December 3, 2023 | Doug Sauder
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“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. 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.’ 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.”—Esther 8:7–10 (NIV)
If you were watching a movie of the Book of Esther, today’s passage of Scripture would be the montage of a redemptive story arc’s climax where good has finally triumphed over evil. It shows a clear and major difference between the end of two paths: one wicked and one righteous.
Haman’s wicked intentions are plain as day for all of us to read. It can be so difficult to display patience when a villainous character, like Haman, has operated with duplicitous motives in order to set traps for a righteous character like Mordecai. If you’re like me, you want justice to happen right away. It’s agonizing when injustices are seemingly unaccounted for and allowed to run rampant.
If you feel that way, you’re not alone. So many of the psalmists and prophets in the Old Testament express that same frustration. Consider Psalm 73:3–17, where the psalmist lays out his utter lack of comprehension at the ease with which wicked people seem to live their lives. It can feel hopeless and make us wonder, “Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure and have washed my hands in innocence” (Psalm 73:13 NIV). It can have us wondering, “Does God even hold them accountable?” We can be tempted to think of taking judgment into our own hands.
Consider the parable that Nathan the prophet told King David after he had committed adultery and murder. Nathan tells of a terrible injustice committed by a rich man against a poor man. The rich man robs the poor man of his only treasure, a young lamb, and then has it slaughtered for a meal. As a former shepherd, David is outraged. He calls for justice to be enacted against the rich man, only to have Nathan tell him, “You are the man” (2 Samuel 12:7 NIV).
Here’s the truth: God has always and will always condemn and punish every sin and act of injustice. You and I must remember that we’re sinners deserving of that same punishment and condemnation if not for the blood of Christ: “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21 NIV).
King Xerxes’ judgment upon Haman points to a greater judgment that sits upon all enemies of God. Haman’s actions were certainly deserving of earthly justice and punishment; however, we should never desire that someone would suffer eternal judgment. Let us be encouraged to share the gospel in light of today’s passage of Scripture and the coming judgment against every act of sin.
Pause: Consider the people in your life who are unaware of the love God has for them.
Practice: Pray about ways to share the love of God with your immediately family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers.
Pray: Lord God, I thank You for Your justice and righteousness. I’m grateful You do not overlook evil or grow apathetic to the cries of those whom it oppresses. May I never forget the cost of my salvation, and may I have a growing desire to share that with others. Amen.
John Madge has been on staff with Calvary for over 4 years, serving as the Digital Systems Manager in the Communications Department. In 2019, he went on his first mission trip with Calvary Chapel to Hungary in order to support local missionaries and churches and share the gospel with locals. John enjoys living an active lifestyle through sports, fitness, and the occasional Zumba class. He has a deep desire for others to know the love of God in Christ Jesus and is a huge mental health advocate. He also hopes to be fluent in Spanish one day.