Scripture Read: Esther 8:8-12 “Now you write to the Jews as you see fit, in the king’s name, and seal it with the king’s signet ring; for a decree which is written in the name of the king and sealed with the king’s signet ring may not be revoked.” So the king’s scribes were called at that time in the third month (that is, the month Sivan), on the twenty-third day; and it was written according to all that Mordecai commanded to the Jews, the satraps, the governors and the princes of the provinces which extended from India to Ethiopia, 127 provinces, to every province according to its script, and to every people according to their language as well as to the Jews according to their script and their language. 10 He wrote in the name of King Ahasuerus, and sealed it with the king’s signet ring, and sent letters by couriers on horses, riding on steeds sired by the royal stud. 11 In them the king granted the Jews who were in each and every city the right to assemble and to defend their lives, to destroy, to kill and to annihilate the entire army of any people or province which might attack them, including children and women, and to plunder their spoil, 12 on one day in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month (that is, the month Adar).
Application: The real picture of a person’s character is displayed, when they can do anything they want yet choose to do the right thing. Mordecai allows us a view of his heart from his actions. He has the power of the Queen’s position with the authority of the Kings ring to do anything he wants to do. The King has given Mordecai the freedom to deal with this problem the way he sees fit. Mordecai knows there are others who hate the Jews, just to hate. This is what being a bigot is – you hate just to hate. I observed this very quickly at one of the Pastorates I served. At first, I thought prejudice was the same as bigotry. I was wrong. A prejudiced person is ignorant and can learn that their ignorance is causing this sin in their life. They can learn from the Spirit and change – I saw a man who’s relative was very high up in the Klu Klux Klan realize that his prejudice was a sin and repent in an incredible way. Bigotry, on the other hand is not about education, it is about hate. No amount of learning will change that person because they are blind and deaf to truth. Only the supernatural work of God can change that heart! It was hard to try to help people that claimed to be Christian, based solely on family habits, they were church going and had the desire to go to heaven – yet because of their hate and bigotry they prove they did not have a relationship with God. John makes this clear in Scripture:
1 John 4:20 (NASB95) 20 If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.
So here Mordecai, knowing there are many bigots out there could have written a more aggressive letter giving the Jews the right to attack anyone they thought hated them yet he did not. Notice it says “they may defend themselves from attack.” This is a sign of his integrity! Mordecai does not go beyond what You would Lord. It is evident many knew about Haman’s plot, so I am sure everyone would know the power Haman was given. This action by Mordecai is not only merciful but allows all to see the mercy of the True God that the Jews served. All could see how You, Lord saved them yet extended mercy to all. Father help us to be like minded! Showing mercy even when we could justifiably attack. Help us to see the BIG picture that Your mercy works. The salvation of human souls!
Meditation Questions: Do you dislike a “group” of people? What does that say? Do you ever think that a certain group of people all act the same way? When you tell a story do you have to add the race or gender of the person even if it does not matter to the story? When you have the authority to hurt someone do you? How do you feel about it? What is your definition of defend?