on by the king’s command. And the edict was also issued in the citadel of Susa.
Mordecai left the king’s presence wearing royal garments of blue and white, a large crown of gold and a purple robe of fine linen. And the city of Susa held a joyous celebration. For the Jews it was a time of happiness and joy, gladness and honor. In every province and in every city, wherever the edict of the king went, there was joy and gladness among the Jews, with feasting and celebrating. And many people of other nationalities became Jews because fear of the Jews had seized them.
Do you remember when the edict was issued to kill all the Jews? The people of Susa were bewildered. The Jews were good neighbors, and nobody wanted to kill them, except Haman. Yet, here was the edict, and it could not be changed.
But Mordecai and Esther were quite intelligent. They talked and thought and prayed and plotted. Finally, one of them said, “What if we write another edict, giving the Jews permission to fight back? What if we give the Jews the right to kill and plunder anyone who comes after them? No one really wants to kill them anyway. This will stop people from harming the Jews, for fear of being harmed themselves.”
It was a brilliant plan. But the day was approaching, and time was of the essence. Remember, they didn’t have cell phones or fax machines or internet connection back then. They had to get word out the old fashioned way – on horseback. And there were 127 different provinces. That means 127 different languages. The new edict had to be handwritten, in each language, and raced to each province before it was too late.
I can just imagine Mordecai spreading a big map on the table. “Which province is the furthest? Let’s write theirs first, and send the messenger. Then we’ll work our way backwards.” I can almost hear him barking orders to the scribes – “Can’t you write any faster?”
But at the eleventh hour, word was delivered, and there was great rejoicing! The Jews weren’t the only ones celebrating, either. The people of Susa were delighted that Haman’s evil plan had failed. Many of them became Jews, because they saw how God had saved them when all seemed hopeless. They saw that the God of the Jews was a God of mercy and compassion. They saw He was a God of miracles.
Friends, does your situation seem hopeless? Is the eleventh hour approaching, and still You wait? Don’t lose hope! God will take care of You. And when He does, people will see what a great God you serve! They will be drawn to Him, because of the miracle they have watched play out in your life. And then, it will be a time of great celebration, indeed!
Dear Father, I trust You. I know You will always come through for me. When You do, I will celebrate and tell others about Your goodness.